Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ben stared at the giant stone before him. He was too young to ignore it, too old to miss its significance, but too small to move it. So he stared, and he held his breath.

As his feathers slid slowly into him, he felt the familiar uncanny sensation of his skin stretching, his bones morphing. Before the gust of wind died, a little boy stood where, previously, a bird had perched. 

Around him a squirrel cheeped shrilly. Mouth pressed tight, Ben smiled. He could guess what Ciel was saying: You idiot! Just because we're away from the village doesn't mean it's safe

The stone was now as large as him, no longer an insurmountable barrier. He had no hope of lifting it, but maybe if he tried rolling...

Ciel leaped beside him, and together, they strained against the boulder. Ben's lungs began to burn, his cheeks turning red. His breath limit was dropping too fast. 

The rock creaked, then tilted. 


The little boy and the squirrel jumped but didn't turn around. The rock crunched on gravel. 

"Hey! What d'you think you're doing!?" 

Just a little more! 

Blackness blotted the edge of his vision. Ben shut his eyes and, lungs screaming, gave a final, hard shove. 

The boulder shifted, revealing a small hole. He sank to his knees

With trembling fingers, he grasped a pair of dark, flimsy objects, which fit easily in his palm. Then, finally, he breathed in, feeling the icy air fill his lungs, feeling his body suck into itself, and his feathers sprout. 

The village man tripped and fell to the ground. A bird with feathers like black velvet stood, its wings as long as a man's forearm, and gave a queer hooting cry. 

"Bir-bird-mon-monster," the man stammered. 

Eyes that seemed to glow in the moonlight regarded the man gravely. Ben turned, shook his wings, and took off into the night.

Taisetsu na koto wa subete kimi ga oshiete kureta - prelude

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