Already, the cold air of the high cliff was being replaced by warm summer air that whipped at his tattered tee and cutoffs, and sent his shaggy brown hair flying and snapping his cheeks. His heart jumped in his chest as adrenaline flooded his bloodstream, but quickly calmed into a slow and steady rhythm again as he worked to control his breathing and let the beauty of the valley calm his senses.
As soon as he regained control of his nerves, he felt his tattoos light up and grow hot. Up and down the length of his outstretched arms he could see the web of lines and circles begin to glow blue. James visualized wings, but nothing happened. His heart skipped a beat as fear of falling crashed into him, but he fought it back, using the meditative breathing that Dr. Kapur had taught him.
Just like always, he was taken completely by surprise when the wings materialized behind him, glowing with an electric blue light that he could just make out from his peripheral vision. Even over the roar of the wind that pounded past his face, he could hear them pop as they burst from the marks on his back. They caught the wind and pushed back against gravity at the same time, lofting James skyward.
"If this is what birds feel like," he thought, "then I hope I get to be a bird someday."