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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7. Out of Want

 

          The groaning of one human with a severe hangover woke Fens the next morning. The Giant grumbled and scratched himself, walking into the bird room. Bags under his eyes made him appear much older than he was, though Fens had no idea how old he really was.

          He didn't show signs of remembering the events of the night before; he went about his day as if nothing happened. He grumbled about life, tossing coins in the fountain outside until it started to rain. At first it was just a drizzle, then a torrential downpour. He growled and threw a coin into the fountain with disgust, stalking back inside, his head now soaked.

          "Dangnabbit, I wish it would stop raining!" he said with a frown as he shook himself off at the door.

          Fens's feathers flared and the birds all looked his way. Oh crap, he thought as the familiar shimmering returned.

          Instantly it stopped raining.

          The Giant blinked. He turned around at the now clear sky and took a few steps toward the door. The road was a little damp, a few puddles scattered around, but otherwise it was no longer raining.

          "Well, I'll be," the man breathed. "What a nice coincidence."

          He headed back outside to the bench near the fountain and sat down, enjoying the moment for a bit But soon he was back to tossing coins in the fountain. The sky began to cloud up again as Fens watched him quietly amid the chattering of the other birds. He tossed another coin into the fountain and mumbled something the hummingbird couldn't hear.

          The shimmering in Fens' bag told him it was a wish. He rolled his eyes. Was there was no way to stop this?

          The phone rang, and the Giant meandered back inside to answer it.

          "Hello?"

          He was silent for a time, but then his face slowly changed to that of surprise and shock.

          "Are you sure?" he asked the other person.

          "Yes, sir," the voice on the phone replied. "You've one a week-long cruise on our new ship, the Forenta. We'll have a taxi out to pick you up next month for the flight out."

          They talked a bit more, and soon the Giant was as bright as a new light bulb. He hung up the phone with a grin and chuckled a bit.

          "Today must be my lucky day, eh? Now I just wish I had someone to share this prize with," he said. When nothing happened, he frowned. "Oh well, it was worth a try," he added, tossing a coin in his hand. With a toss, it landed in a flower pot by the window. "Oh yeah, I have to water the plants," he observed absently.

          Fens knew what was coming next. As soon as the water hit the coin, the shimmering returned. The bird sighed.

          A knock on the door followed. The Giant turned, putting the watering can on the desk in the back of the bird room. A tall, blonde woman in a shimmering red dress stood behind the door. She smiled at him through the window and waved. He opened the door, one eyebrow raised.

          "Can I help you?" he said gruffly, opening the shop door.

          "Hi, mister!" she said cheerily. "I'm new in the neighborhood, and a little lonely." She stuck out her lower lip in a mock pout. "I was hoping you could show me around and I'll buy you a drink in exchange."

           The Giant was stunned. At first he said nothing, just simply stared, not realizing his eyes were wandering down her figure.

          "Hey, my eyes are up here, silly," she giggled. He looked back up at her and just nodded.

          "Sure, I'll show you around," he said finally. "I might not be as young as I was, but I'll manage."

          "Great!" she replied. "I'm Jasmine, by the way."

          "Carl," the Giant said. He smiled and held an arm for her, which she promptly grasped, and the odd pair left as fast as they had met.

          Fens sighed. "This is not good," he said mostly to himself.

          "I agree," Kiwi nodded. "He's pretty greedy if you ask me. We can't let this go on."

          "W-wot can we do?" Rory asked, his voice cracking. "Weh jus' a bunch of b-buhds!"

          As if in answer, Sparty's door swung open. Fens hadn't noticed she'd been fiddling with it for the last few hours. She grinned at him and flapped to the top of her hanging cage.

          "Told youse I gotta plan," she said, looking down at the hummingbird.

 

           Carl returned very late. The sky was already dark, but the man's face was visibly pink. Fens wasn't  sure if it was from the drinks or from the many kisses the woman was giving him. The hummingbird tried to not gag. Humans had such disgusting ways of showing affection. Carl finally closed the door and told Jasmine goodnight as he hummed a tune into the kitchen. The bird silently prayed that he wouldn't make any more wishes.

          "I tink I got 'em all," Sparty hissed, flapping back to her cage. She hopped back in and shut the door just as the Giant returned to check his flock. The small sack she carried landed with a soft jingle at the bottom of her cage and the other birds cringed, hoping he didn't notice. Much to Fens' relief, he didn't seem to as he refilled the water dispensers in the cages with a yawn. Fens and his neighbor Kestrel held their breath as he passed by their cages, the makeshift change purse sitting in the shadows behind the female bird.

          "It's not there," he heard her hiss. "You don't see no change poise."

          Almost as if it actually worked, Carl yawned again and headed through the kitchen to find his bedroom. The pair sighed in relief, which was echoed by the rest of the room.

          "At least fuh now he can't make no wishes," Sparty stated with a nod.

          "For now," Fens agreed.

 

          The next morning was greeted by a lot of shouting. The old man had lost his change purse which provided most of his entertainment for the entire day.

