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Murmurations

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She felt something inside her shift when she came up off a bounce on the trampoline. At ten years old she didn't know what that shift signalled but she didn't come back down. Instead, she hung in space. The air felt charged and her hair moved like she was floating in water. 

Her brother giggled as he climbed onto the trampoline, bouncing beside her. He ignored her motionlessness form. “‘Livy!” bellowed her brother. “Look at me, I'm flying too!” 

He bounced higher and higher next to her. She noticed him and smiled; she breathed then, air flooding her lungs. She hadn't feel breathless until that moment. The sun shone over her shoulder, dazzling to the eye. He blinked and blocked it with his hand as he tilted his head to look at her. 

Starlings flew towards the distant trees, she could hear their feathers rustling as they flew on breezes she couldn't see. Seeking a roost for the night, they called to one another like a vast choir. She lifted a hand, then, as if directing an orchestra, she began her symphony. 

The entire murmuration shivered in the air. At first moving left, then right, as she conducted the birds. They formed shapes and patterns that became ever more complex under her gaze. Raising both hands, caught in the moment, she felt a rush of power through her cells. Her arms swung around as if she was dancing to a song only she could hear.

Her brother stopped moving and watched, rapt.

“Olivia? Jayden?” Their mother stood at the back door, watching them from twenty feet away. She urged them towards home then ducked back inside.

Closing her eyes, she clenched her fists-- then opened them in an explosive motion. The starlings, released, flew back to their roosts. Livy lowered herself to the ground. She felt her outstretched toes clench the grass and dirt, as if to stop her flying back up into the air.

“Come on then,” shouted Jay, running towards home.

“Don’t say anything,” she called after him. “Promise?”