Thank you for the wonderful comments. I have revised and tried to tighten it up a bit more. I put the prologue and then a page of the story.
The walls of the cave dripped as the storm blew in sheets of rain. Thunder boomed outside. The room was small, lit only by sconces attached low on the wall. Five men stood unmoving, clad in tribal brilliance, their long black hair swayed slightly with the cold breeze. A crumpled figure lay before them, his skin glistened with a dampness. The man shifted, strong black wings emerged from his back, pumping as he struggled to his knees. Hands bound behind his back, he used his shoulder to wipe the blood from his mouth.
“Untie me.” His voice reverberated through the hollow cave.
“You have to take responsibility…” one of the men spoke.
“Untie me!” he yelled.
The men lifted their heads to the heavens. A voice echoed through the walls. “Your gifts will be taken for the duration of you punishment. You will live among the Earth dwellers until your trial. Take this time to redeem yourself.”
He pumped his wings again, a powerful current of air circled the cave. “I will not be judged by you. I will not live among them. I will not live as one of them.”
“The choice is no longer yours. It was not the intent of your gifts to use them for your own pleasure. You were sent to protect the tribes, not abuse them.” The voice grew stronger at the man’s defiance.
“My gifts will find me. They call to me. They cannot be hidden. What has been given to me will not be taken away.”
A bolt of lightning struck his chest. With a guttural growl he arched his back, clenching his jaw, refusing to show pain as his heart was removed and his powers stripped.
“They are no longer yours.” The voice echoed through the cave.
I threaded my fingers through my long blonde hair. Lifting it off my neck, I pulled it into a ponytail. I cringed when my fingers grazed the greenish purple bruise at my temple. Luke and I had gotten into another argument and I’d gotten to cross country practice late. I hurried to catch up with the pre-workout stretches.
“Holy crap Emma what happened to your head?” My best friend and running partner, Greg, looked over from where he sat on grass.
“Luke and I bumped.” I settled in the cool grass next to him.
Greg let out a loud laugh. “What where you guys doing?”
“Not what you’re thinking. It was an accident.” Or at least that’s what I’d convinced myself.
“So are you two…like dating?” Greg stood up and placed his hand on my shoulder for balance while he stretched his quads.
“I’m not sure we’re officially dating. The Ridge frowns on fraternizing.” The Ridge was the group home where I’d lived since the eighth grade, when my last foster home fell apart.
“Fraternizing? What are you? Like eighty?”
I shrugged. “That’s their term so it probably came from someone who was eighty.”