          "Where is that gone-farnit thing?" he bellowed, throwing papers around. He stalked into the bird room and went about digging through bags of seed and pellets, grumbling all the way. "Where is it?"

          He paced around the cages, until something familiar caught his eye. Sparty was sleeping, even through the noise, which surprised Fens. He was a rather light sleeper, much to his dismay. The old man stomped towards the Kestrel's cage, an expression of hatred across his face.

          "Sparty!" Fens hissed. "Sparty, wake up!"

          The Kestrel replied with a series of mumbles that sounded like "five more minutes," but she was cut short by the intense shaking of her cage by a very angry Giant.

          "Is that my change purse?" he bellowed as the disheveled bird. "Is that my coins?" he demanded. Without waiting for any kind of answer, he ripped the door open and grabbed her, nearly yanking poor Sparty off her perch. She screeched and bit, which resulted in another roar from the Giant, who then loosened his grip. She took off flying around the room, screeching and shouting curses, which of course the human didn't understand, but Fens and Kiwi could well enough.

          "W-we've been f-found out! To the bomb sheltuh! Evereh buhd for th'mselfs!" Rory contributed.

          "Would you shut it?" Kiwi snapped. Rory, thinking better of disobeying, quickly became quiet.

          "What were you doing with my dang change purse, you stupid bird?" Carl bellowed, waving his arms around. He climbed up on various chairs trying to recapture Sparty, he promptly pooped on his head. He growled and wiped his face with a sleeve. "Dang-nabbit! I'll get you for this!" he promised at the angry bird.

           "Hows about I git you instead?" she screeched, not that he could understand her. She dove and swiped the change purse right from his hand, resulting in another angry bellow. She took off with it, flying for a window, but smacked right into the glass. She saw stars for a second, but recovered. She turned to find the human nearly right on her and took off quickly. A single penny escaped the open back and hit Carl smack on the head. He growled and grabbed the coin, throwing it across the room.

          Fens held his breath and watched as it rolled across the floor. It was as if everything was going in slow motion. It stopped in a tiny puddle that must have been from a leak in the roof and a sinking feeling hit Fens.

          "I wish this dang bird would calm down!" Carl yelled, swiping for her.

          Sparty could no longer feel herself in control of her own body. A golden shimmer enveloped her body and forced her to land on the desk, placing the change purse beside her obediently. The Giant blinked as he watched, then picked up the sack with all the change. He extended a finger for Sparty, who unexpectedly stepped up, which she was not trained to do, the shimmering golden glow still surrounding her, and placed her back in the cage and closed the door.

          "Dang it! Fens dis is all your fault!" she chirped angrily, the glow dissipating. He knew it was, even if he couldn't control it. He sighed, feeling utterly helpless.

          "Well, that's over," the man stated, not sure what else to say. He set about picking up spilled coins around the floor. When he came to the penny that sat in the puddle, he stopped.

          "I wonder," he mused, wiping the penny off. He walked over to the watering can, still sitting on the desk from last night and tossed the coin into it. It landed with a soft plop. "I wish I had an apple."

          The shimmering in Fens' cage was quick, and in seconds a large, red apple sat on the desk in front of Carl.

          "Well, I'll be," the man said, picking up the apple to inspect it. It was indeed a lovely apple. He tried again, tossing a coin in the watering can. "I wish I had a piece of apple pie."

          Once again, the shimmering lasted only a second. Fens was glad wish energy didn't weigh that much, or his cage would be noticeably heavier by now.

          The pie was delicious. Carl made "mmm" and "yum" sounds as he walked into the kitchen munching it. Fens hoped that was it for a while, but he didn't know how long a while would be. He hoped it was a few months, but he knew that was asking too much.

          So Carl, enjoying his pie, wandered about the house, trying to think of things he wanted. Now he could get whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, so it was only natural to relish in this new discovery for a time.

          But after a while, he had run out of things to wish for. He now had a nice sports car, a big screen TV, and he had just hired a personal cook at next to nothing. He would be showing up later to make a gourmet dinner to earn his weekly check $0. Wishes really can come true, he mused, and quite literally.

          He relaxed in a fancy new office chair in the bird room, listening the the soft chirps from his residents, though he understood nothing. A thought struck him. What if he could understand them? He grinned, and tossed a penny in the watering can that now sat on the desk.

          At first nothing happened. He was a little annoyed and grumbled, crossing his arms. Then, suddenly, a bright light shimmered out of the corner of his eye. Had it been morning, he wouldn’t have even noticed it. But the dim light of the onsetting evening made it much easier to see.

          The light was coming from one of the bird’s cages. He stood up and paced over to the cage of a bird he just caught last week - the hummingbird. The light, golden in color, shimmered brighter and brighter until it stopped abruptly. Fens looked up from the perch and chirped at the man.

          “You idiot! Leave me alone!”

          Carl took a step back and held his head in surprise.

