From around the mountain they were on came Brightsky, calling out to them. “Hey guys, what are you doing?” She landed and folded her wings, then her eyes widened. “Wow, are you learning to fly?”
Spark pranced. “I don’t think I can do this!”
Brightsky rolled her eyes. “If you don’t go I’ll push you off. And Starpebble and I will be here to catch you!” Ember shot her a look. “And Ember, I guess.”
“I guess?!” neighed Ember. “I’ll let you know I--”
“Only learned to fly five minutes ago?” teased Brightsky.
Ember subsided. “Yeah, I guess, sure.”
Spark backed up. “Oh no, I don't think I can do this….”
Starpebble smiled, but the story of Comet flashed through her head and she had to struggle to keep her smile in place. “Sure you can! Trust me.” Oh drat, I don’t sound very convincing!
Starpebble turned to Spark. “Go!”
Spark took a deep breath and galloped toward the edge.
Brightsky watched. “Sunfire said he’d be along soon; he needed to talk with Cobrawing. Apparently Mountain Herd has been sending out more raids as more and more of their steeds die.”
Starpebble shuddered. “The poor foals…” she whispered. A vision of Snowstone flashed in front of her eyes and she turned away, feeling suddenly very cold in the desert heat. She tucked her wings closer and watched Spark gallop of the edge, spreading his wings.
And then he fell.
Starpebble gasped and took flight in an instant, Brightsky not two seconds behind her. They swooped up and over the edge of the cliff, diving down the vertical side like peregrine falcons, quickly gaining on the plummeting Spark, who was trying to spread his wings.
They each reached him at the same time, and while Starpebble snatched at his right wing, Brightsky shot down past him and flung her wings wide.
Spark crashed into her back and they both fell, but slower, and Brightsky regained her wings and gripped Spark’s left wing in her teeth while Starpebble bit down on his right. They began to flap their wings and slowly rose in the air until their wingbeats coordinated and they rose to the top of the cliff and set Spark gently down. He fell to the ground and slowly got up, legs shaking. He backed away from the edge.
“I am not doing that again!” he neighed.
Starpebble landed, slightly winded. “Yes, you are. ‘If you never spread your wings you won’t fly’,” she quoted. It was something Star the Healer had said, long ago.
Spark shook his head. “No!”
Starpebble stepped toward him. “Yes, you can. This time Brightsky and I will go with you.”
Spark looked at her, pleading in his eyes.
“Do this, Spark,” Starpebble whispered. “For me.”
He raised his head. “Let’s go.”
He turned again to the edge and began to race toward it, Brightsky and Starpebble galloping next to him. Their hoofbeats merged until they sounded like one pegasus.