- August 24, 2022
- Posted by: iUrban Teen Online
- Category: Uncategorized
By Kara L.
After living a life in the clouds for so long, the bird had forgotten what it was like to be human. It had been many years since she had transformed, so she’d never really given it much regard anymore. She didn’t dwell anymore on thoughts like, “What would it be like to be human again?” or “It would be so much better to be human again.” But sometimes, like today, when she had the wind in her feathers, the sun on her back, and a mission to complete, the bird allowed herself to remember.
She remembered hands that touched, eyes that saw, ears that heard, and most importantly, a heart that loved. Love. What was it? It was an alien thing to the bird now. Her feathers ruffled slightly at the word. But she did remember loving. She remembered a family, a mother with silk-soft hair and a father with gentle, calloused hands. She remembered a man with a soft voice, who set her heart alight. She remembered her baby. Her baby, with a star-shaped birthmark on her left cheek. She remembered laughter and playing, and the joy that came with being alive.
But then she remembered screams. She remembered them. They who came in a stormy night and pointed accusing fingers. She remembered destruction and – fire. Dreadful, dreadful, fire. Burning, raging, hot fire that lit up the sky like it was day instead of night. She remembered running, and a cliff that loomed like a giant from the stories her beautiful mother once told. She remembered wet hair that plastered to her back and salty tears that blended easily in the heavy rain. She remembered being human.
And then not.
The bird remembered feet that turned to talons sharp enough to pierce her prey’s flesh. The bird remembered arms, arms that turned to wings with brown feathers strong enough to raise her up. Up, up, up, to fly away. And the bird remembered doing just that.
At first, fear was overwhelming. Unlike the hatchlings of her fellow raptors, the bird didn’t have the benefits that came with a sharp-eyed mother. The bird was truly on her own. And when the bird had starved enough to propel her to hunt and kill, the bird gave in to her predator nature now engraved in her heart, and just let her feral nature go. But afterwards, the part of the bird that was still human rebelled. And she listened. For a while, at least. Until she learned that to survive, she had to give up on being human. She couldn’t, could not, be one. Yet.
So now the bird lived like a bird. The bird flew in the whimsical clouds and hunted in the cool breeze. The bird mated and had chicks of her own. The bird screeched and screamed to the heavens, announcing for all who could hear her that she was now free free free free FREE! And no one, not ever, could catch her again.
But then the men, the monsters, came to the bird’s territory to build their terrible houses. They tore her home apart with metal and machinery. The mountains, once strong and sturdy, crumbled. The trees, once green and lush, turned to ash. And so the bird went west. Following some primal instinct that drew her far away from men and the ruin they had made of her home. The other animals followed, too. They now had nowhere to go, only to follow this call. Small animals, large animals, prey and predators, animals of every size. It seemed that they were also called west. And in fact, while this pull was new to the bird, she knew what it meant. They were here to hunt, if they could.
To hunt the Ratbt.
Small, skittish, and fast for a creature of its size, the Ratbt, a rabbit crossed with a rat, lived in a large mountain, inside tunnels deep underground. And its meal of choice? A rare plant that bloomed at midnight only once a year. A rare plant, an all-curing plant, snippets of its leaves given only to royalty. This plant, somehow, single-handedly sustained the lifeblood of the mountain range and all the creatures that lived there. Now, it seemed, the plant was threatened with extinction at the paws of the Rabt.
As a human, the bird didn’t just hear of the mysterious “plant of all cures,” but the Rabt, too. A rumor. That the Ratbt that granted wishes. It could just be another fantasy of men, but every story had a grain of truth. A small hope, or wish, that she had buried in her heart long, long ago, had now surfaced. It plagued her thoughts, her every moment of the day. The bird angled her wings now, catching the wind. The other birds could be faster, and the predators below may be strong, but the bird would catch the Ratbt.
She was sure of it.