Feather

Chapter 3

Quick Note:

I have decided to not follow a strict story line with this story, instead it will be more jumping around. Each chapter will be another of Feather's adventures. Some of the longer ones will probably be in 2 parts.

So, without further adoooooooooo:

Feather Goes Camping

I would just like to let it be known that I never chose my "classes." Honestly, in all truth, I just came to this place to explore the vast sea of undiscovered clouds, but to do that I was forced to take these classes, a sort of mockery of flight school back home. But instead of teaching important things such as cloud manipulation and controlling air currents, I was forced to take classes on counting imaginary pieces of green paper called economics. Unlike other students, I was not "majoring" in any particular subject, instead taking a variety of different classes assigned to me.

One of the more interesting classes was environmental sciences. We learned about the wonders that occur on the ground. It was rather fascinating until the professor announced that we would all be taking a mandatory camping trip to a nearby forest.

It was a rather strange activity. Humans claimed it was to get more attached to nature, and away from all the comforts of civilization. Now that would be all good and stuff except right after saying this, the humans grabbed a great big pack that they slung over their backs, and filled them with just about half of their "comforts" of civilization. Portable shelters, beddings, clothes, books, lights, fire making stuff, compasses'. What a strange race these humans were. Their sun was in the sky, bright as ever, yet they required these little contraptions to see what direction they were headed!

I had no idea of what to pack. Had it been a few weeks earlier, I would have packed some of the stupid human clothing I was required to wear, but I had just gotten a gift from back home. A "care package," if you will, consisting of some basic clothing shaped in the design that humans preferred, but made from the super light material we used back home. And what a relief too! These humans wore this thick material over their legs called jeans when it was only 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside! Did they EVER overheat? Anyways, I didn't need to pack any extra since they stayed clean much longer than human clothing which was only able to be worn once before requiring a wash.

So what did I pack? A bottle of this wonderful invention called chocolate syrup! I put that one thing in my giant pack that goes over your back, to make it look like I had actually prepared like the other students.

It was only a 2 mile hike to our campsite, thank the winds. Even though I was only carrying a single bottle of chocolate syrup, the way the bag was strapped over my wings, I was going insane. What if I had to fly suddenly, but couldn't with the pack on top of my wings? What if something attacked and I couldn't get away? What if a spider-(GASP!) A few of the other students looked at me smirking. They probably thought I had never been in a forest. And they were right! Why would I ever go into one of these death traps back home? Spiders lived in places like this! But that was only back home. There was no way spiders existed here, this was an entire different world... right? I scanned the trees on either side of us suspiciously, and continued to do so until we finally arrived at our campsite.

"Alright guys, hurry up and set up your tents so we all can get some sleep." The Environmental science teacher had gotten us to the campsite well past sundown. I shrugged out of my annoying death trap bag-on-back. I found a nice small clearing, perfect for a quick escape if any spiders ambushed the camp. Setting up only took minutes. The sky was overcast, so finding a comfy looking cloud was easy. The darkness allowed me to set it up without the annoying interference from the other students. Seriously, every time a human witnessed me doing ANYTHING with a cloud, they would get all "Oh my gosh, how did you do that, that is so amazing, do it again, can I touch your wings, is that magic, can you give me a ride?" It was enough to make me go crazy enough to convince a few rainclouds to follow the offenders around. Everywhere. For a week.

I awoke to the familiar sound of a thunder crack, shortly followed by several screams. Why humans continued to have that particular reaction to the sound of thunder was beyond me. Yes the thunder made a loud noise, screaming afterward does nothing to stop it from happening a second time. Which it did, a few minutes later. It's not my fault that thunder clouds like the sound of their voice. Of course this resulted in several more screams and shouts of-

"WHAT THE HELL IS CAUSING THAT NOISE!" Ah, that would be the professor. I still had no idea why people called him that, his name was Jeremy. Humans have an odd obsession for having multiple names for themselves.

I shushed the offending mini storm cloud, and stuffed it rather rudely into the rest of my cloud bed. Jeremy gazed around the campsite before he saw my sleeping arrangements, and storming over much like the storm cloud currently stuffed into my sleeping cloud.

