It’s nothing new, this pressure that he feels welling up inside of him. He’s used to feeling it, he thinks, but the it’s the realisation that it’s growing inside of him that always manages to catch him by surprise.
It starts as a trickle, and his breaths grown shorter and shorter as he begins to feel like he might actually drown this time. He’s not physically moving, he knows, but he his mind whirls as his own thoughts self-destruct in his head.
His feet have turned to stone, he thinks for a moment, before he feels as though the ground itself is pulling him down. For a moment, it feels like the ground he’d walked on just moments before has turned to quicksand.
The trickle of pressure grows to a steady flow, like water running from a tap, as the panic dulls his senses so that all he can hear is his own voice telling him that he won’t be able to get free.
It feels like his wings are caught, turned to lead by the panic that he’s been burying inside of him, and he grows deaf to the world even as the voices around him grow louder. He feels himself nod, but he doesn’t know what he’s being told.
He wants to tell someone that he can’t breathe, and is largely unsuccessful when he finds himself unable to move.
It’s like the weight of the world is on his shoulders in that one moment, and he strains under it by himself until he feels a sharp clap on his shoulder.
The slight shock from the hit jolts him like he’s been electrocuted, but it’s exactly what he needs. He sees sunshine after that; fiery and intense, and he feels the weight lift from his shoulders, and feels his feet grow lighter until he thinks that he might be able to swim despite the whirlpool he’s caught in.
It’s nothing new, he thinks to himself as he inhales deeply, focusing on the buzz around him as his wings are freed. He can still feel the sun around him, still blazing, but it doesn’t burn as he tunes the mindless chatter around him out.
It’s nothing new, he tells himself, because now he can fly.