As soon as he lost his grip, he only got a glimpse of the child’s terrified face before he felt the air rushing past him.
He felt like falling forever until he finally hit the ground and went limp. For a while, he just lay there on the cold ground, stunned. It was quite dark around him save for the light coming from above. His entire body was numb with pain and his wings were ruined.
The all-consuming anger had made him ignore it all this time.
But that anger was now gone.
Now he felt empty as he lay in the dirt with the faint sound of the storm raging somewhere. He made a weak attempt to move, but his body protested against that.
He didn’t know how long he lay there. Minutes, possibly hours? He didn’t really know, but he didn’t find himself caring. After being driven by that violent rage for so long, that burning feeling within his chest, that strong desire to harm anything in his way at any cost, he felt completely empty and tired without it now.
He closed his eyes and allowed the crushing silence to swallow him.
Suddenly, he heard some rocks fall down. He ignored it at first, but to his surprise more began to fall down.
The bird’s eyes snapped open at the new sound and he moved his head off the ground a little so he can look forward.
It was the boy.
The bird’s body shook and he let out a screech as he tried to get up, to make that human pay for what he did to him, but alas; his body refused to comply. He could only fall down again as his limps began to ache again.
The human, who backed away when he tried to lung at him, was now eyeing him with pity, much to his chagrin. He snapped at the child when he drew closer, not wanting him to be anywhere near him.
But the child didn’t seem to be planning on leaving him alone. Eventually, he gave up on trying to drive away the human. Moving sapped whatever strength he had left. He dropped his head on the ground and lay there, panting.
The child began approaching him again, but this time the bird was far too tired and weak to do anything. He felt the human place his hand on his head and heard him murmur something. It sounded like an apology.
To his surprise, the child then sat down on the ground in front of him and leaned over, pressing his side against the bird’s head. While one hand remained on his head, the other began rubbing his beak slowly, which only served to confuse him more.
Then the boy began to hum.
It was soft and quiet, barely audible from afar probably, but why? What was he trying to accomplish from all of this?
The bird wanted to pull away, to get this human to leave, but at the same time something about the treatment was easing some of the pain he was feeling…just a little. The boy then began to hum a song of some sort. Something about it felt strangely….familiar to him and hearing it put his mind at ease.
The boy then paused, as if trying to remember before sighing and pressing his cheek against the bird’s head. “I’m sorry. That’s all I remember,” he said. “I…I don’t really remember much about my past or where I came from. It’s all a blank in my head. This song is only thing that keeps…coming back to me. I only remember bits of it, but maybe after a while, I’ll remember it fully,” he said, a weak smile on his face.
Why was the human telling him this? The bird grunted in response, trying to block out his voice, but there was nothing else to distract him from what he was saying.
“You know…you still haven’t answered me yet. Why you were chasing me?” the boy suddenly asked, hoping for an answer of any kind.
To tell the truth….the bird couldn’t really remember why he did it, why seeing the child for the first time filled him with blinding rage. All of it was now shrouded in fog in his mind.
Just then, a small yip broke the silence and the bird had to tilt his head to the left to see the fox standing over a large rock not far from them.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to make you worry,” the human said sheepishly.
The fox looked worriedly between the two of them, seeming unsure of what to do. Its eyes then fell on the bird who glared at him.
“Come on, be nice,” The human told him and he just gave a low grunt. The boy sighed.
Seeing that nothing bad was going to happen, the fox lay down, watching them from his spot on the rock.
The human then glanced at him with an unreadable look before leaning against him again.
The bird couldn’t understand. Why was the boy doing all of this? After everything that happened, why did he risk coming all the way down here into this dark abyss just to sit here with him?
“Do you….want to be friends?”
The words rang in his mind and it made him even more confused about this human.
They stayed like this for a while with the boy humming quietly until finally something different happened. The rubbing stopped and just when he began to wonder if the kid was done with whatever he was doing, he heard shallow breathing and he realized the kid had fallen asleep against him. Running around the mountains and climbing down here had probably drained him.
The bird sighed and his eye trailed upward to the surface and the sky. Even though dark clouds covered it, he hoped to see the blue sky behind them.
He remembered loving the freedom flying gave him, the open skies and the warm sunlight. Seeing them getting blocked out had angered him more.
Now all of those things were gone.
Sighing again, the bird could feel the warmth coming off the sleeping child against his face and he slowly he found himself nuzzling closer to him before closing his eyes and drifting off as well.