Curiously Aurora looked up in the sky. A flock of birds flew over the treetops and left the green ocean of the Moors behind. The sky radiated a shining blue light you could only see on the hottest summer days. Aurora sprawled across the green grass on the forest glade in the heart of the Moors. A contented smile laid on her lips. Beside her Diaval enjoyed the warm sunbeams. He crossed his arms behind his head and dozed with closed eyes, while Aurora observed the sky like she saw flying birds for the first time in her life.
When she couldn’t see the birds anymore, the princess rolled over on her belly and rested her head on her hands so she could look at Diaval. He didn’t open his eyes, but she was sure he wasn’t really sleeping. “How does it feel? Flying I mean”, she asked curiously and jiggled her feet.
He blinked at her confused. It seemed like he had to think about the question, even if flying was all so natural to him. He turned his head and looked at her thoughtfully. For a moment she feared he would just ignore her question, because he had no answer to it or he figured it was ridiculous. Instead he looked at the sky and smiled the most bewitching smile she ever saw.
“It’s hard to describe. If I wouldn’t know how you humans are living, maybe I wouldn’t know what an incredible feeling it was”, he said thoughtfully. He placed one arm on his belly while he deliberated how he could describe this feeling.
“Your whole body seems much lighter when you are up in the sky. Even your heart seems as light as a feather. As a human everything wants to drag you back to the ground. But as a raven everything seems to raise you up. As if you’re weightless. It’s like an invisible power that pulls you up to the sky and you just soften to the feeling and drift away”, he explained with a dreamy expression on his face. He shut his eyes, as if he wanted to imagine how it feels to fly as a human. “It feels like freedom. There is nothing that could stop you. You can go wherever you want. As if you were running as fast as you can and nothing stands in your way.”
While he talked, Aurora closed her eyes and tried to imagine how flying would feel. With sweeping wings like her fairy godmother had. They would carry her everywhere and would never falter. They would lift her to the highest hights. She imagined the wind over the sky and the warm sun on her skin, nearer than ever before.
“That sounds beautiful…”, she sighed and opened her eyes again. “I wish I could fly like you or Maleficent”, she said slightly disappointed.
Diaval turned his head. “You don’t need to be sad about it. There are a lot of beautiful things you can experience as a human. There must be something that feels like flying for you”, he reckoned and gave her a cheery smile.
Aurora let out a small sigh and put her head on her crossed arms. “I don’t know… maybe. But I haven’t seen it yet. I mean, when I first saw the Moors, it was like magic! Maybe that’s similar to flying. Even now my heart beats faster when I wander through the Moors at night, watching the faeries dancing in the light. But I don’t know if that’s all. I think there might be more, what feels like flying. Another... feeling”, she softly replied almost shy. She looked down on the grass before her, reaching for her face.
“Another feeling?”, Diaval repeated curiously.
Aurora nodded, but didn’t look at him. “It’s silly, forget it”, she simply said and buried her face in her arms.
“What?” He eyed her in confusion and poked her arm with a finger.
She lifted her head and their eyes met instantly. He looked at her like the prying bird he was and Aurora giggled at the sight. “You look quite cute when you look at me that way”, she noticed with a grin. A beaming smile spread across his face. “Of course I do. I’m a charming raven after all”, he bantered. “So, what feeling do you mean?” He wouldn’t let her go so easily. There had to be something she thought about. Otherwise she wouldn’t have mentioned it.
“Okay, but don’t laugh at me!”, she demanded and sat up. “In the books my aunties gave me, the fairytales, when the princess kisses her prince, with whom she is deeply in love, it’s always described like flying. Your heart becomes light as a feather and you have butterflies in your stomach. You feel secure and almost dizzy”, she explained with a glint in her eyes.
His heart beat faster when she spoke about that feeling. It sounded beautiful. Maybe like flying but maybe like something else. He straightened himself and gave her a tender smile. “Why should I laugh? It sounds wonderful.”
Aurora blushed and looked down on her hands. “Yes but… I have no prince to kiss”, she said shy.
“Does it have to be a prince?”
She looked at him in surprise. For a moment she thought about it and shook her head. “N-no. No, I don’t think so.”
He gave her a disarming smile and immediately her heart skipped a beat. “You could kiss me, if you want! I may be not a prince and you’re not deeply in love with me. But I’m your best friend and that’s nearly as good as love, right?”, he suggested as if nothing was wrong with it.
Aurora blushed deeply. “You think so? I don’t know if it would be… appropriate.”
“Appropriate for whom? What of it! We’re friends and you want to know how it feels to fly. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just a kiss”, he said with a shrug.
Uncertain about what to do, Aurora quarrelled with herself. “Maybe you’re right. And I’m quite curious about the feeling. It’s no big deal, right?” She got in position and looked at him in anticipation. She tried to hide her trembling hands. Her heart raced in her chest. It’s just a kiss, she persuaded herself.
A surprised smile spread across his lips an he nodded.
Slowly they leant towards each other. Aurora closed her eyes. Waiting to feel something. It seemed like an eternity passed when his lips brushed against hers. It was merely a wisp. A warm shiver flushed through her body. A tingling sensation spread in her stomach. Her heart stopped for a moment. It felt light like a feather. Her whole body seemed to float above the ground.
He pressed his lips on hers more intense than before. Automatically she placed her hands at his cheeks and inhaled his wonderful scent. He smelled of fresh moss and summer rain. His lips tasted like the sweet berries they had eaten. They were soft and warm.
She felt his feathery touch on her waist and knew she didn’t want this moment to come to an end.
When they moved apart their eyes locked. They were just a breath away from each other. Neither of them moved further. “I was flying…”, she whispered and a loving smile appeared on her lips when she finally departed.
Diaval looked at her as if enchanted, a consenting smile on his lips. “Yes…”
With a joyful sigh Aurora slumped on the ground and shut her eyes. A big grin graced her face.
The raven looked at her like a fool. His heart was racing in his chest, restless and excited. It was just a kiss, he persuaded himself. Nothing more.