The Fallen (part 3)

(sorry this took so long to come out! You can find the other parts in my bookmarked section while the series is still unfinished.)

“It’s not a good idea, you know they’re a bit insane!”

“They might know something, it’s like their whole job! Also only some of them are insane.” The boy snaps back.

My eyes fly open and I see the girl and the boy. In the room. A faint waft of something being baked drifts through the room.

“You’re awake? Good!”

“We have an idea about how to get you home…”

“What is it?” I ask curiously, hopefully. Home? I need to get back to Raindrop and Mama! What if they’ve forgotten me?

Don’t think about that! You’ll be fine! The boy, (did the girl say his name was Mateo?) says, “well, we _might_ have an idea once you’ve healed more.” He gestures to my bandaged wings.

Through my eyes blurry haze, I make out the girl furiously pacing.

“I need to go as soon as possible!” I dont say out loud how long it’ll take my wings to heal, everyone already knows it.

Weeks. Maybe even a year. Maybe never.

My eyes vision comes into focus and the girl rubs the bridge of her nose tiredly. It reminds of mama.

“We do need to get her out of here at some point… we cant just expect mom to come home to a bird person resting in our guest room.” I didn’t realize I was a burden, that’s the opposite of what I wanted to do when I learned to fly early.

I sigh, scared that they’ll leave me. “I can go if-“

Both cut me off at the same time. “No! You look like you’re 8 or something, we’re not just leaving you!” It fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling that I don’t know what to call. Belonging maybe?

“Actually I’m…” I pause. My birthday was supposed to be in a week. A few days ago. I might be 10 already! The thought fills me with dread rather than excitement.

At least mama has one less kid to worry about now. Now she’ll have more money. This was all for the best. But… i really want to go home.

Don’t I deserve to ge selfish, just a little bit? I do, I decide. I will find a way home. “What day is it?”

We probably use different calenders, but asking can’t hurt. Mateo glances at a bracelet on his wrist an then says, “July 10th.”

I assume from this that we call the months different things, but use the same days for them. This means my birthday is… shoot. My birthday is today, and if my wings will take weeks to heal then theres no way I’ll get back in time.

I stop myself from thinking of how I might never fly again. I don’t think about how I may never see mama or Rain again.

Coughing, I sputter, “I’m 10 years old.” Its no use pretending to be 13 anymore, they see past it.

“We’re still letting you stay, no matter what mom says.” The girl speaks confidently, but there’s still a thread of doubt in her voice.

I know because I’ve heard it before, when mom tried to assure us we had enough money, when I asked for an expensive birthday present and she said yes, even when a teacher pretended it was normal to not have a dad.

All that matter is me getting home as quick as possible. “Who were you talking about when I woke up?” Someone who can help me?

The girl glances at Mateo. “We have some friends, call them explorers, but we don’t know if they can help.” My face falls, I look down.

“We’ll get you home, but you just rest now.” I don’t believe her empty words. She doesn’t either.

Closing my eyes, I can’t rest, even as they leave the room. All I can picture is mom and Raindrop. All I can think of is getting home. I have to, for everyone.

The day comes and goes, I question the time difference between our continents. Are they looking for me right now? Now that I am fully conscious, I feel terrified. Shadows fall across the room, broken up by flashing lights and loud noises I don’t recognize. I feel more awake now, so I guess that the time difference is great.

A closet looms in front of me, I thought I’d gotten rid of my night terrors. Maybe at home, but not now. I pull the blankets off me and walk around the room slowly. One of my feet were injured, but it’ll be fine in a few days.

Limping to a mirror, I attempt to stretch my wings out. They don’t respond, staying limp. I can hardly feel them. I gingerly press my fingers along my left wing, but it still feels numb.

What? I should at least be feeling a bit of pain! I don’t know if this is normal, I’ve never been this hurt before. It’s not like I learned in school what to do if you tear your wings.

An elder of our village once tore his wings, but the doctors said he was too old for any repairs to be made. He spent his last few months on the ground, but once he was dead and we had burned the body, we threw the ashes over the cliff.

It’s what we always do, I know some place near the middle of the continent throw the ashes into ravines or off mountains, but this is how we honor our dead.

I wonder what humans do to their dead. I’ll have to ask Mateo tomorrow. Maybe that’s too dark of a topic though… what is normal human etiquette? It can’t be too different from us, right? I wish so had something to read.

Starting to count, I drift off.

When I ask about my wings, Mateo said he gave me medication to make it not hurt as much. I don’t know whether to be grateful or upset.

The next week feels like a year. Today is the day I finally convinced them to show me their ‘idea’. My hopes are high, though I try my best to lower them. Mateo stopped giving me the medication, so my wings have been feeling pain instead of numbness, My wings yearn to stretch out, but the pain is so great I can barely move them.

It’s morning, my mental clock has begun to adjust to this strange place, but the moving lights (which both call ‘cars’?) make it hard to sleep.

Standing up, I put on the clean clothes the girl lended to me. It’s a large dark hoodie to hopefully cover my wings, apparently humans have never heard of my kind. Strange, how would we know of them if they don’t of us?

Breakfast comes in a blur, Mateo makes me eat something though I’m in a hurry.

“Let’s go already!” I say nervously, excitedly.

The girl and Mateo tell me to sit in something called a car. Then I remember. “The moving lights in the night!”

“Yeah.” The girl says with a laugh. What’s funny about that? I wonder. Probably some human thing. “This is gonna be a long drive, probably around 8 hours.” That’s a long time, it’s not like I can complain though.

Mateo drives for a while, then switches with the girl at a gas station. She puts on this loud rock song they sing along to, it’s both similar and different to the music I have back home. The singer is saying something about love, but songs from home are not usually about those topics.

Eventually, I sing along to, since Mateo puts lyrics on a small metal box he calls a phone. Another weird human thing. I remember a song I really enjoyed, it was about catching the stars to make time slow down.

A lyric from this song is, “I’d bring all the stars to you if I could…”

Funny how similar words can mean different things.

I stare out the window at the trees, buildings, fields. It’s all so different and it switches so quickly.

“We’re here.” Mateo says, then opens the door for me and leads me to a broken down shack. It somehow falls short of my expectations. No one could really live here, right?

The girl sees the look I’m giving it and assures me, “it’s not what it looks like, I promise.” I’m still skeptical, and I don’t exactly trust her completely yet, but I try to be optimistic.

She knocks on the door and shouts, “Hello? It’s me and Mateo!” Silence. I begin to wonder if she’s insane and if maybe Mateo is too. “Venika?! I know you can hear me!” She yells again, startling me from my worries.

They resume almost immediately.

Suddenly, a muffled groaning sound comes from the other side of the door. “Will ya shut up already?!” The voice says in a strange accent, not like any accent I’ve ever heard before. Maybe from another part of the humans continent?

The door swings open and a girl stands there looking tired. She has black hair and dark brown skin. That’s what I notice at first glance.

Then I realize that this girl has wings, real wings, not some costume. Meaning…

She must be from the same place I am.

(do you guys have any suggestions on names for the girl?)

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