The first part of "Wings" is finally here.
For anyone who missed it, "Wings" will be a series of short stories that I'll be posting weekly here on lè blog. A new installment will be added every weekend, and if you ever want to read earlier parts or read from the beginning, look up there in the menu section and select "Wings"- I'll keep all of the published chapters there in the correct order for your enjoyment.
Without any further ado, enjoy "Wings": Part I. (And let me know what you think!)
“You did that wrong, and anyways, we’ve got to go.”
I shriek, turn violently towards my left shoulder to see who is talking, and shriek again when I realize there's a strange boy standing there.
“Stop screeching. You do that a lot, you know?”
I open my mouth to say something, but I don’t know what to say and so I shut it again.
"Wha- do I know you?"
He shrugs. "No, I guess not. But I know you."
I narrow my eyes. I'm pretty sure I've never seen this guy before. "No," I say with certainty, "you don't."
"Yes, I do, Eva."
Okayyy this got interesting. "How-"
"How do I know your name? I'm not sure honestly, because we were never properly introduced. But I know it, as I know many things about you, and there you have it."
I shake my head. "I've never seen you or spoken to you before- there's no way you know anything about me."
He smiles then. "You're sixteen. You come up here Tuesday and Friday afternoons, except for every third Friday because there's a group that meets downstairs and you'd have to interrupt their meeting to get here. You hate tea, you love birds, and you constantly hit your right shoulder on the doorframe when you exit your bedroom... even though you know it's there; it never moves." He gives me a grin that I view as condescending, but I don't bother to defend myself. Because it's true. But how does he know that? He doesn't. Obviously. He's guessing...
While I argue with myself, trying to sort through my sudden feelings of vulnerability and slight curiosity, he clears his throat and continues. "Your birthday is February 13th. You have two cats, but you secretly name and claim every stray you happen to pass by. You love strawberries, but you think that blueberries should be sent back to the hell-hole from whence they obviously came."
I actually gasp. Those are my exact words! I think as hard as I can, but I'm not sure if I've ever actually announced this opinion out loud- except maybe to a cat.
He seems to know that he's gotten my attention. "Yes, I am very well-educated in the insanity that is your character," he says cooly. "So, can you agree to trust me for maybe half an hour?"
I mean... he does know a lot about me... Stalker, probably. Creepy psychic? Psychic stalker. But...
"Obviously I've been around you for quite some time," he points out. "If I wanted to hurt you, I would have done it by now."
I continue to consider. Well, that's true. Anyone who knows that much has to have had many opportunities to kill or kidnap me by this point.
"And," he says casually, "if you won't listen, I won't tell you who I am, why I'm here, or how I know so much about you."
Ooooooh. It's a well-worded sentence, seemingly created to play along with the fact that I'm possibly one of the most curious humans ever. He knows that, I realize, seeing the self-satisfied look on his face. And of course he would. Trusting this guy, even just for short while, goes against the practical side of me, but... How will I ever find out what's up with him otherwise? I have my phone; I'll call the police if he turns out to be a well-informed stalker... and mind reader...
I look him directly in the eye. "Okay. I'll listen... for now. But I'm warning you, if you try anything, I can defend myself, and I will end you." I cross my arms and stand tall to prove my point.
The boy looks unimpressed. He crosses his arms, and when he moves, I notice something behind him. It almost makes me release another screech. Instead, I take a deep breath, fight to keep my nerves down, and attempt to talk like a sane person.
“You have wings.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious.” His tone is bored, and I can practically feel his sarcasm.
“You can fly?” I ask.
“So… they’re for decoration?”
“That’s...interesting.” I think to myself that it’s not just interesting: it’s weird. And stupid. And impractical. But still… I am officially intrigued, although I try to hide the fact that I’m sneaking glances at them every other second.
“Well,” he says coyly, “when you’re done admiring-”
“I’m not admiring.”
“I don’t gawk.”
“Really? Because right now, I feel a lot like a two-headed lion in a zoo.”
