Back by popular demand, here’s the next bit of the size swap! Last time, Bowman decided to fly up as high as he could, with tiny Jacob in tow.
Bowman laughed as he cleared the canopy in one powerful flap of his wings. His wings had grown with him, and the ground below was buffeted by a huge gust of wind from his powerful strokes. Soon, he was high above the trees where no other wood sprite would dare to go. Up here, he was at risk of a hawk spotting him.
With his new size, that wasn’t a concern at all. A hawk wouldn’t be able to snag him in its talons now.
Bowman flapped his wings as hard as he could to soar even higher, leaving the ground farther and farther behind him. The forest spread out around him in all directions, a field of dark green waving in gentle breezes. In the distance, he saw the crown of a tree taller than any other in the forest.
That was where the village of Wellwood waited, hidden away from humans for generations. That Big Oak was the heart of the forest itself, the oldest living thing for miles. It protected the wood sprites with its stalwart boughs.
Bowman flew higher and finally came to a hover when he was looking down at the Big Oak. His wings beat steadily, and he finally checked on his hands.
The hand shielding Jacob from the wind remained near, a protective wall between Jacob and the sight from so high. Bowman held the human close to his chest and grinned down at him. “Not so bad, is it?” he asked.
Jacob’s face was ashen and his tiny eyes were wide. He didn’t relent in clinging to Bowman’s fingers and his tiny body trembled, but he tried a shaky grin in return. One little hand even flicked up to give the thumb-up gesture humans liked. “It’s definitely something,” he admitted. “H-how high up didja go?”
Bowman smirked. “You wanna see?” He didn’t want to show Jacob if the human wasn’t ready. His hand lingered as a shield while he watched the decision-making journey on that miniature face.
“Y’know what, why not,” Jacob said, his voice tight. “I’m already up here, so I might as well–holy shit,” his voice cut off as Bowman lifted his hand away. Jacob, all of four inches and a fraction, saw the world from over a hundred feet in the air.
“Bowman, what the hell,” Jacob breathed. He twisted around in one direction, and then the other, taking in the view. Bowman smirked proudly.
After a few seconds of awestruck staring, Jacob turned his face back up to Bowman’s. There was a smile there, far less forced this time. “Alright, dude. This is pretty cool.”
Bowman snickered. “Told you it’d be fun. But I haven’t even gone as high as I can yet,” he warned. He caught sight of Jacob’s eyebrows shooting up before he moved his hand over the little guy once again.
He might have heard a tiny yelp stolen away by the wind again when he surged upwards, but Bowman didn’t stop. He wouldn’t drop Jacob in his drive to fly among the clouds. He might become the only wood sprite in Wellwood to ever touch the sky.
He discovered not long after that the clouds drifted in layers in the sky. The higher ones were still overhead when he reached one wisp of white. The air was thinner at this height, and Bowman could see the edges of the forest in all directions. He even spotted human roads, lines that didn’t match the green around them. Cars crawled along them like ants.
Bowman was hovering next to a cloud.
He lifted his hand just enough to peek at his tiny passenger. Jacob looked up at him, clinging once again. His eyes were wide and his tiny chest moved quickly, but he nodded in greeting. “What’s stopped ya now? Get to space yet?”
Bowman rolled his eyes. “I found a cloud,” he announced. He moved his hand so Jacob could see it. The little guy shut his eyes tight for a second before actually turning around to look. Bowman held his hands closer to his chest when he felt the tension in the tiny body.
“Gonna fly through it?” Jacob asked, now with his own faint smirk.
“I will in a second,” Bowman groused. He narrowed his eyes at Jacob dubiously. “What are you smiling about?”
Jacob shrugged. “You’re all hyped up about just flying. Just kinda funny,” he excused.
Bowman scoffed. “I’m not just flying, Jacob,” he pointed out. “I’m flying as high as a cloud! “
He punctuated his assertion by drifting forward into the cloud and out the other side. He didn’t even cover Jacob with his free hand this time, so they both were covered with cool drops of water that clung to their clothes and hair.
Bowman whirled around in the air to glare accusingly at the cloud. “It’s raining inside the cloud? Is that how they work?”
Jacob, despite his jacket and hair being soaked by the little water droplets, laughed out loud. “Clouds are made of water, Bowman. That’s all they are. “
Bowman frowned critically. No sprite would know something like that, so he was torn between believing Jacob and arguing for the sake of it. He narrowed his eyes at the cloud now that they were on the other side of it, and it drifted lazily along, hardly even disturbed by their passage through it.
It was like they’d passed through a pond hanging in the sky. At least it made sense that rain could come from something like that.
“That’s just weird, though,” he decided. He glanced down at Jacob again and found the little guy grinning at him again. He nudged a tiny shoulder pointedly, but didn’t dare shift the grip around Jacob’s body. He didn’t want to cause a panic. “Are you happy now? Now you’re soaked, too, y’know?”
Jacob shrugged and snickered. “It’s cold but I think I’ll get over it,” he said. “You should see your face. And it looks like you got snowed on,” his little hand waved vaguely towards Bowman’s hair.
Bowman lifted his free hand to his head. When he combed through his messy green hair, thousands of tiny droplets clinging to him came away on his fingers. He shook them away with a frown, and then flicked his fingers towards his other hand.
Jacob took a drop of water right to his face and he shut his eyes tight. One hand relented from clinging so he could brush at his face. “Jackass!”
Bowman snickered. “If you’re done enjoying the view from the bottom of the sky, I know what’ll get us both dry,” he announced.
Jacob took that cue to glance around once more. The world was almost incomprehensible from such a height. Bowman could hardly believe it himself. Birds wheeled around in the sky below them.
“What’s your plan, then?” Jacob asked dubiously.
Bowman grinned without answering. Jacob took another face-journey to realization, and then shook his head. “Dude, no way. If you wanna do your crazy stunts in the air, fine, but I don’t wanna be involved-”
Bowman moved the hand with Jacob so it was against his chest. His free hand covered the small human just like before. Jacob’s voice muffled against Bowman’s chest, lost to the breeze.
Then, Bowman stopped moving his wings and tilted backwards, greeting the sight of the world rushing towards them.