Short Story: Those With Wings (Part 5)

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted anything lately! Things have been crazy lately! But finally without further ado, here is Part 5! Also, a side note, in some parts, only one of the two main characters may have a part. Hope you all enjoy!

Part 5

[Téras]

At school the next day, I couldn’t say I was the most focused student. The Bible Auburn had given me had shown a ray of hope into my life concerning my family. Maybe — just maybe — I wasn’t the only Black-Wing left. Of course, I didn’t really read the book all too much — it looked hard to understand, but since my father had given it to Auburn, maybe it would be all right to read. It couldn’t be any harder than trying to read something in another language, and besides, some of it sounded kinda interesting, from the little parts I saw as I had skimmed through it that last night. I decided that during study-time that day, I’d try to read some. I rarely needed any study. I was one of those kids who just…naturally can memorize things after seeing them a couple of timesand really didn’t need to study. 

But I forgot about my little companion… Eilad.

I had just gathered my books all up and was preparing to walk to the study hall — alone, as usual — when a flash of white— white hair, white wings, and white shirt— appeared in front of me, and there stood Eilad, cheerfully jumping from one foot to another. “Hey, Téras! Good afternoon!” 

I sighed deeply. “I wish,” I muttered under my breath, then tried to act excited. “Good afternoon to you too, Eilad.” I hefted my book bag onto my shoulder and started out the door, but Eilad blocked me again, with a sheepish laugh. 

“Uh… I kinda… uh… so, my cousin has come to visit, and she’s gonna be here for a while, so… uh… she will go to school here too, and uh…” 

“Oh great, not another White-Wing.” I moaned aloud, though I kept my voice down. 

“O-oh, she’s not a White-Wing,” Eilad said unsurely. “S-she’s a Pink-Wing.” 

“Pink?” My eyes widened, and I managed to squeak out the answer. Would she seriously have pink hair… oh dear… this would be very interesting…

Eilad motioned for someone to come in, and a little girl with pink pigtails and purplish eyes, dressed in a light blue dress, contrasting against her almost transparent pinkish fairy wings entered. 

“H-hi…” Rosea’s eyes instantly were drawn to the massive size of my wings, and I glanced back at them, then flapped them in a domineering way. 

I gave a smirk. “Yeah, they’re a bit smaller than they’re supposed to be,” I said carelessly, intending on using whatever I could to tease this new Winged girl and to see exactly how Pink-Wings responded to teasing. 

Rosea’s eyes grew slightly larger, then narrowed. “A-are you sure? It seems to me as if they’re a mite too large for such a small boy like you.” 

Small? I reddened, then curled my fists. “I am not small, and I dare you to ever say that again to my face!” 

Eilad stepped protectively in front of her with an awkward laugh. “Now, now, Téras, she didn’t mean it that way. And I’m sure she won’t do it again! Now, Mr. Poten wants you to help us with our geography lesson! We’ve got a geography test coming up, you know.” 

“Yes, I know,” I grumbled, shifting my books to my other arm, and then I proceeded to stretch out my long wings to try to get the aches and cramps out of them, at least for now. “Hurry up, I’m busy, so let’s get this over with.”  

I brushed past Eilad and Rosea and started down the hall. I caught the reflection of Eilad and Rosea attempting to match my large, swift steps as I passed one of the shiny lockers, and I shook my head. Lots of people shouted out hellos to Eilad, and greetings to Rosea too. Finally, we reached the study hall, and I found a nice seat in the room’s corner, which was very quiet and walled off. 

“Ooh, I’ve never been this far back into the study hall before!” Eilad said, dropping his book bag on the coffee table and looking all around at the walls, which had lights hanging on them. A painting hung to my right from where I sat on the couch which was along the back wall, and to my left and in front of us were walls made of bookshelves, filled with books. A potted plant was at the end of the couch to my left as well, and the shiny oaken coffee table made up the rest of the furnishings. 

“Yeah. I come here a lot.” The moment the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. Great. Now I would be pestered constantly by Eilad Chári, especially now since I told him of my favorite haunt in school. I inwardly was banging my head against the wall. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

“It’s nice and quiet,” Rosea remarked softly. Great, she’d heard too. 

“Yeah, let’s get down to business.” I pulled out my geography book. “What’re you having trouble with now? Boy, for being popular, you sure are stupid, Eilad.” I said unfeelingly. 

“Sorry.” Eilad’s face turned a crimson color, and Rosea shrugged. “I reckon some people are just better students than others.” She said sweetly and Eilad shot her a thankful smile. 

I sighed. “Well, come on.” I was flipping to the geography page we were working on when Rosea stopped me. “What’s that place?” She asked, pointing to a picture in my geography book. 

“That’s a picture of the west side of town!” Eilad answered for me. “That’s the worst side. Mama and Papa won’t let me go there, especially alone.” 

I looked at the picture and could see on the outskirts of the west side of town the apartment complex in which I lived. Well, I had never really thought of myself living in the worst part of town… but I supposed that compared to the place where Eilad and his White-Wing family probably lived it was a dump. But something about it made me proud to live there — maybe it was because only, in my eyes, the ‘tough’ could live there without fear. But I said nothing, as Eilad reached over and flipped the next page. “And this,” he said, pointing to a picture of what looked like a wasteland, with old rundown metal warehouses and large dump piles everywhere, old tires, burned foil, etc in it. “Is outside the west side of town a little ways west, and it’s an old wasteland. I’ve always thought it would be fun to explore, but Mama says—”

“Oh, whatever,” I answered quickly, really wanting to move on so I could maybe look in my father’s Bible later, but Rosea stopped me from moving from the page. 

