Flying faster and harder than had been known for her species before, the bird pushes through the sky.
She dodges buildings and trees and airplanes as they seem to leap into her path.
Still faster and faster she flies.
Into the darkness.
She knows that she can fly harder, so she does. And she’s carrying extra burdens, extra weight to carry with her. Sticks for her nest, food for later.
Still she flies. Pushing through the sky.
She knows that if she burns herself out, it’s fine.
She’s a Phoenix. She will always rise from her ashes.
So she continues to fly and fly and fly.
But something changes.
She loses her grip on the burdens. Sticks start to slip from her grasp.
A predator swoops in, steals her food, and is gone before she’s registered what’s happened.
She’s left with nothing but herself.
Still she pushes on.
Through the sky.
You see, she’s set herself up to compete with birds of other species. Smaller ones, faster ones. Ones who can travel at that rate.
A rate at which she was not meant to travel.
The birds of other species love the Phoenix, but they don’t understand her need to keep up with them.
For she is a fine bird. But the Phoenix does not see it so.
So she competes.
Until it’s too much.
She starts to burn, but she doesn’t fear. She knows she will rise again from her ashes.
So she embraces the warmth.
Until it’s gone.
It’s just her mind.
Puzzled, the other birds gather ’round the ashes, waiting.
Although a different kind of bird, she was unique.
Setting her standards high and her expectations higher proved to be her downfall.
Tentatively, the other birds approach the ashes.
There, they spot it. The tiniest baby bird, unlike that of a Phoenix.
It’s still the Phoenix, but the others don’t know it just yet.
She’s taken on a new form.
She’s smaller and lighter, but she cannot carry the loads of her past self.
She must only carry herself.
Whether she will grow into a better bird is yet to be seen.
But, she must start from scratch.
And though she does not yet realize it, she has a whole group of other birds who will show her the way.
As she rises again, yet not the same.
This is a first draft.