As I lay on the roof, temporarily relieved of my duties, late this morning... I recieved the answer I was hoping for. My basking in the sunshine was cut short as a shadow was cast over me. Looking up, beyond a white dress billowing in the gentle breeze, was a familiar face.
"Yuki!" I exclaimed, sitting up.
She smiled, and for a moment the air felt strange and cold around me. "I don't get to see the summer very often, you know... It's nice here," she said quietly.
"Yes," I muttered, turning to face her.
"But I'm not just here to admire the weather. You want to ask me something, don't you?"
"Yes, I... Well..."
"Don't worry, Kotori. No-one can see us up here. Show me."
I sighed, emptied my mind a little, closed my eyes, and stretched my wings. Somehow, every time, this felt good. And it never felt strange; maybe as if I'd always had them.
As I opened my eyes and looked down at Yuki, I saw her smiling and felt comforted.
"Kotori," she said. "Do you remember that dream you had on the night after we first met?"
"Y... yes, of course. I could never forget that dream..."
"You dream of flying a lot, don't you? Of having wings."
"Well, yes, but... Those are just dreams."
"Just dreams? My dear, Kami like me are just dreams. Dreams made real by belief, by their Story. That's what we do. We take a single story and make it into everyone's Story. We make dreams come true. There's some that call that, magic."
"So... These wings are my dreams... made real?"
"That's right. Consider them a gift, from me."
"But how can I ever repay you?" I asked with eyes open wide.
"Don't worry, Kotori. You already have."
With that, the little girl hugged me tightly. After a few seconds, still tightly in my arms, she faded away to a sprinkling of snow that melted quickly to water on the warm roof. Hiding my wings, I jumped down from the roof and went back to the shrine.
And so, with a blessing in my heart, Golden Week began.
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