I am still myself and so I am answered at last: yes, I have a soul, no matter what shape its vessel is forced into. I remember that I am sunlight made tender flesh, even as I stir soundless feathers against a starlit sky. I remember the wind in the woods, the gift of nectar, the graze of wings. Though I cannot see the sun, I fly ever closer to its resting-place, and I pray it hears me, in its dreams, when I call.
I hit the water headfirst. The sea latched onto my clothes and weighed me down like armour and crowns and scepters, all those vestments I had never wanted. I didn’t glance up at the ship. Didn’t care if the captain’s panicked eyes were peering down at me or not, and felt grateful the sea drowned out his calls. I breathed in water and choked on it, feeling my mind and vision slipping away. Then something wrapped around my waist and began dragging me... up.