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Wings to Hands, Hands to Wings

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Wings to Hands, Hands to Wings

Alex Ledgerwood-Vincze and Darcy Black

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Chapter 1

Soaring above the cityscape, I eye the streets suspiciously, looking for trouble. In a city like mine, it isn’t hard to find danger. So I have to protect the citizens. When the people are in trouble, I help them in any way that I can.  Sometimes it’s simple, such as the time I found a kid being bullied at school. I talked to the kid’s parents and the school. The whole matter was over within two weeks. Other times it’s harder, like the old lady who couldn’t make her tea kettle work. My bird half didn’t understand the importance of material possessions, but my human half understood the sentimentality of the item. It was the last thing her husband gave her before he died.

Today, though, I’m not looking for anyone in particular. I soar above a school as the kids, aged twelve to seventeen, exit. A few of them point at me, smiling and laughing. They’re fine. No help needed there right now. I tilt my wings away from them, feeling the air slide between my shining sapphire feathers. I know I’ve found the person when I see a girl, maybe fourteen, walking away from the school. I don’t know how I know, but the set of her shoulders somehow confirms my instincts. I fly after her, uncertain of her problem.

I flap my wings as I rest on a lamp post and watch her turn a corner. All of a sudden, shimmering red-gold wings come in my sight. The beautiful bird is in front of me in seconds. A sigh escapes her beak as she lands beside me. “I knew I’d find you here.” She says slowly.

“Oh really?” I respond as I keep my eyes trained on the girl that cautiously walks down the street. Still alone.

“You have got to stop revealing yourself to people!” The bird huffs angrily. “You might be helping people, but our safety is just as, maybe even more, important than theirs!” She flaps her wings angrily. The girl on the street quickly glances behind her before ducking into a dark looking alley.

“No time to talk, I got to go Mel, see you at the base.”  I say briefly, cutting off her tirade before flying down towards the ground. I land softly on the ground as I check my surroundings to make sure I’m alone. After the coast is clear, I tuck my wings closer around me as a glowing blue light shimmers around my body. The light becomes more and more blinding as it grows along with me.

When the light disappears, I stand on my two human feet. I guess I’m what you call a bird man….. Maybe make that bird person. With a conscience that’s way too strong for my own good. Stealthily, sticking to the shadows and trying to act inconspicuous, I follow the troubled human girl.

She walks home quickly, taking a shortcut through the alley before entering a nicer neighborhood through a side street. I watch her enter a yellow house with pale blue curtains and white trim. Bleeding heart flowers spring cheerfully from the small garden bed at the front of the house. It looks like a merry place, but the girl with the brown hair looks… saddened. I need to find out why so I can help her. Looking around, I see once more that I’m alone. A blue light edges its way around my body, and I turn once more into a bluejay. I flutter up to the window of the house, careful not to hit the glass.

I land on the windowsill and peer through the window. The inside of the house is a mess. It is incredibly deceiving when paired with the outer look of the house. The cream wallpaper that probably once looked like it was clean is stained with muck and dirt. The couches are in their sides as dirt from a potted plant is wedged in the carpet floor making it look impossible to take out.

The brown haired girl enters the room and tiptoes around the mess. She sighs as she reached the far end of the room where a bookcase stood. The books, unlike the rest of the room, are in perfect shape. Nothing has touched them.

The girl tenderly runs her hand down the spines of the books with a sigh as a man walks into the room. He comes up to her and gently touches her shoulder. I can see their mouths move, but I couldn’t hear them because they were whispering and also because there was a glass wall in front of me. The books are obviously important to the girl. She strokes their spines, and it’s clear as a cloudless sky that she knows each of them as well as, possibly better than, the back of her own hand.

“Something’s definitely amiss.” I murmur to myself before flapping my wings and flying off the windowsill. I glide above the cityscape, admiring the view as I fly towards my base. I guess it’s what people would call their home base. I do sleep in it, but it isn’t my home. Multiple bird people live there. It’s our safe place, a haven for our kind.

My blue light engulfs me like an old friend as I head towards the ground. Transforming back into a human, I land softly on my toes. My blue eyes dart from side to side as I carefully walked towards an old rusty looking abandoned warehouse.

I knock softly on the door and wait a moment before hearing movement behind it. “Mel, it’s me.” I say, whispering. I hear a clicking noise of a lock turning before the door swings open with a creak, revealing a rather pretty woman.

