Sing Little Birdy Sing.

Running, Crashing through the greedy branches as they caressed my skin.

Chased, Pursued, Caught.

My name is Nightingale, like the bird

My sister's name is Mockingbird.

My brother is Jay, his twin is Cardinal.

My mother loved birds, but she's dead, and we're next.

We separated Jay with me, and Cardinal with Mockingbird.

We didn't know what our mother had been working on, but it had gotten her killed. Our father lone gone could not help us.

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8. Point of no Return

I sit next to the windows, the broken one allowing the bitter wind from the Louisiana storm to enter our pathetic excuse for a sanctuary. Mockingbird sat on a bed, Rue playing with her black hair absentmindedly. They were both worried about Jay, Cardinal and Harrison. I cried for my brothers they had been gone for two days. Jay told me if he and Card disappear that Mock and I should run and never look back and just leave without a second thought, take his truck and go. Mock would never allow it, but I had to think of our safety and I trusted Jay, if he said to run after two days of him and Card being missing then we should do it. But now, we were alone. Sure Dru and Rue were here, but they weren't my brave older brothers. Without realizing it I started to sing Demi Lovato's Nightingale, I don't know why, I just felt it was time to release something into the tension filled air.

"I can't sleep tonight, wide awake and so confused,
Everything's in line, but I am bruised.
I need a voice to echo, I need a light to take me home,
I kinda need a hero, is it you?

I never see the forest or the trees,
I could really use your melody,
Baby I'm a little blind, I think it's time, for you to find me,

Can you be my nightingale,
Sing to me I know you're there,
You could be, my sanity,
Bring the keys, send me to sleep,
Say you'll be my nightingale,

Somebody speak to me,
'Cause I'm feeling like hell,
Need you to answer me, I'm overwhelmed,
I need a voice to echo, I need a light to take me home,
I need a star to follow, I don't know."

I get up and started pounding at the walls, dancing around the room, I was tired of just sitting still,

"I never see the forest or the trees,
I could really use your melody,
Baby I'm a little blind, I think it's time, for you to find me,

Can you be my nightingale,
Sing to me I know you're there,
You could be, my sanity,
Bring the keys, send me to sleep,
Say you'll be my nightingale,

I don't know what I'd do without you,
Your words are like a whisper come true,
As long as you're with me here tonight, I'm good.

Can you be my nightingale,
Feel so close, I know you're there,
Oh-oh-oh, Nightingale,
Sing to me, I know you're there.
Cause baby you're, my sanity,
You bring me peace, send me to sleep,
Say you'll be my nightingale."
 

When I finished, I was breathing heavily and my fist was covered in plaster. Mock looked up at me and whispered,

"That was beautiful Nightingale. But did you really have to destroy the room more than it already was?" her failed attempt at a joke made me crack a smile.

"Yes, yes I did." she laughed. She laughed for the first time in days, she stopped though and got all gloomy again, "They're not coming back, are they?" I knew who she was talking about. I just didn't want to face the facts just yet.

"No they're not coming Mock. Jay said I had to get you out of here if he and Card disappeared for a long period of time. Pack your things. We leave at the crack of dawn." I closed the shades and set my alarm to 5:30 in the morning. I then crawled into bed next to Dru, and fell into a nightmare plagued sleep. My alarm woke me, and the rest of us. There was only four of us. Dru, Rue, me, and Mock. I woke them all and got our things. I got out the cash Jay had left behind. When we reached the lobby I slapped one hundred dollars on the counter and we continued out to the truck. I put all our meager belongings in the back and we all crawled into the cab. I stared at the steering wheel for a few minutes before I started up the Rust Bucket. Dru held onto my leg as I pulled out of the shabby highway motel.

