Midnight LiaisonA Chapter by Thorn
It was a clear night. The aevian city of Cuscalas, by day a bustling hive of activity, was beginning to grow still as its inhabitants made nest for the night. Only the perimeter, marked by a ring a spindly pines and dense shrubbery, appeared alive. The first watch were settling down around it, their beady black eyes keen and alert. They were all strong, healthy individuals, who had spent that afternoon asleep so that they could be rested and refreshed when night came.
It was one of these aevia, a young male named Sunset Three, who first noticed the movement on the ground below. He turned quickly to alert his companions, but before he could speak, one of them cut in.
"Say, isn't that Frosted Seven?"
Sunset followed his gaze to see that the movement below was, indeed, an aevian. Her white feathers almost glowed amongst the darkness. She was moving with purpose, as though she had something to do and was entirely focused upon doing it. She didn't even seem to notice the clusters of guards watching her from the trees.
Sunset settled back into position, confused.
"Where do you think she's going?" he asked, kneading the bark beneath his claws.
The third member of the trio, a big grey aevian, laughed.
"Maybe she's off to visit her felissa friends?" he jokingly suggested. "I say, leave her be. She probably just wants to be alone. She's a strange one, that Seven,"
By then she was only a snowy speck, visible now and then through the trees. The two other aevian guards smiled at their friend's joke, and once more applied themselves to looking out for danger below. But Sunset still wondered, and as he glanced at the disappearing figure of Frosted Seven, he hoped that they weren't going to regret letting her pass so easily. As Ash Six had said; she was a strange one.
But even Sunset didn't guess how right his companion was. As the white aevian left Cuscalas, she had fought to keep herself from looking up. For she was indeed aware of the guards. She wasn't stupid- they were there every night.
"Frosted Seven," came a soft whimper, from beneath her left wing. "Where are we going?"
"I told you to be silent," he said quietly, but not without menace.
The tiny bundle of feathers fell still. Frosted Seven could feel his terrified heartbeat, beating strongly against her own. She softened. They were well away from the city by now, so why did it matter? The trees would protect them from nosy aevian eyes, and distance protect them from keen aevian ears.
"We're going somewhere safe, hatchling," she told him, allowing the little chick to wriggle out from beneath her wing. He stood there in a pool of moonlight, pale feathers gleaming, eyes wide.
She turned to him. He was trembling so much that his little tail shook. She snapped her beak in annoyance.
"I'm scared, Frosted Seven,"
The third voice was smooth, and even though it was a warm night, the female aevian suddenly felt a chill. She turned quickly, struggling to maintain her composure, to gaze up into the furry features of a huge felissa. He gave her a polite nod. In return, she raised her beak proudly.
"Delta. I brought him,"
Beside them, the chick let out a piercing wail that made Frosted Seven turn sharply, and caused Delta to flick his ears with obvious annoyance.
"No!" the chick cried. "Frosted Seven, that's a felissian! It's going to eat us!"
"Shut up," hissed his mother vehemently, leaping forward and smothering him in her wings. Then, as he fell silent, she once more turned to Delta.
"I apologise for his actions, Delta. Will you still take him?"
Delta's bright green gaze fell upon the small bundle of downy feathers, huddled at the foot of a stunted tree. They flickered across the chick's eyes, beak and claws in a few quick movements, then returned to the adult aevian.
"Yes, Frosted Seven. He is weak now, but healthy. We will take him,"
She dipped her head respectfully, though the rest of her body language was anything but humble. As the aevian stepped back, she appeared oblivious to the hurt, fear, and confusion evident in her son's features.
But as Delta approached him, her mask of indifference slipped for the briefest instant, and she took a hesitant step forward.
"They won't...eat him, will they?" he asked, following Delta's progress with her eyes.
He stopped beside her son, towering over the helpless chick. His eyes gleamed, but he fought against instinct, and when he looked back at the adult, his words were sincere.
"No, Frosted Seven. Not this one. Alpha always keeps her word,"
Then he bent down, tail moving to compensate for the shift in balance, and cupped his paws around the chick. The little aevian squealed, jabbing at Delta's finger with his beak. But he was still young, and his beak still soft. The only reaction the felissa gave was a slight twitch of that thumb, and so the chick fell still, shaking in disbelief, still staring at his mother disbelievingly.
Delta looked at her. "You should go. Someone might have heard him,"
She nodded. "Take care, Delta. Look after him for me,"
Then, chin held high, Frosted Seven turned away from her child and spread her wings. A small dust cloud rose into the air, swirling about dozens of carefully preened white feathers, Then she was flying away, like a ghost amongst the dark trees, leaving her chick alone with the huge felissa.
She looked back once, but by then they were gone. All that remained was a bush, trembling gently despite the lack of wind.
It was done.
Frosted Seven was suddenly overcome. By what, she didn't know. But she knew that she needed to land, and so she did.
The white aevian folded her wings and pressed her cheek against the bark of the oak, closing her eyes. She remembered her son, cheerful, playing with his friend amongst the undergrowth. The love and trust in his gaze when he looked at his mother.
But she remembered, also, the look in his eyes when she left him to Delta's care. He felt hurt, betrayed.
After a while she felt a little better, and took wing once more. As the rooftops of Cuscalas came into sight, hidden amongst the foliage, one thing especially consoled her.
It was done. But it had been the right thing to do.
© 2011 Thorn
Added on June 24, 2011
Last Updated on June 24, 2011
A city with roads in it, New Zealand
AboutI'm Thorn. I like sushi, and my pet axolotl, Mexie. I enjoy sailing, writing, and acting. And playing my flute. ^^ I dislike maths, trying to memorise Shakespeare, and being wrong. But I love my c.. more..