For dinner, we ate steak and some fruits and vegetables. I avoided the steak, because I rather hate most meats. I despise steak more than any of them.
Damien, Salem and I all sat on one side of the table, and Shelly and my mom sat on the other side. It wasn't formal in the least, we laughed and talked and had a good time. It was like a weird form of a family, but I didn't really feel like this place could be my home. Not even this warm town felt safe.
"So," said Shelly. "What do you think of Oxville?"
Suddenly, four eyes were all on me. "It's . . . pretty interesting," I answered as truthfully as I could.
My mom and Shelly laughed. The rest of us on my side of the table just smiled. Ah . . . the putrid smell of youth decomposing in the air.
Forks and plates made clattering sounds as we ate some more. I took my time to observe everyone.
That's what I do.
Ever sense I could remember, I could just . . . read people. Hair, facial expressions, voices and body languages told me everything. My favorite things to study were eyes, but everyone in this family had the same ones . . . it wouldn't be interesting.
Shelly was definitely not your every-day woman. She reminded me of an Amazonian woman in Greek mythology. She was strong and had a rather intimidating-sporty build. She was happy around my mother, but I could tell she was serious.
Salem was definitely your average twelve-year-old. He liked videogames, because that's what he talked about when we asked him questions. He was very slim and tiny, but of average height. He wasn't a mama's boy in the least, and stood up for himself.
And then it came to Damien. He was . . . rather harder to read. His black hair flew off in the most-random of directions, always coming back to attempt to cover his eyes, but he'd move it out of the way each time. He was nice, kind to people, but didn't like to say much if he wasn't spoken to directly. He was thin, but not too thin, and stood several inches taller than myself.
Time after time, Shelly shot more questions at me. She liked having women around, that I could tell. One question stuck out. "Alkaia . . . tell me about yourself. What do you like to do?"
I thought for a second. What did I do? I couldn't tell her that I liked to fly. "Well . . . I like nature," I told her.
She raised an eyebrow and smiled. "Really? Like what?"
More silence followed before I answered again. "Birds," I said with a smile.
While Shelly and my mom caught up while cleaning the dishes, the rest of us three went about our business. I was leaning up against the wall in their kitchen when I saw Damien slip out the door. Curiosity got the best of me, but sense I'm not a cat, I don't worry about it killing me. I followed.
When I got outside, I didn't see anyone. It was dark, but porch lights helped me to see. Moths flew around the lights, wasting their time.
A breeze hit me, and I couldn't help but enjoy it. I breathed in the nice, crisp air and stretched my arms, smiling as I closed my eyes. The feeling, the wind, it reminded me of flying. Oh, how I wanted to do so.
I nearly screamed when I opened my eyes and Damien was sitting on the banister. He laughed. "Sorry."
I sighed. "It's okay. Where were you?"
He raised a dark eyebrow, which I could barely tell because of all the hair hanging around his face. "I was over there," he said, pointing towards his previous location.
This time, I was the one who raised the eyebrow. He had pointed towards the black pathway that led into the woods. "You were in the forest?"
He laughed again, patting the banister in a gesture for me to sit beside him. As I did so, he explained.
"Just going over there to check some stuff."
"Like what?" I asked.
Damien crossed his legs. "For stuff like wild animals and such. They like to go through our trash. Or people, I can't forget to check for people," he said with a smile.
I laughed and he did too. Our smiles were broke when I heard a hair-raising howl come from the direction he'd pointed at. It wasn't too close, but close enough for me to hear it. "A wolf!" I said.
Damien looked a bit concerned. He looked off into the distance, and then shook his head. "No, it's a dog or something."
I hopped off the banister. "No, it's a wolf. I'd know a dog's howl if I heard a dog's howl. That's a wolf," I told him.
Damien sighed. He was about to say something before I heard the car horn beep. My mom stuck her head out of the window. "Come on Alkaia, we've got to get home!" she shouted.
I rolled my eyes. I was about to walk off when I heard Damien's voice. "What are you doing tomorrow?"
I turned around. I was going to fly tomorrow. "Um . . . nothing."
He smiled. "You want to hang out? I could introduce you to some of my friends," he said.
I sighed but nodded anyway. "Yeah, that'd be great." I then ran off before he could say something else.
I climbed into the car and buckled up, sitting beside my mom. I left the window down and yawned as my mom began to drive away. I looked at the car mirror and watched as Damien ran off, to the other side of his house.
Minutes later I heard another howl. "Did you hear that?" I asked my mom.
I laid in my bed, arms crossed, staring at the sealing that I had put pictures and drawings up on. The window blew more cold air in. I kept hearing it, beautiful yet creepy howling off in the distance. There were at least four different howls that I could distinguish.
"A pack," I said to myself. I sighed, getting up and approaching the window. I looked out at the darkened forest. All I saw were a few fireflies dancing and a squirrel climbing up and down a tree. I sighed and closed the window, climbing back into bed.
Something kept me up though. Something made adrenaline pump through my body. Something made me run back to the window and open it back up.
Was I high enough? No, not at all. My plan wouldn't work.
I turned off the lights behind me and raced down the stairs, the cold wood tickling my bare feet. I quickly put on my sneakers. I looked in the living room and found my mom snoring with popcorn spilt all over her stomach. The television had been left on.
I sighed with relief. I opened the door ever-so-slowly and closed it the same way. Cold air met me and I smiled.
Now, I needed a tree.
That wasn't what I did first though. The first thing I did was run; straight into the forest. I ran and ran, despite the darkness and creepiness. I ran in the direction of the howl.
Finally, when I was sure that no one would see me, I found a tree. It was big with lots of limbs, one of the few oaks in a state full of pines. I began climbing and only stopped when I had no more limbs to crawl on.
I looked out at the forest around me. Few trees were taller than my own. There were no more wild animals that I could see, only fireflies.
It was time.
Slowly, I closed my eyes and folding my arms. Then, in one swift motion, I quickly unfolded them, and wings, huge ones, quickly sprouted out of my back. At first, it was just bone stretching my skin, short brown and reddish feathers growing, but it quickly became a full set of wings, long feathers.
That wasn't all. My nails grew into sharp talons, black ones, and my eyes became like the ones of owl's, allowing me to see much better in the dark. I could see a mouse scurry across the forest floor from far away.
The siren in me had once again been unleashed.
I flexed my muscles and breathed in. Finally, I jumped. My wings finally shot out, and I flew.
I was soaring. I was flying with such speed, such grace, the wind greeted me and played with my hair. It was great, I felt so . . . so . . . so at home.
This place was perfect. My mom had been right. It was so beautiful to fly around, the trees were gorgeous and fireflies lit my way. I stopped and hovered. Another howl broke the silence.
It was far off to my left. I kept my house's location in mind and soared off in the direction of that howl.
The howls were getting closer and closer. I felt myself tire from my flying, but kept going.
Something stopped me though.
Voices! I heard voices with the howling! I stopped flying and perched myself upon a tree, trying to listen. I couldn't see anything, the voices were still rather far away, but I tried to hear.
No, I couldn't make out anything. My back was aching and I was now tired once again, so I headed back. I quietly snuck in the house, closed my window, and climbed into bed.