#Charlie by Albert D., Horseheads High School

Charlie stood at the edge of a cliff. A hundred fee blow, though it seemed a much larger distance to Charlie, the roiling ocean crashed against the cliff-face. A gray-green mass, tinged by whitecaps the ocean swelled, and roared; an intimidating sight.
The smell of salt hung heavy in the air, carried by a gentle breeze that didn’t ceased. The familiar scent calmed Charlie, even as he wavered between life, and death. He crept up to the ledge of the cliff, feeling no fear, and curled his toes over the precipice.
There, hanging between two very different fates, Charlie did not so much as pause to consider his options.
For the first time, Charlie fanned out his wings, the azure hue of his feathers flashing in the light of dawn. The first, real flash of fear he had ever experienced, bit into him when the breeze caught his wings, and he very nearly tumbled over the cliff. Somehow though, he managed to keep his balance and was spared an undesirable demise.
Shaken, but in no way deterred, Charlie swept his gaze over the ocean one last time. It pleased him to see the ocean wave back, as though encouraging him with a friendly gesture.
Charlie gathered himself a moment later, bunching never-used muscles for what could be, his final act. A minute chirp, hardly audible, escaped his parted beak.
Then Charlie leapt. As he dropped, the wind caressed him, and ocean spray shot past him. The ocean rushed up to meet him, to engulf him with a hold that would never loosen. Charlie, however, faced death, and with a resounding “NO!” swooped upward to greet the sun.

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