She has disheveled red hair with a streak of gold on the left side of her head. Her brown eyes shine in the shadows as she sucks on a lollipop. Probably cherry; it’s dyed her tongue almost the same color as her hair.  The strap of her black tank top has fallen off of her shoulder as she leans against the doorframe. I look at her for a second as she stares back at me with a frown.

Mel removes the lollipop out of her mouth and sighs. “What took you so long?” She backs away from the door and waves me in.

She gives a quick look at the surrounding area before closing the door and turned her back to me as she saunters over to an old red couch and crosses her legs as she perches on the arm. She’s wearing black shorts that show off her long, athletic legs.

The yellow artificial light shines above us like a glowing golden band. A staircase to my left leads up to a loft. I looked up towards the balcony and see a man with dark, white-streaked hair done in an elaborate pompadour style. He also has peculiar, yet strangely beautiful, white eyes. He’s resting his arms on the railing as he looks down at me and Mel. “Were you out trying to help people again?” The man asks.

I looked up at him. “Yes, I was.” I respond as neutrally as I can.

“I’m happy that you’re trying to help others, but do you want us to be found out?” He rebukes me with a sharp look.

“I know, I’m being very careful.” I shoot a pointed glare back at him. “Why are you and Mel always on my back for it?!” I say loudly. A white glow surrounds the man before he turns into a beautiful white dove. He flies over the edge of the balcony and dives down to us.

The white light surrounds his body once again on his way down. He transforms back into a human before he lands and hits the ground with a thud. “The reason why Melora and I are always here on your back is because you need to stop!” He said.

“Don’t call me Melora, you should know that by now Jean.” Mel said as she scrunches up her nose with distaste at her full name.

Jean glances at her with an apologetic look before turning back to me. “Please just stop, I don’t want to put anyone into danger. And I know you don’t either.” Jean sighs.

“Fine.” I mutter. I push past Jean and stomp up the stairs to my room.

I reach the top of the stairs and walk onto the landing that the bedrooms are located on. It looks quite cozy, despite the fact that this whole building is a warehouse. A two seater brown couch sits on the far end by the wall with a matching coffee table. A little counter lines the edge of the railing and in the center of the room, a corridor branches off towards the bedrooms.

I ignore the welcoming aura of the miniature upstairs living room and go into the corridor. My room is the first door on the right. The door is plain white wood, with a small sapphire bluebird painted on the left hand corner of it. When I push open the door, I feel myself relax. This room has always been my haven.

I mean, I love my friends but… they can be extremely annoying. As I enter my room, I feel like something’s off. I inspect everything very carefully. My bed lies in the left back corner with crisp white sheets and blue duvet on them, just as I had left it. My black notebook lies on my pale blue desk. My overly clean bedroom looks more or less exactly the way I left it. Except for one thing.

“The flowers…” I frown. “Mel!” I shout down the corridor.

“What?!” She shouts back.

“Has anyone been in my room?!” I ask.

“Of course not Jayden!” She replies. Suddenly I’m fully alert. I rush out of the corridor and fling myself at the railing.

“We’ve had visitors.” I snarl. Mel practically jumps off the couch as Jean looks up at me with shock.

“Are you sure?” Jean says with worry.

“Yes. You guys know how I like everything in a certain place, right?” I say quickly as panic started to rise in me.

“Of course.” Mel said, a scared expression growing on her face.

“My flower pot was in the back far right corner instead of next to the door on my dresser.” I said as I furrowed my eyebrows. Mel starts panicking.

“No…. this can’t be happening!” She starts to shout.

“It’s okay. Breathe Mel, breathe.” Jean says as he puts an arm around Mel. She gulps mouthfuls of air as she calms herself.

She runs towards the staircase and clambers up them hastily. She shoves past me with such fierceness that it worries me. She rushes into her room, which is across from mine. Her door also has a bird on her door, the only difference is that it’s in the right hand corner, and it is a red bird.

The door slams closed behind her as she enters her room. “Jayden! Check my room while you’re up there! I’ll check the kitchen.” Jean calls hurriedly as he runs under the loft and out of sight. Suddenly a blood curdling scream emanates from Mel’s room.

“Mel!” I shout as I race towards her room.

I slam the door open and feel a breeze from an open window as black and crimson feathers flutter to the floor. I rush to the open window as my familiar cobalt glow surrounds me. I vault out of the window and turn into a bird as soon as I’m airborne.

I flap my wings as I search in a frantic circle, looking for Mel and her mysterious captor. But there isn’t any sign of either of them.

They just… vanished.

 

To be continued…

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