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Wings Chapter One
Blaire Hudson walked down a concrete path in New York City’s Central Park, huddling into her thick sweatshirt for warmth. An icy wind cut straight through the dense material and chilled her to the bone. The wind whipped her hair around her face, constantly forcing her to take her hands from the warmth of her pockets to clear it away from her eyes. She looked around her.
The moon was full and cast a silvery light on everything in sight. The trees were winter-bare, and the fall’s withered brittle leaves whispered across the ground. No snow had fallen yet, but it was bitterly cold. The sky was a cloudless black, full of little pinpricks of starlight. The grass was frosted and frail, looking paler than everything else.
Blaire kept her eyes on the wide path in front of her. She was the only one in the park that night. Her sneakers scuffed the sidewalk, and she walked alone, feeling like the only person in the world.
She kept walking, eyes half closed, staring at the sidewalk in front of her.
Suddenly, Blaire froze. What was that?
There it was again. Footsteps. Was someone following her? She whirled around…and saw nothing. Everything was quiet.
What was that? Blaire thought to herself. Why would someone be following me?
She took a deep breath of the cold city air, feeling the chill burn her throat, and started walking again, just the same as before. Except that she had an idea. Blaire walked another few feet, then abruptly stopped. She listened.
Blaire heard it again. That one odd footstep that was not her own. She tried this method a few more times, and each time she stopped, she heard the footfalls of that strange someone, the person who was following her.
She stopped one last time, and whirled around. She saw nothing. Nobody. Thinking she had been imagining it, she resumed her slow, aimless walk.
Blaire saw something that grabbed her attention from the sidewalk. A huge, ancient oak tree stood in the grass a short distance away. It was old and its trunk divided into four giant branches, leaving a large dip in the middle. Many times in the warmer seasons children would play at the old oak, sitting in the hollow or playing with the acorns that fell from it. Not knowing why, Blaire walked towards it. She knew the way to climb to the hollow like the back of her hand, which was strange, because she wasn’t good at climbing trees at all. She reached the hollow and sat down. The large branches offered some protection from the wind, but not much. She shifted around a bit.
Standing below her, leaning against the trunk of the tree, was a boy. He looked about fifteen. His hair was dark brown and hung in his eyes. His skin was pale. He had dark gray eyes, black jeans, and a black t-shirt on. He looked like he was prepared for a burglary.
Blaire jumped at the sound of his voice and looked down. She was startled to see him staring up at her as if he knew her.
“Who are you?” she asked, suspicious of this strange, black-clad person.
He smiled. “You know me, Blaire.”
The boy had a slight accent. It sounded European.
Blaire stared down at him. “No. I don’t.” she said. “What do you want?”
The kid laughed. He actually laughed! “If you think about it, you will find that you know that too.”
Blaire took a deep breath, and blew it out angrily. “No. I don’t know anything about you. Or what you want.” This kid was acting all cocky and arrogant to her, and she wasn’t going to put up with it.
The boy looked disappointed. “Alright. But if you really want to know why I came, it was to tell you this. Big things are starting to happen, Blaire, things you don’t know about.” His eyes glittered. “You’re going to find out soon enough though, and it’s going to change your life.”
Blaire stared down at him, a little apprehensive now, and still retaining her prickly demeanor. “Are you threatening me?”
“No, “ said the boy. “I’m giving you a warning. Be careful.”
Blaire rolled her eyes. This guy was obviously on something. “Whatever. Just go away.” She tried to climb off the tree, and slipped. She let out a yelp and felt the boys arms steady her. “No touching.” She said firmly. She caught a glimpse of something black and shiny on his back. A backpack? she thought. Good for keeping stolen goods.
Without thinking, she blurted, “What’s in that backpack on your back?”
The boy looked puzzled. “I’m not wearing a backpack.”
“Yeah, but just now, as I was getting up, it looked like it. You had something black and shiny on your back.” Blaire was unsure of this boy. He seemed very strange.
He thought for a minute, then his face lit up. “Oh! You mean these!” he turned completely around, and Blaire gasped and braced herself against the trunk of the giant oak. She couldn’t believe her eyes. The boy had wings. Standing right in front of her, was some kind of…of…what? What was he?
“Wha?” Blaire whispered uncomprehendingly. She was in shock. These things couldn’t happen in real life.
“Yep. These are what you call wings. They make you fly and stuff. You know, like a bird?” he turned around, and flapped the wings once; making some leaves skitter across the ground.
“But…How did it happen? People don’t fly. People don’t have wings!” Blaire squeaked. She dug her fingernails into the rough bark.
He gave her another one of those secretive grins.” You’ll find out. Soon enough.” The boy stretched out those impossible, beautiful wings. He started running towards open space, away from the extensive oak branches. Blaire realized he was leaving and took off after him.
“Wait!” she yelled after him. “Wait! Don’t go! I still don’t understand anything!”
He jumped. High. Higher than a normal person could ever hope to jump. He beat his wings powerfully, propelling him upwards and forwards. He heard her yelling and looked down at her.
“Don’t worry!” he called in his strange, accented voice. “You’ll find everything out soon enough!”
And then he was gone. The only proof that he had ever been there was a single glossy black feather spiraling slowly towards the earth.