I drove for miles, passing state borders without looking back. My passengers falling in and out of sleep. I wasn't tired, I was afraid to sleep. When I realized we had passed the point of no return I found the nearest motel and pulled in for the night. We went from Louisiana to Arizona in three days. Dru carried our stuff into the room I rented and I collapsed onto a bed and drifted into an uneasy sleep. I dreamt of flying and falling. Of people dying and Jay and Card in trouble somewhere. I woke up to my throat dryer then the Sahara. I then remembered I wasn't in humid Louisiana I was in bone dry Arizona. I pulled myself out of bed and went into the bathroom. I turned on the faucet to the coldest the water would go and put my head underneath. The cold water against my chapped lips and throat was both satisfying and it made it worse, when I lifted my head and inhaled my lips were set on fire and it reminded me of my dreams filled with fire. I rushed to the motel shop and bought a cheap tube of lip balm.

 

When I neared the room, I heard screams. They weren't screams of pleasure, but of fear. I knocked down the door my knife in hand. They weren't in trouble at all, Rue and Mock were watching a B-Movie on cable. I growled in annoyance and went back to the bed I shared with Dru. 

"Could you turn it down? I heard it at the elevator." Mock looked at me enough to say 'I'm sorry for worrying you.' and turned the TV to mute. I covered my head to block out the brightness and fell back asleep. I dreamt of Jay and Card running further into the fire eaten forest, the nutrient hungry saplings clawing at their identical faces. I don't remember screaming, until someone shook me awake. I shot up in bed crying. 

"Nightingale its alright it was just a dream." Dru whispered.

"My dreams are never 'just dreams.' Dru. They are real."

"Tell me your dream then."

"Jay and Card are dead." Mock shot up in bed and looked at me. Like she knew what I had revealed moments before she opened her eyes. 

"Night take that back! Jay and Cardinal are not dead!" she angrily whispered to me.

"Mockingbird, stop living in your perfect world where nothing bad ever happens! If you haven't noticed we aren't exactly in Shreveport anymore! Mom is dead and so is dad. So logically we can assume our twin brothers are as well." I shot back at her. I hadn't meant it as to sound so harsh. I realized what I had done when the tears sprang up into her eyes and she flew out of the room. I ran after her, I left Dru and Rue to ask themselves what was going on. 

 

I found her a little ways away on a bench outside the elevators. I  sat down next  to her without saying anything, and she looked at me silently.

"I overreacted I'm sorry." she whispered. I sat there for a moment before speaking,

 

"I shouldn't have been so harsh. I'm sorry." Mockingbird looked up at me and smiled a very small smile before putting her hand in mine.

 

"We've got to protect them. They're all we have." she whispered.

 

"I know. I won't let anything happen to them or you."

 

"Promise?"

 

"I promise Mock." I stood up and led her back to the room.

 

"We have to leave soon right?"

 

"Yes, until we're out of the country we can't stop for more than a few days." I replied. The room was dark again and I flipped the switch on, Dru was asleep again, half his body without coverage and he hugged a pillow (my pillow) to his chest, and Rue was silently watching the moon. The light didn't seem to faze her. Nothing fazed Rue. Except Mockingbird. I smiled as Mock placed her small hand on Rue's shoulder, urging her back to bed. The tear tracks on both our faces were sticky and shone in the moonlight. Rue didn't dare ask how Mock was handling the death of her family. Instead Rue pulled Mock onto her lap and just held her there.

 

"Sleep now darling daughter,

You are never alone.

Sleep peacefully now.

Let my words lull you to your dreams.

GO with my love, let my words lead you to your dreams.

Sleep now darling daughter,

Mama will be here when you wake.

Let you dream of laughter

Of hills made of whipped cream 

and trees of lollipops.

Sleep now darling daughter.

You are so loved, you are never alone.

My little songbird go to sleep rest peacefully in your nest.

Mama will be here when you open those beautiful wide eyes.

Sleep now my darling song bird. Mama is never far away.

Its time now, my darling daughters for your nightly rest."

 

I finished the song mother had written for us and both Rue and Mockingbird were fast asleep in the chair. I went over to where Dru slept and carefully retrieved my pillow from his death hold. I slid in beside him, thinking of the song and the fact that somewhere in your life, running from the government or simply carrying on a normal life, you cross the point of no return. I knew I had to move them soon. I had to show Mock how to transform into a Mockingbird.

 

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