“What happened to it?” She asked, studying the picture. “It looked like it was a nice place at one time…” 

“No one really knows, Papa said,” Eilad answered importantly. “And that’s what it says here too.” He pointed to the bottom of the page.

Rosea glanced over my shoulder at the inscription under the picture. “Hmm. That’s interesting. But certainly someone must know what happened to it… somehow.”

I shrugged. “Maybe… maybe not.” I said, then I felt the presence of someone else in the room. I looked up to see Principal Horace standing there. I felt like me and him were becoming very good friends by now — I saw him almost once a week. Eilad and Rosea, however, looked like they had seen a ghost. 

“Téras,” he said calmly. “Auburn called. He wants you home right away. He will pick you up shortly, so you can wait outside until he gets here. He said he should be here in five minutes or so.” 

My eyes widened. “What’s wrong?!” I leapt to my feet, worry I was sure in my eyes. “Is he sick?” 

“I don’t know, Téras.” Principal Horace answered kindly. “I do hope not. I suppose he wouldn’t be driving if he was sick though. Doesn’t he have siblings and a father who could do it for him?” 

Yeah, but you don’t know them like I do, was the first thing that popped into my mind. I nodded then, while I shut my geography book and stuffed it into my bag. I actually consciously forgot Eilad and Rosea were there for the moment. 

“I’m certain he can’t be that sick if he’s driving.” He replied, as I slung my backpack over my shoulder and started out of the little cubby, Eilad and Rosea following a little ways behind. 

Something has to be wrong if he orders me out of school like this! He’s always trying to get me to be able to stay the whole day without getting suspended! Maybe he’s dying?! No, he can’t be! I felt agitated and annoyed, and to be honest, Eilad and Rosea following me everywhere wasn’t helping anything. 

The halls were unusually quiet, seeing as everyone was either in class or studying, and only the noise of our shoes squeaking on the painted laminate flooring could be heard, and it was driving me almost crazy. Or maybe it was the worry I now possessed for Auburn. If Auburn died, I knew Mr. Prewitt wouldn’t hesitate to kick me out. He’d always hated me, I thought and looked at me as someone talking money away from Auburn because of my need for food, clothing, school books, etc. I mean, he was the one taking the money away and wasting it on subscriptions to movie apps and beer and chips!

Principal Horace led me to the front of the school, and I saw Auburn’s car sitting out there waiting on me. I practically flew out — not literally ‘flew’ — but I dashed out so fast I could feel the wind pushing my wings up and just waiting for me to stretch them out so I could glide over. I refused the urge to fly and quickly opened up the passenger door. “Auburn! What’s wrong?” 

Auburn had his head resting against the steering wheel, and when he finally looked up, he looked terrible. His eyes were red and bloodshot, and he looked almost distraught. 

“Auburn, are you sick?” I cried, throwing my books into the back of the car and putting my hand up to his forehead to see if he was burning up. 

“No…” He groaned. “But I’m going to be, I know. Oh… Father will blow up at me… Claire too… at least Aaron won’t think anything of it, at least unless Father makes him go out and get a job… but oh, I just know what the first thing he’ll say is… he’ll berate me and… and try to get rid of you, but I won’t let it!” He exclaimed, a weary fire coming into his bloodshot eyes. 

I finally started to understand. “Y-you’ve lost your job, haven’t you?” 

Auburn slowly nodded. “Father will yell at me… he’ll say terrible things, Téras, but I won’t have you believing them! Téras, you’re the only one in my life that gives me the slightest bit of sympathy. The rest couldn’t care less.” 

“Is that why you’ve gotten me out of school?” 

“Yes… I’m going to need all the support I can get, you know… and I will not get any at home…” 

I nodded slowly. “Reckon we better get home then… and you look exhausted.” 

“I am… I reckon I’ve been worrying about how to tell them all morning. Yesterday they said some people might get laid off, but I hadn’t thought I could be one of them!” He sighed, then shook his head. “But you’re right. No use in just sulking about it. Better get going.” He put the car in drive, then pressed his foot on the accelerator gently, and we were off. As we went through the city and got closer and closer to the west side of town, I could see a change. The buildings gradually grew darker and darker, the greenery became less and less, and what greenery there was looked more and more unkempt, and finally we entered the downright gloomy west side of town. For some reason, the sky here always looked a murky grey too, compared to the beautiful blue in the middle of town. Auburn had explained that the wasteland was where the city dumped and burnt the trash they collected, so the grey sky resulted from the smoke coming up and blocking out the sun.

But now it matched our mood. Auburn seemed to go even slower as we neared the row of buildings where we stayed, but finally, he turned the corner and went slowly down the street and turned into the little alleyway we always parked in. 

He reluctantly got out, and I grabbed my book bag from behind the seats, and then somehow we slowly but surely made it to the top of the stairs. Auburn pulled the key from his pocket and unlocked the door, then as he turned the knob, he exhaled deeply. “Here goes nothing.” 

He opened up the door, and we were greeted with the faces of not only sour old Mr. Prewitt but also Claire, standing beside him, her arms crossed, and finally Aaron stood, looking annoyed and impatient. But Mr. Prewitt looked the worse. He was actually standing up, and his eyes held a glare in them, but he wasn’t looking at Auburn. He was looking at me.

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