"...I don't understand that much about your species so I won't ask how you are currently sleeping on a... cloud. But you need to make it shut-up or you will be sleeping in a tent like the rest of us. Understood?"

"Uh, no." That probably wasn't the best answer with the face Jeremy made, although I wasn't entirely sure. Human emotions were hard to read with their lack of wings.

"What?" He asked seriously. Maybe he thought I was trying to be argumentative. "Do I really need to repeat myself?"

"Not all of it, just the tent part... what's a tent?"

"What's a tent" He asked incredulously. "It's what everyone else is sleeping in. Here look you have one in your bag. See it's right here-" Ok this is totally not my fault. No one told me what to pack. All that happened was Jeremy gave me the wing death trap and told me to pack for camping. Everyone else was packing random stuff that they claimed that they needed to survive in the wilderness. Well I didn't need to bring anything from the dorms, I got everything I needed from the clouds... except for chocolate syrup. So that is what I packed. A single bottle of chocolate syrup.

Jeremy just buried his face in his hands and heaved an enormous sigh. Then he stood up and walked away, announcing to the camp that breakfast would be in 10 minutes. This I was excited for. I had yet to try human food. Everything I had eaten so far I had made myself

10 minutes later

"So let me get this straight. You eat the bodies of things that you kill?... That's really gross." Everyone face palmed. "... So if one of you happens to die... does that mean the rest of you will eat the body?"

"What! No, of course not, that's disgusting!"

"I don't see how it's any different than eating bodies of other species."

"OK LOOK. You don't have to eat any of the meat. We have vegetables and-"

"So now you want me to eat trees or roots or whatever they are!"

"They are edible!"

"So are you, but you don't see me planning on eating you anytime soon!"

"Argh! Fine then, what DO you ea-" His words were drowned out by an explosion of air as I rocketed into the air and soared into the sky at a few hundred miles per hour, only to return a few seconds later with a white fluffy cloud in my hands.

"Now I will show you guys what real food is." I motioned to a girl standing near me. "Here, you stand right here and hold this circle-"

"Plate."

"Yeah, plate circle thingy. Anyway, hold it right there." I grabbed the cloud from where it had been sitting in the air next to me, shook it, then put it right over the circle thingy.

"What are you doi-" A dull thump ended her sentence as a rather large pile of snow abruptly dropped from the cloud onto the circle thingy. Everyone's jaws dropped, most likely because they have never seen such an amazing delicacy!

"Hold on, almost done." I then grabbed my bottle of chocolate syrup and dumped a generous amount onto the snow.

"Done! I give all of you permission to be amazed!" I grinned at my fellow campers who were no doubt amazed by my extraordinary culinary skills. But instead of praise, they reacted rather strangely...

"YOU EAT CHOCOLATE COVERED SNOW!"

"How did you do that?"

"Is that all you eat?!"

"No, seriously... How did you do that?"

"Uh, that's not physically possible..."

"It's just snow." Now that was insulting!

"Just snow? I will have you know that this is made from the finest precipitation harvested from a fresh cumulous cloud just minutes before it turned into a raincloud! Also added with the delicacy known as chocolate syrup, it should be obvious even to your unrefined pallets that this is truly a masterpiece!"

"It's still just chocolate covered snow, I don't know how your kind can live off of a diet of only snow but we... wait, what did you say about raincloud?" And queue the rain! What perfect timing!

Everyone was scrambling to get under the tarp that they had hung above to main area of the camp site, while I just stood there staring up at the sky.

"Feather! What are you doing, get under the tarp!" Jeremy called out.

"Why? This is interesting! I have never been in a rainstorm before. It's like the ocean is falling down on top of you!"

"How have you never been in a rainstorm? That's crazy, but seriously get under before you catch a cold."

"We live above the storm clouds."

"What like on a mountain?"

"No, on other clouds. Do your kind really know so little about us?"

"Uh look who's talking, you just found out we eat meat. So if you live up there, is there anything you can do to stop the rain?"

