1

I am running. As I run, black wisps drown the scenery that was once behind me. I try to scream for help, but nothing escapes my lips. Suddenly, I crash into a body and fall to the floor. I look up to see a boy looking down at me. His long white hair gently sways in the non-existent wind. I clutch onto his long robes and look into his grey eyes pleadingly.

"It is not your time, Destry" he says with a hint of a smile and puts his hand on my cheek. "But we shall meet soon…"

Suddenly, everything turns into a blinding white and I sit up on my bed gasping for air. My mother rushes into the room with a silver tray and a small silver bowl with intricate designs on it. I am guessing it is her "world-famous" chicken noodle soup again.

"Destry?" she asks worriedly and smoothes down her dress on the back to sit down on the edge of the bed and places the tray on her lap. "Are you alright? You're panting as though you were just in a marathon" I look at her and try to give her a reassuring smile.

"It was nothing, mother…Just a bad dream" I whisper and wipe my burning brow. She looks at me with slightly narrowed eyes and scoots closer to me.

"You don't look good…" she mutters and places her hand on my cheek, just like the boy in my dream. I scoff and roll my eyes.

"Well, if you haven't noticed, I just woke up. So its only natural I don't look dap—"I say.

"No, Destry. I mean you look sick. Very sick. I'm going to call Mr. Roberts to check up on you…" she explains and hands me the bowl carefully in her two dainty hands. "Try to eat. Ill make sure the doctor comes as soon as possible"

She gets up from the bed and fixes a strand of her blonde hair back into her bun.

"Alright…I'm really not hungry, though…" I mutter and look down into the mix of chicken, carrots, noodles, corn and most likely lemon. But before I could get a reply, she is out of the room.

I reach over to grab the spoon from the tray and go right back into place at the horrible aches I am feeling.

"Oh, well that's not goanna work…" I mutter and hold the bowl up to my parched lips. I gulp down the lemony liquid but hesitate to chew the other things. After I have eaten them, I lick my lips and set the bowl down on my cherry-wood nightstand.

Memories of the strange dream pop back into my head. What was all that about? Of course, it was just a dream…But it was so vivid…So real. It was as though that boy really was standing in front of me and holding my cheek. His voice…so familiar yet can't be placed.

I shake the thoughts out of my head and look out of the window to see a small yellow bird perched on the windowsill. A smile spreads over my lips as I watch it peck at the glass.

"Silly bird…" I whisper. My hands grab onto the velvet sheets and throw them off of my now shivering body. The bird turns to me quickly as I get out of the bed but stays as though watching my next move.

"Shush, birdie. I won't hurt you…" I coo and cautiously lift the window. The bird looks up at me and chirps loudly as I put my finger down next to its little brown legs. It puts one little foot on my still finger then the other. I lift my finger to my face and smile at it. I run my fingers down its back and feel its soft yellow feathers.

"Go along now" I whisper to it and hold my finger out to the sky. It turns its head to me hesitantly and flies away chirping. My hazel eyes follow it fly towards the sunset and then swerve into a tree.

"Wow, Ms. Lawrence. You're very talented with animals. That was a wild golden oriole. They are very rare to come by around here." says Mr. Roberts. I turn to him with wide eyes and laugh nervously.

"Thank you, Mr. Roberts…" I say. He looks at me then to the bed several times until I get the hint.

Once I'm in the bed, I bring the blankets up to my chin and shiver slightly. He observes me carefully and opens his brown leather briefcase at the edge of the bed and reads some papers quickly.

"It could just be a fever…Or a brain-eating parasite…" he mumbles partly to me. I sit up in my bed wide eyed.

"A brain-eating parasite?" I yell and lay back down on the bed because of a sudden severe head ache that just came on. He looks at me with his eyebrows furrowed and stands next to me. A black strand of his curly hair falls over one of his brown eyes.

"You have a headache? Do you feel like you have a fever? Are you shivering?" he asks me. I nod at everything and stop immediately when the pulsing in my brain starts.

"Then congratulations, it's just a very high fever." He says with a smile. I stare at him silently with my hand on my forehead and resist the urge to slap him. "You just need to sleep all of today…That's all I can recommend. Drink some medicine to help your temperature go down." I nod once and close my eyes. I hear my mother come into the room breathing heavily.

"Is everything alright?" She asks. I open one eye to see Mr. Roberts put a hand on her shoulder and give her a sad look. He whispers something to her and I see as her face goes from worried to devastated in a flash.

"Are you serious?" she squeaks and I watch as she fights off tears. She turns to me and I close my eye quickly. What are they talking about? Once I feel her eyes off of me, I open an eye again and watch her leave the room quickly with Mr. Roberts.

Didn't he just say it was just a very high fever? Fevers go down…right?