          “It’s you!” he exclaimed, pointing at the hummingbird. “You’re making my wishes come true!”

          “Stupid human!” Sparty screeched. “Git away from da boid or I rip ya eyes out!”

          Carl, surprised this bird was threatening him, or that it was speaking at all, blinked in surprise.

          “Why ya so suh-prised, losah? Youse da one dat wished fuh dis!” she spat.

          “Oh my god,” Carl gasped. “You know what this means?” he asked to no one in particular. “This bird will make me millions!” He began to laugh in triumph and raced over to the phone book, searching for a number. He found it quickly and dialed it on the desk phone, waiting in excited silence.

          “What in God’s name is he doing?” Kiwi asked with a frown.

          “Whatever it is, it’s probably not good,” Fens said, fluffing his feathers in apprehension.

          “Shut up, stupid birds!” Carl commanded. Then, changing his tone, he spoke to the person on the other end of the line. “Yes, hello. This is Carl Jenkins, owner of the local bird shop. I would like to reserve a booth for tomorrow in the park.” He paused, listening, then continued. “Oh, just wanted to bring in more customers is all. Yes, yes, all of my papers checked out. Alright, thank you!” With that he hung up.

          Pacing over to Fens’ cage, he grinned at the little hummingbird. “Get some shuteye, my star birdy,” he said patronizingly. “Tomorrow you make your debut!” He was so excited and giddy, he nearly skipped away as the back doorbell rang for his new cook.

          “W-woi do oi ‘ave a b-bad feewin’ abou’ t-this?” Rory stuttered.

          “Fuh once, yuh paranoia is right,” Sparty nodded. “Dis can’t be good.”

 

          The next morning, Fens was awakened by a rough jarring of his cage. He fell off the perch and landed in a small puddle of liquified wish energy. With a gasp, he sat up and scrambled around in his bag. The container he was supposed to have delivered back to Greenbrook a week ago had popped open and was now leaking out everywhere. He desperatly tried to scoop it back into the bottle, but only got about a quarter of it in before it leaked all over the newsprint at the bottom of the cage. He quickly corked it prayed it would stay closed. If he ever got out of here, the wish energy alone would power Greenbrook for ages. He sighed, hoping this small glimmer of hope was enough to keep him going. He wrapped it in the sack, hoping to cushion in a waited.

          The sound of an engine startled him, and he realized he was in a car. What was he doing in a car?

          He heard Carl grumbling some things, but ignored it. The air was still freezing; he fluffed his feathers to keep warm. The car continued growling, and finally began to move. The gravel driveway made the ride less than desierable, but soon the road began to smooth out.

          The drive lasted for about fifteen minutes, then Carl stopped and yanked open the door. While he was much gentler picking up the cage the second time, it still started Fens.

          “Be careful!” he protested. “I’m not as young as I used to be!”

          Carl, still not used to being able to understand the bird, frowned. “Shush. This won’t take long.”

          Fens scowled.

          Carl arrived at the park to see some men setting up his booth next to a local Psychic’s. On his other side was a stand for the library. Normally, the park was empty, but this week was the homecoming celebrations, so it was the perfect place to introduce his new money-making plan.

          “Carl Jenkins?” one of the men asked. Carl just nodded and they headed off to another booth. He set down the cage on the table and set about making his booth look somewhat decent.

          The sign above his head read “Carl’s Magic Birds,” in plain Impact font. Underneath the header in smaller letters it said “Your wish is our command!” Glad he had given the booth some though, he extracted a piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it. It stated a series of rules that customers could wish for: No extravagant wishes, no wishes that could harm Carl Jenkins or his Magic Bird, no wishes that will cause major natural disasters or likewise. One wish per customer, pay upfront. $10 per wish. He then set a bucket about half full of water next to his seat in preparation.

          A few customers passed by the stand, amused at his attempt to make money, a few actually stopped and asked him about it. When he explained what he sold, most just laughed and walked away. However, one young child become rather curious, and after begging his mother to allow him to try, she finally gave in. The woman reluctantly handed over a ten dollar bill and waited.

          “So, what would you like to wish for?” Carl asked, trying to sound friendly.

          “I wish for a puppy!” the boy exclaimed.

          “Alright, let’s say it together,” Carl said, pulling a penny from his pocket behind the table. “I wish for a puppy!” As both of them repeated the wish, Carl tossed the penny into the bucket.

          All four of them, including Fens, waited. The golden shimmer burst from under Fens as the scroll was made, and swiftly delivered, granting the boys wish, and suddenly, a small cocker spaniel puppy shimmered into existance right on the table in ront of Carl.

          “Wow!” the little boy exclaimed. The woman said nothing, too stunned to speak. “Mommy, can we keep him?”

          The woman hadn’t expected it to work, so she didn’t even know what to say. She simply shepherded her son off, the little puppy barking joyfully.

          “I have a feeling this is going to be a long day,” Fens sighed.

          “We’re just getting started,” Carl snickered, rubbing his hands together.

 

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