Monday, June 30, 2008

Missing Wings 3

(Continued from 1 and 2)

Grabbing his hand, she pulled him down the cluttered aisle and shoved him into a dark closet. Cobwebs dangled from the ceiling, barely visible in the dim light. He hardly dared to breathe. There was more dust in here than under his best friend's bed. One breath could make him start sneezing--which could be the end.

They waited as the footsteps drew near and slowed. Bryant saw a pair of black shoes creep by and a faded flashlight shining on the ground. After a few moments, they heard a grunt. The man stormed up the stairs. The room fell into silence.

Exhaling deeply, the girl led him out of the closet and out of the strange building. The ally was illuminated with the bright orange rays of the sunset. Bryant jumped when something furry wrapped around his ankles and shrieked.

"K.C.!" The girl smirked and picked up the scraggly cat. "Good kitty!" She looked up at Bryan. "Are you hungry? I know a place with great burgers."

All the fear and worry that had swirled in his belly over the past few hours burst through his mouth in a violent burst.

"No!" he cried, stomping his feet and jumping up and down. "No, no, no, no!"

"Chinese then?" The cat peered up at him with the same expression as the girl.

"I'm not eating a thing until you tell me what's going on," Bryant snapped. "I want to know who you are and how you know my name."

"Did I not introduce myself?" the girl blinked. "I suppose things were a bit crazy. I'm Callidora. Call me Calli. I detest my real name."

"It's kinda weird," Bryant said without thinking.

"And I suppose Galen is better?" she challenged.

"My name is Bryant," he snarled. "That man was crazy."

"He's not crazy," the girl said, shaking her head. "He's dangerous. There's a difference. But he's correct in a way."

"What?" Bryant hissed, running his fingers through his thick dark curls. "What are you talking about?"

The girl sighed and stroked K.C.'s back. "Look, I'll tell you everything if you come to the diner with me," she said, kissing the cat's nose. "What I know, at least. But we can't stay here. It's dangerous."

"Is anything not dangerous?" Bryant's voice was sour. He was hungry, tired and confused. He didn't want to have a burger in a diner. He wanted to find his wings and go home.

"Not really," the girl said. "Come on. Quit sulking."

His face contorted in a scowl. Frowning, he followed her to the diner a few blocks away. She gently placed K.C. on the ground and instructed him to keep watch. Pushing through the red door, she threaded her way to a table without waiting for him.

"Hey Calli," an older woman called as they slid into a booth. "Your usual?"

"Sure," Calli called. "Thanks."

"What about your friend?" The woman turned to him and cocked her grey, frizzled head.

"A hamburger, fries and coke please." Bryant tried to smile and look pleasant. He leaned back against the torn plastic and folded his fingers.

"So," Calli said, twirling her red hair. "You're looking for your wings." Bryant noted it was a statement, not a question. He nodded, refusing to speak until he got an answer. She smiled and twisted her hair. "I don't know his name, I just know what he's called. I know he wants your wings, and he'll do anything to get them. Why, I don't know. And no," she shook her head at Bryant's eager expression. "I don't know what your wings look like. Nor do I know why you have them at all or why the marks on your back itch."

"What's the man's name?" Bryant asked. He smiled as the waitress placed his food on the table. Her hands had barely left the plate before he had torn a huge bite out of it.

"Roach," the girl said, taking a bite of her own burger.

"Roach?" Bryant nearly spit his food on the plate.

"Like I said, I don't know why he's called that, I just know that's what he's called." The girl took another delicate bite. Bryant narrowed his eyes and shoved the biggest amount of burger that he could in his mouth. "Some people say his name is Darius, but I don't know for sure."

"Why is everyone calling me Galen?" he asked around a glob of meat and bread.

"That's your birth name," Callie answered. "Same as mine is Astra. Dreadful name. I might as well be called Star or Wildflower like some hippie."

"What do you mean, my birth name?" Bryant said, tearing off another chunk. "My birth name is the name my mother gave me." Callie sat her hamburger on her plate and wiped her fingers on a napkin.

"Don't you wonder why you have the marks on your back?" she asked, looking at him intently with icy blue eyes. "Don't you wonder why it feels like someone is inside your skin clawing it with talons of fire? Don't you wonder why you have the urge to fly, the need to be among the clouds? Haven't you ever wondered why you know you have wings, if you've never seen them? Why wouldn't it just be a skin condition? Why are they wings?"

"How do you know all this?" His voice was hoarse. He shrank away from her, holding his burger to his lips. Callie smiled, a bitter twisted grin. She pulled the straps of her shirt down and turned her back. Bryant gasped.

There were two pink patches on her shoulder blades, no bigger than a palm. Bryant felt his chest freeze and could only gape at her. She turned, the grin fading on her face. She looked terrified.

"Callie!" a man's voice yelled. Bryant twisted around and felt his face grow pale.

"Run," she whispered.


To be continued.....


The votes are tied! Please keep voting so I can decide to keep posting as short stories or as a whole book!

6 comments:

leesepea said...

Totally voting for a book!

Am I the tie-breaker?

:)

Allie Boniface said...

Well, I don't know if this will sway the votes one way or the other, but I think it's a good story with the potential to be turned into a book.

Having said that, most editors/publishers will be wary to take something on that's already been "published," and blogging usually counts as publishing, believe it or not.

So...if you think you want to pursue publication, you should go for it. But that means no more peeks at the story here, so your regular readers might not like that... :)

Bunny said...

as much as i want to read the rest of this story she's right, don't mess up the chance of making this into a book. just tell me when it's published!!! lol!!!

Marie said...

Ohh gosh... I can't wait for the next installment Duckie! This is fantastic! (but at the risk of messing up your chance to publish it I say go for the book! and leave us all in suspence!)

Mom said...

This is possibly the best story yet. I got so caught up that I forgot to breath, so that is a sure sign I really like it. This will make a awesome book.

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