My world is bounded by mud below and clouds above. The alkali in the soil absorbs the acids that the clouds secrete and we slather the stinking ooze over the hides that protect us from Nature's spite. Thus we survive.
Ever and always we wheel and turn around the base of the Tower, a structure from Before whose function now we can only guess at. Imbued with the stoic indifference of countless generations we barely deign to acknowledge it - it simply is. The Tower's surface is unaffected by the rain, but is scored with many grooves of ancient design and craft that offer finger and toe holds inviting the adventurous. Many try. Those that don't fall are never seen again. I try not to think of this as I edge my way, upwards.
Time and darkness within the clouds seems endless. Acids burn my upturned face and uncovered hands. Fearful of the drop below, I desperately force my aching muscles and blistered fingers to new effort.
I emerge from the stinging wetness into a fresh torment: light so bright I cry out in pain and terror. Yet even as my eyes adjust my body arches under some new and strange imperative, forcing my spine into a curve that splits the skins I'm wearing. An invisible force drags me backwards off the face of the Tower and I scream until the rhythmic beating of my wings soothes me and I soar effortlessly above the clouds in a brave, new world.