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A slight breeze sweeps over the hill, tussling my hair. I pull it back down, tucking the loose red strands into my hoodie. But the breeze feels so nice. I look around. No one is watching except the grass and the trees, and the fog that covers the land. I stand so the wind is at my back, pushing my towards the downward slope of the mound. But I don’t plan on going down. I plan on going up. I smile and face my head to the sky.
I turn away, and force my arms to my sides, where they seem to have risen of their own accord. I force a smile and turn to see my best (and only) friend running up the hill.
“Ana, what are you doing?” she says as she catches up to me, her breath coming in gasps. “It’s almost time to come in.”
I follow her without speaking down the hill and into the wreathes of fog.
“Ana, are you okay?” A face peers at me from the left. I ignore the glances coming from all around, picking at an orange with my dirty fingernails. I push the plate of cafeteria food away. That’s way more than my stomach can handle today.
“Yeah, Olivia, I’m fine.” I say resting my head in my hands.
“You don’t look fine.” She pestered. I could smell the cafeterias pizza on her breath. I resist the urge to wrinkle my nose. Did this girl ever shut up?
“’Us.” I mumble through the sleeve of my sweater. She drops the subject.
I should be glad for her company. She’s the only person who would talk to me in this strange new place. I guess no one else wants to befriend a red-haired reject who showed up on the street a month ago with no parents. Not even two months in and I am already thinking like them.
Olivia quietly finishes off her pizza, and goes to drop it in the garbage. When her back is turned, I quietly slip back out the side door. I can’t think in this place.
Outside, it is quiet. I’m not supposed to be outside, but the boarding school has some of the most suspicious grounds we have seen so far. It’s amazing they haven’t found anything yet. I walk swiftly away from the building, hoping I escaped unnoticed. I trek back to the hill I was at a few moments before, and stand now at the base. I can feel it. It has to be under the mound.
I start to dig.
I stop and listen, but no one finds me. I stay there until I hear the sounds of night around me, just digging. I can feel the stars past the mist that grips the land. Then my fingers hit something solid. I carefully carve out the dirt around the object.
Slowly, it emerges.
And I now stare into the face of a dirt streaked statue, white with age. It depicts a falcon and a sparrow, glancing up at the sky. I stroke the face of the sparrow gently, and turn my gaze upon the falcon. The cold eyes fill me with warmth.
I cover it so the faces are hiding, and make my way up the hill one last time. I stand again with the night wind at my back. But before I leave, I glace back one last time, wondering what Olivia is doing right now. I know she’ll miss me. But tomorrow I will be just another missing face in the paper. Humans get over things quickly. I won’t be missed for long.
And gently, I take to the breeze.
My hair turns to red silver feathers, spreading along my arms which are now wings. I spiral up into the sky, watching the school shrink below. With one last sigh, I turn my beak to the moon and fly.