"Oh yeah, that's easy. I'll be right back." It only took a few minutes, and when I returned the sun was once again shining with the offending cloud moving on to rain somewhere else.

"...So how did you get it to stop raining?"

"I asked it to stop, duh."

Later

Let me just state that walking sucked. I don't know why humans love it so much. Just being on the ground sucked. Jeremy had the ingenious idea to walk around in the forest. Called it hoking or hiking or something like that. You know what he really meant? Walking. Some sort of cruel, inside joke I bet. 'Hey lets go walking and call it "hoking," that way Feather doesn't know we are making him walk around!' Jerks.

I would much rather just fly above them, but noooooo. Jeremy insisted that I stay "grounded." He thought that was funny and chuckled to himself even as my feathers bristled. This was bad enough, but Jeremy had to make it worse. He decided to take us tree smacking. No, sorry, its bush whacking. That was where we walked off the trail and through the underbrush.

Underbrush + Wings = VERY AGITATED FEATHER

Every step the ferns and whatnot grabbed at my feathers, getting caught, sometimes ripping out said feathers. I had to walk with my wings extended out behind me and that threw off my balance, and twice I almost fell backwards.

Why were we even walking through the forest. We might as well have just screamed out "I'm right here spiders!" I know this is a different planet than back home, but I still had no proof that spiders didn't exist here, and I wasn't looking to find out.

"Oh, everyone hold up a bit! I found something that you guys need to see." That was Evil Overlord Jeremy. The rest of the group moved up to take a look. I stayed back and watched the trees around us. Someone had to be look out, and since the rest of them were too wingless to understand the dangers of the forest, I guess it was my job.

"Oooo, that is sooooo nasty."

"Wow, that's pretty big."

"Can we kill it now?"

"Feather, come and take a look." I gave the dark depths of the forest one last look before turning my attention to the stick Jeremy was holding.

"What's with the sti-"

My heart stopped. Literally, it stopped beating. There is was, on a stick, not two feet in front of me. The proof that I really didn't want to see. Each of its legs were about 3 inches long, making it larger than my hand.

It was a spider.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!

That was the sound barrier breaking. It tried to slow me down. Nothing was going to slow me down, not when I was trying to get away from that horror.

A welcome sight filled my vision as I rocketed upwards into the sky, a small cloud welcoming me into its warm non-spidery embrace.

Don't Panic. Don't Panic. Don't Panic. Don't. Don't Panic. Don't Panic. Don't Panic. Oh my gosh I am totally panicking. That was obviously just a baby, no need to get all worked up. But that meant there was a mother, and that meant it could eat me, and that meant it could eat the stupid monkeys- er, humans.

GASP! The humans. They had no idea. The spiders must have come through the portals before we did. The humans probably thought that was a full sized spider! I had to warn them, but how. There was no way I was going back down there, webs plus wings do not mix. I looked at the cloud and a thought sprung into my head.

Jeremy's Point of View (I do other people's pov in third person)

"Well that sure was unexpected." Jeremy said as he scratched his beard. "Never seen anyone's eyes become that dilated..."

"Uh you think he's going to come back down?" One of the girls asked eyeing the cloud Feather had disappeared into.

"No idea." He looked at the spider he still held on the end of the stick. Sure it was large, but it's not like it was the size of a house or something. "FEATHER, COME BACK DOWN. IT'S JUST A SPI-"

CRACKBOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM

Jeremy stared, mouth agape, at the charred remains of the stick still in his hand after the lightning bolt shot from the sky and destroyed the end of the stick... and the spider.

Feather's Point of View

I steered the cloud toward the ground and the group. I had done my duty. I was a hero, but the danger was not over yet. The adult spiders could be nearby, so I approached with my cloud still shaped like a large cannon, ready to fire a burst of lightning at a moment's notice!

"Quick humans, we need to flee before the adult spiders come and KILL US ALL!"

LATER

Jeremy didn't take too kindly to my saving his life. I have no idea why he was so upset. Had I not killed the spider, it would have attracted the larger ones and there would have been no escape. Everyone had apparently had an exhausting day so they each went and did their own thing, some reading, some sleeping, others climbing trees. Me? I fortified.

