by M.E. Night
Looking up, he saw the sun starting to set, twilight covering the world and he longed to take to the skies. He had seen his cousin do it before him, his father before the hunters got to him. And all he wanted was to be able to fly. Above him, a solitary hawk, one not unlike his father's form, circled and he felt that yearning grow stronger.
His eyes never left the bird in the sky, watching him through winter branches. He missed his father. He was the one who was supposed to show him. All the men in his family were weres. They could all fly by the time they were in their teens. And here was Josiah, on the brink of his thirteenth birthday with no one to teach him and a mother, worried out of her mind.
Her calls to him went unheeded. Hands reached out, pushing the window open. Kicking off his sneakers, he climbed out on to the roof. He could do this. Josiah pulled off his tee shirt, shivering as his toes touched a patch of snow. Shaky fingers went to his belt buckle, but a glance skyward showed the hawk still above him, watching him.
He had no idea how to do this, to shift into his were form. Closing his eyes, he thought about it, about taking flight and soaring above it all, forgetting how he got picked on at school, how he missed his father. And he jumped.