CLUTCH – CHAPTER EIGHT
I stare up at the sky for a long time and find Cygnus, then up to Draco, and finally over to Cassiopeia. I wish I was a constellation, high up in the sky. And everyone would look at me in the night and marvel at how beautiful and untouchable I was. In ancient times the Gods only made you a constellation if they were mad at you, or if you were too beautiful to die. So it was either a reward or a punishment, depending on your predicament. It’s funny how the very same circumstance can be eternal life for one and eternal damnation for another. It makes no sense, but it does teach a lesson in perspective.
I have a stray thought as I lie there under the Milky Way, but I push it away before it can fully form.
Maybe I just need some perspective?
Maybe I’m being brainwashed?
Or maybe I just can’t think straight because of all the injuries I’ve sustained?
Or maybe those weird alien healing chemicals are interfering with my thought process?
It doesn’t matter because the idea that wants to form slips into my head anyway. Maybe it doesn’t make sense because I don’t know the whole story?
Maybe I’m being lied to?
And maybe I’m lying to myself.
I hear the heavy beating of wings and know that Tier is back. He lands behind me in the small clearing and walks the few paces toward my prone body.
“What’s going on?” he says as he approaches.
The question hangs between us as I tip my head back as far as I can so I can see his upside-down face in the starlight. “Having a pity party. You’re invited.”
He lies down next to me. “Am I now?”
I force a smile and look at him. His eyes have just a faint green glow, but it doesn’t bother me anymore, probably the brainwashing kicking in. His loose mop of black curls is a mess from flying in the wind and I wonder briefly at my own hair. I push that thought away quickly. His clothes are still stained with blood, as are my own. Funny how it doesn’t even register even though some of it is Cole’s.
That brainwashing is some powerful shit, I really need to cut back.
“What pity are we celebratin’, then?” he asks.
I exhale deeply but stay quiet. He doesn’t push, but instead waits patiently and looks up at the sky. “How many did ya see?”
I don’t know how I know, but I know. “None,” I reply.
“That’s weak. I see one right now.” Then he points and I find the shooting star at the end of his fingertip.
I look at him again, and give another smile and shake my head as the tears threaten to burst out.
“So what have ya been doin’ out here?” He’s prying now and his accent is a little thicker as well. Like he’s reverting back to how he normally talks.
I let out another heavy sigh, but keep my silence.
“Is this yer human temperament and emotions coming out?”
I let out a small laugh and then the tears ride down my cheeks. I feel him turn towards me, propped up on his elbow, and then swipe a finger down my face to remove the ribbons of water.
“Do avians cry?” I ask, turning my head away to avoid his gaze.
“We do,” he whispers. He leans back into the grass and leaves me that way for several seconds. “We do,” he says again, but this time he’s talking to himself.
Then he gets up and grabs my hand. I fly up towards him like I weigh nothing and he pulls me close. “Come on,” he says. “I have something that will make us both feel better.”
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