My cloud bed from the previous night was joined by other clouds. The once white puffy color had been replaced by the angry steel color of storm clouds. I made walls charged with electricity. It was a fortress. A castle hovering three feet above the ground with automatic lightning turrets at every corner, ready to zap anything that had eight legs.

A crackle of thunder told me something was approaching. I climbed the topmost tower to get a good look at the entity, automatic turrets already pointed at the intruder if it tried anything.

It was Jeremy. "Hold your fire... for now." I muttered to the clouds, and glided down to speak with the possible traitor. They way he had held that spider with the stick and sent off warning alarms in my head. How was he not afraid? Could he be working with the spiders? Is that why he tricked my into taking that walk with them. I had no idea, but I was ready for the worst.

Jeremy eyed the Zap Cannons (Lightning Turrets, the latest in cloud based spider killing tech!)

"Are those things going to shoot me? I just want to talk."

"They will not shoot. For now."

"For now? What did I do?" Ok I had to be subtle about this...

"You may be working for the spiders! I can't trust anyone! Are all the humans like this or is it just you!?" Perfect Subtlety.

"WHAT?! That's absurd. How or why would I be 'working' with spiders.

"Because you held that baby one up to my face! You were trying to kill me!"

"I was showing the entire class the spider, I wasn't trying to- wait, what do you mean baby spider? That thing was huge for a spider?"

"It was a baby. I saved your life! The baby spiders always attract the larger ones. Their like spider spies! We have entire classes about spider safety and avoidance back home."

"...ok, let's slow down. First of all, how big do the spiders get in your world?"

"The average spider is about 2 wingspans tall but-"

"How much?"

"28 to 33 feet tall, but in the mountains there are spiders that can get up to 3 and a half wingspans, uh like 60 feet tall."

"...you're not joking are you?"

"No. Why, do they get bigger here?"

"Of Course Not! The biggest they get is a foot in diameter, so probably only a few inches tall. And that's only on a totally different continent! Jeeze, 30 foot tall spiders! That's going to give me nightmares."

"Oh, not too fond of your masters huh? Well how do you think I feel!"

"Ok look, I am not in league with the... I can see those cloud cannons charging up... stop it. Look, I am not in league with any spiders. There are no giant spiders on earth. I had no idea you were scared of them-"

"I Am Not Scared! Spiders are evil, I was being cautious. Besides, getting away is imperative when you see a spider, before it jumps on you!"

"Really? You expect me to believe that you're not scared after this?" He gestured to the cloud castle.

"That is for self defense! Don't turn this on me! How do I know the spiders didn't send you to probe my defenses! CANNONS FIRE!"

"Wait, what? WOAH!" He shrieked as 4 lightning bolts hit spots around him.

"Hmm, the calibration is off..." I muttered

"STOP THAT! Look I am your Environmental Science Professor." There he goes again. He is Jeremy, I really wish he would stop claiming to be another person. "Stop making me question everything I know about the freaking environment! Clouds cannot shoot lightning at will!"

"That's because you people never talk to clouds, they have feelings too ya know."

(Sigh)"Look, if I was in league with the spiders, then I could just have told them where your dorm room is. You are still alive, so that should prove I am not a bad guy!"

"...fine, but I'll be watching you just incase..."

"Finally! Enough of this. Get some sleep, we are leaving tomorrow morning."

"Ok fine"

Jeremy started to walk away, but stopped and looked over his shoulder. "Oh, and Feather?"

"...What?"

"There's a spider behind you-"

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!

A NOTE FROM FORFRYSNING

Wow look at that! I finally posted an update to one of my stories. I had the general idea in my head for like a month, but finally actually sat down to write it. College sometimes sucks. Why can't we have the college life without the classes? It's not like they teach us anything important like cloud manipulation or controlling air currents! Anyways, write me a review and I'll respond. Give me some ideas on what Feather's next strange adventure should be in this strange world filled with stupid monkeys- uh, humans.

Quote of the day:

"For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity." ~Jean Dubuffet