Pigeons

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It’s funny how the most seemingly commonplace acts can change your entire life. Things like being late for school, or tripping on your pant leg. That’s how my life changed. One minute I was late for school and falling down a flight of stairs after tripping on my pant leg, the next, well, let me start at the beginning.

I am notoriously late, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the first five minutes of a movie. But missing the exposition is the least of my worries; I’m late to school almost everyday. Which was one of the many reasons today didn’t seem different from every other day. I woke up this morning with only enough time to throw on some clothes (clean? Possibly.), barely brush my teeth, and bolt out the door (nearly forgetting my school bag).

The clock tower in town informed me that I had exactly two minutes to go the fifteen blocks to school. Oh wonderful. I took my favorite shortcut, which cut thirty precious seconds off my walk, well run, to school. The shortcut cuts through the town center, which is filled with little shops, some steps, a large fountain, and pigeons. Lots and lots of dirty, smelly, ugly pigeons. They come to the fountain to bathe and drink and other stupid pigeon things. They’re the entire reason I don’t take this route everyday.

But today I must brave the pigeons. As I round the corner leading the the town center I see them in their flocks. As a unit they all turn their heads and look at me with their beady little eyes. I run down the stairs that lead to the inlaid fountain, as I make way down the long, but surprisingly steep steps, the pigeons ascend and fly in every direction at the same time. I really didn’t expect this mass exodus, but what I expected even less was a pigeon to fly straight at my face.

I screamed and threw my arms in the air, then stepped on my pant leg, which threw off my balance entirely. The pigeon had a similar reaction, but he was able to fly in the opposite direction. I was not so lucky. I fell over and rolled down the steps (remember how I said they were surprisingly steep?). I rolled, and fast, down them and my head collided, hard, with the fountain. The pigeons descended once again, I blacked out.

When I awoke the first thing I noticed was the lack of pigeons. With much difficulty, I sat up. I put my hand to my head and felt still rather sticky and not yet dry blood. It was then that I noticed something far more pressing than missing birds or minor head trauma: I was in a town square, but it certainly wasn’t my town square. Everything had a futuristic feel to it, it was all glass and metal. I noticed the fountain was gone as well. That would have been nice earlier.

With much more difficulty, I stand up. My legs feel wobbly, possibly more out of worry than injury, I pick up my school bag and cautiously begin to explore my new surroundings. All the shops appear closed, except one, but it doesn’t even look like a shop at all, there is no name anywhere. Inside is a woman sitting expectantly at a desk. She’s probably waiting for a customer, I bet she’ll be able to help me with my situation.

I stare at the door and it’s lack of handle for a moment before noticing the small chrome button that reads: OPEN. I push it; the door slides to the side. Once I am
inside, I take a good look around, the entire room from floor to ceiling is the same clean, stark white. A frosted glass door with another button is on the opposite side of the room. The woman sits at a black desk. She smiles at me and opens a small white book.

“Ellie, you’re right on time. We’ve been expecting you.”





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