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'Survivor' part 18: The Peacekeeper
There I was, riding on the back of a giant flying reptile, cursing every god that I knew of for making the air and wind so cold. It was pitch black; if I held my fingers out, I couldn’t see them until they were just a few hairs away from my face. The moon was barely out, and what did manage to shine through the fog was still being dimmed by the cloudy sky. No one really talked at all while we flew. My father was too busy concentrating on flying, my mother was busy trying to bundle up Tak and I so we could get warmer, Tak was so far into a deep sleep that you would assume he was in a coma, and I just wasn’t the kind to talk when I was bored. Pip made huffing noises as he flew, and my guess was that he still had a bit of winter-weight to burn off. Other than that, the only noise that kept me awake was the sound of the crashing waves beneath us.
All of a sudden, my mother moved her arms and put them around my father’s waist. Her moving caused Tak
''Survivor'' part 17: The Journey BeginsHelter’s POV
As soon as his cloak fell to the ground, every boy in front of him held their breath. They stared at him like they had just watched a fish walk on land. They were stunned.
“…I know I look…dangerous,” Tak whispers, “…but I’m still one of you guys. I’m still the same person I came here as, even if I look different.”
The boy who was the son of Bion slowly raised a finger and pointed it at Tak. “You….you’ve got…wings…a-and a tail…”
“And look at those ears!” Another boy with a twin said.
“They’re gigantic!” The twin finished his brother’s sentence.
Tak’s ears twitched down a bit. “I know they are, but they are helpful when—”
“Can we feel your wings, Tak?” Bion’s son squeaked, interrupting Tak.
“Yeah, can we?” The other boys all looked at Tak with wide eyes, eagerly bouncing o
''Survivor'' part 16: A Secret No MoreI feel like I had grown more of a bond with Vladimiria after she told me something she promised herself never to talk about. We kept quiet from Helter, who Vladimiria said was even more of a wreck about it than she was. I could understand him, though, and could see him really being eaten away by sadness with something like that for so long and still acting happy to the outside world.
I decided to try to see the happier sides of things and try to push the thought of my parents out of my mind, but it was hard when I’d see them every night in my dreams. The hallucinations didn’t help either.
One morning, Hama came up to me and tapped on my shoulder when I had my back turned to her. When I turned around, I felt my heart stop for a moment and jumped with a start when I saw Hama’s skin melting with spiders crawling out of her mouth when she spoke. I blinked a few times and she stood as her stunning self again. She looked at me for a moment like she was unsure of what to
''Survivor'' part 15: Reveal My Hidden PastVladimiria's POV
As soon as we got home, Hama smothered her father with questions.
"Daddy, when are we going to Nowatake?" Hama squeaked, pulling on her father's shirt.
"It's Noatark, Hama," Helter replies. He peels his daughter's hands off of the shirt's rough fabric and holds them for a moment. "I don't know," he says softly. Hama's eager smile slowly faded to a small, broken-hearted frown. "Okay?"
"But Dad, this is this could possibly be our only chance to get help for Tak!" Hama argues, sounding ready to cry.
"No," Helter said with a tone, "Noxer said this will get him the therapy Tak needs. And Noatark is so far away, Hama. It's going to be I'm guessing what's going to be a month-long trip if we go by boat, which you know is the only way we can travel."
Hama said nothing else to argue and slowly walked off to her room. I looked over the couch, where I had laid Tak to sleep for a few hours. He was snuggled up into a ball, his face dug into one of the embroidered pillows
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
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