“I’ve never seen a-”
“Exactly. So, as I was saying, as soon as you’re done gawking we need to get out of here.”
“Why? I just got here; I’m not finished.” I give him a look and gesture at what I was working on before he interrupted me. “You can talk to me here. And anyways… I don’t even know you, remember? Therefore, I won’t be accompanying you anywhere.”
I turn away from him, pick up a brush, and try to begin painting again. He, however, remains persistent.
“Stop being stubborn and come on,” he says. His voice is quiet, but it’s turning into a sort of low growl; and he even goes so far as to grab my arm. This surprises me enough to make me drop my paintbrush.
“Hey, let go!” I look at him in disbelief. “Are you expecting me to come with you after you’re manhandling me? Just talk to me here, angel boy.”
His face immediately turns from disinterested to annoyed. “Do not ever call me that. Ever again.”
I stop trying to pull away for a moment, briefly consider the mature course of action, and then reject it. I give him what I hope is an impish grin, and then I say slowly and deliberately, “Angel boy.”
This time he really growls. Geez. Is he part tiger, too? But before I can voice this thought aloud and really make him salty, he’s taken a stronger hold on my arm and is leading me towards the stairwell. I have no choice but to let him propel me forward, and so I make up for my physical uselessness by beginning to scream- a real scream this time.
“Silence!” He tries to cover my mouth with his hand, but I snap my teeth in an attempt to bite him. He jerks his hand away, looking just a little bit concerned now.
“Unhand me!” I protest.
He shakes his head. “I just want to talk, okay? Follow me quietly and I’ll explain everything.”
I frown. “Yeah, that doesn’t sound suspicious at all.”
He rolls his eyes. “I promise that I’m not going to hurt you, okay? Just… give me a chance to tell you what’s going on.” He pauses. "And I know that you're dying to know."
I contemplate this a moment, then reason that even if we're not in this exact location, I will still have my phone and be able to turn into a screaming, kicking ball of fury if need be. Plus, I still want to know...
“Fine,” I concede, and he loosens his grip on me. “But I’m watching you, angel boy.”
Ten minutes later, we’ve found a bench and have seated ourselves- me being sure to keep as much space between us as possible. The only problem is that there are people everywhere.
“So, they don’t notice your… costume?” I ask innocently.
He groans. “They’re not a costume. And no, no they don’t.”
“And why is that?”
“Because I don’t want them to.”
I consider this. “Okay… so can you control people’s minds? Or just the visibility of your wings?”
“My wings,” he answers. “Although… no one except you would ever be able to see them, even if I decided that I wanted them to. I can hide the rest of me from you, too, if I so desire.”
I smirk. “Cannot.”
He smirks back. “Can.” And then he disappears.
I stare at him- or at least, at where he used to be. And just like that, he’s back again.
“What the heck?” I demand. “That’s creepy.”
He shrugs. “Creepy is what you make of it. I call it useful.”
“Yeah,” I mumble, “I’m sure it’s handy for stalkers like you.”
“Oh very,” he says, nonchalantly brushing the hair out of his eyes.
I think of something else. “Wait, why am I the only one who can see your wings? Do I have powers or something?”
He laughs. “You? No. You definitely don’t have powers, that’s the whole point.”
“The point of what?” I inquire.
“The point of me guarding you.”
“Guarding me? Since when?”
“Forever and always.”
I glare and feel myself blush. “Even when I’m-”
He almost blushes as he says a bit hurriedly, “It doesn’t work like that, it just- no.”
“Well… good. Creep.”
“Good is right.”
I shudder and say casually, “Um… so, why do you have to 'guard' me?”
“Dunno. I just kinda got stuck doing it.”
“Riiight. And for how long?”
“Forever. Or rather, I’m stuck here until you die.”
Oooh. I feel some of the color drain from my face.
“Of natural causes,” he adds quickly, noticing. “The thought has briefly crossed my mind, but I wouldn't really gain much from it. It kinda defeats the purpose.”
To be continued.
(And in case you were wondering... yes. They're all going to end abruptly. ;)