Wish Carriers

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Liffon Foxglove, the youngest in the Foxglove line, travels to Greenbrook to become a Wish Carrier. Upon arriving, he finds his father, the famous Fens Foxglove, has gone missing on a very important mission. Where has he gone? It's up to the young hummingbird and his new friend Lissa Gentian to find out what's going on. What they find may even be a threat to the Carriers, let alone Greenbrook and perhaps all of Herald itself.

Please feel free to comment. I have divided the chapters up according to basic word count, so they are rather long. When I totally finish everything, it will probably look a bit nicer.

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17. Meet the Team

 

          Being thrown off a train had not improved anything for Fens, let alone his mood. His stomach hurt from anxiety, and the bag full of wish energy was seemingly getting heavier by the moment. There was only one thing he could do now - fly.

          At least the weather was nice. The sun was high in the sky and only a few clouds marred its view of the world below. He was glad that he was under trees right now; it seemed it would get hot later, judging by the pressure in the air.

          He wasn’t sure where he was, so he just flew northwest, hoping to notice something familiar. He picked up scents that reminded him of home, but nothing that would give him a clue as to where that home was.

          He flew on through the day, resting only breifly to eat and drink from a stream. His sense of urgency and anxiety pushed him more and more. It was hard to imagine that this once proud was even the same one. Every second he worried whether he would make it in time; whether his son would ever forgive him for missing his graduation.

          Finally unable to fly anymore, he stopped in a small grove of trees, hoping to find shelter. The sky was growing dark, but not from sunset, he realized.

           “Oh great,” he sighed, “this is the last thing I need.”

          The drizzle started slowly and picked up over the next hour. Fens didn’t mind it, but having his feathers slowly soaked caused him the take shelter deeper in the leaves.

          He sighed. This was getting worse by the minute. He couldn’t fly in the rain - he learned that the hard way by trying to brave the storm that got him here in the first place. Hopefully it would let up soon.

A rush of hopelessness came over him. It had been released by finally resting, which was part of the reason he didn’t want to stop. But now he was forced to and suddenly everything felt very heavy.

          Without warning, tears began to spill down his cheeks. He didn’t realize he was that distressed, but there was no one around to see, so he didn’t stop himself. He wept for himself, he wept for Greenbrook, he wept for Herald and his son, and for his failure. He wept for everything at the same time until he could no longer weep and fell into a restless sleep.

          His dreams didn’t make anything better. They were filled with dying forests and dead flowers crying, images of sick birds and the very tree that Greenbrook was built on falling down. He woke a few times to the sound of gentle rain, but nothing and no one bothered him the whole night, for which he was very grateful. It seemed Procne was on his side for once.

          Though he didn’t feel nearly well enough rested, he had to set out anyway. The bag of wish energy and his heart weighing him down, he continued on, hoping beyond all hope to find something that would make any part of this journey easier. A sign perhaps. Just a simple sign is all he asked for.

          The sign came in the form of something he was not hoping for at all.

          Having flown for two days without resting for fear of having more nightmares, he was dead on his wings, almost literally. The ominously gray sky was bothering him. It was as if it wanted to impede his journey in any way possible.

          Usually the weather wasn’t this bad, but rumors had been flying about that a big hurricane had caused massive weather changes as it swept northward. That would explain the changes in the weather. This time of year was usually calm.

          With reluctance, he found shelter under a wooden shelter in what appeared to be a nature preserve. The wooden buildings with no walls were often a good resting place for birds and humans alike. There was one quite near to Greenbrook where humans sometimes brought food and sat at the wooden tables and talked or read a book.

          Nestling in between two roof supports, he fluffed his feathers and closed his eyes, trying to get a bid if rest. But it seemed the wind had something more in mind.

          As if Procne herself had picked him up, he found himself tumbling through the air like a dry leaf. He tried to gain control, but the wind was getting stronger by the minute. As if on cue, the sky broke and rain began to pour down in sheets. Once again, he was helpless to where he was going.

          Tears of frustration were erased by the rain coming down. He could do nothing else but curl up and squeeze his eyes shut.

          He stopped suddenly, having crashed into a bush of some sort. Cautiously, he opened his eyes, and through the gloom, he spotted a barely visible pipe that appeared to lead into a building. While he didn’t particularly like human structures, and no only due to Carl, he knew this was the best course of action. It wasn’t that far from where he was sitting, too.

          Pushing off the bush with everything he had, he flapped madly against the wind and rain across the gap. With a final push, he landed with a soft thud! On the cold metal surface. He tried to stand, but his legs gave out under him. Soaking wet and crying, he slowly drifted off to sleep, having nothing more productive to do.

 

           “What was that?”

           “What’re you talkin’ about?”

           “I just heard a splash, didn’t you?”

           “Are you just seein’ things again, Kowalski?”

           “I dunno, Coach. I swear somethin’ fell from the ceilin’.”

          The two penguins glanced around the display terrain, not seeing anything. But Kowalski, the smaller of the two, was certain she heard something.

           “I’ll take a look at the water,” she offered, waddling toward the pond.

           “Whatever,” Coach grunted, shrugging her shoulders. “Just be back in time fer trainin’.”

          Kowalski’s expression changed rapidly upon seeing the ripples still traveling across the length of the pond. She quickly glanced around and spotted what looked like a small colorful stone. But there was something strange about it. Her curious nature got the best of her, and the female macaroni penguin took a dive into the cold water.

          Drawing closer to the stone, she noticed that it was indeed an odd stone. Rather, it wasn’t a stone at all. In fact, it was a tiny bird with a pack strapped to its back. Without thinking, she gingerly grasped the thing in her beak and shot for the surface, rocketing onto the icy shore like a cork from a champagne bottle.

           “Kowalski, watch it!”

          She quickly apolgized, but said nothing else, urgently pushing past Nettles and Marshall. They shouted an annoyed “hey!” but she ignored them.

           “What’s gotten intah you, Kowalski?” Coach asked, exasperated. She blinked when the other didn’t answer. “What’s that y’got in yer mouth?”

          Without speaking, Kowalski found a small indent in the stone that outlined the display terrain and placed the bird in it. Doing the best she could with her short wings, she made it comfortable. Or at least she hoped.

           “What’s goin’ on?” Marshall asked, pacing over to the pair.

           “Looks like Kowalski found some drowned animal,” Coach stated.

           “Is it okay?” Marshall asked, peering into the alcove. “Maybe we should get it some bedding.”

           “Oh come off it, Marsh,” Nettles cut in. “It’s probably dead.”

           “What if you fell in the water and couldn’t swim. Would you want me to let you drown?” Marshall spat back.

           “Okay, okay, chicks, that’s enough,” Coach said, holding up her flippers. His crest-eyelashes that all rock-hoppers came with made him appear even more annoyed.

           “Hey, we aren’t chicks!” they said in unison.

           “Yeah, they’re fully grown idiots,” Kowalski added.

           “Hey!” the both repeated, once again in unison.

           “Okay, stop,” Coach growled. Do you guys got some extra nesting material?”

           “Yeah, I think we got some,” Nettles nodded. “Hang on.” He waddled off to the nest he shared with Marshall, just around the corner.

           “I just put some more feathers in there last night,” Marshall called.

           “I can see that,” Nettles responded. He emerged a few moments later with a mouthful of feathers.

           “What do we do, just stuff ‘em in there?” Kowalski asked.

           “Guess so, but not too much so it can breathe,” Marshall nodded.

           “Alright, now just leave it alone. Hopefully it’ll wake up soon, eh?” Coach said gruffly with a nod.

           “Hopefully,” Kowalski sighed.

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