Almost done with part 7. Whew!
“Shoot it, Sugar!” 7-year-old Mae Dayton shouted to her twin.
The girls were on their first unsupervised mission. The “it” in question was a large bird-like creature that appeared to have escaped from Earth’s distant past. Part lizard, part mammal, it flew overhead, circling the twins. The squawks and squeals it released from its sharp beak sounded to Mae liked cries of distress. She closed her eyes to block out the sound, and concentrated on tracking its movements without losing her grip on the lunch that was threatening to erupt from her mouth.
Armed with a cross bow and short, steel arrows, Sugar Dayton ran after the creature, stopping every few feet to line up a shot. Sweated beaded her brow and coated her palms. She had to force herself to keep a strong grip on her weapon.
“It’s moving too fast, Mae Day!” she called to her sister. “Can’t you do something? You’re connected to that thing right now, right? Since you drank that stuff?”
“It didn’t taste too good, though. I feel sick.”
“Well, well, I don’t know,” Sugar said, flustered. “But we have to do something. The director said we can’t come home until we catch this stupid bird.”
“So shoot it!”
“I can’t get a shot. Besides, this thing is heavy. It’s not like it was in class.”
“Shhh! I’m talking to it.” Frowning in concentration, Mae sat down on the grass, and reached out to touch the creature’s mind.
Um, Bird? Mr. Bird? she called silently. She felt something old and non-human brush against her thoughts. Shuddering involuntarily, she tried again. Mr. Bird?
Who’s a bird, girlie? it answered.
Um. She hesitated.
THEY sent you, didn’t they? Those SIFRAS bastards. Huh.
Here, Mae heard was sounded like a snort, and then the bird continued.
Don’t trust them. They stole everything from us. I’m the last of my line. They’ll tell you that I am a dangerous creature, but they’re the real animals.
But Mr. Bird, Mae said in her mind, I have to take you back.
Then I’m sorry girlie, but I will have to resist. Tell your mirror over there to watch out.
Mae felt herself falling through a long, dark tunnel. Her eyes snapped open as she hit the bottom, and she yelled, “SUGAR!”
And watched in horror as her sister dropped the cross bow and threw up her arms to protect her head from the razor sharp talons headed straight for her.