The cold air pressed itself against his feathers, pushing towards the back of his wings and pushing him to glide to a lower altitude. Below him passed forests full of wildlife. The animals within it were undisturbed, content in their natural habitat, miles away from any city. They all blended in well with the greens of the plants and the browns of the trees, but he could clearly see a rabbit munching on some grass. It's brown fur was a lighter shade than the trunks, and was not even close to the deep shades of green that the grass had. He let out a loud screech and dived downwards, warning other birds that this rabbit was his. The rabbit perked its ears up and paused, looking around. It spotted the large bald eagle and bolted away from the grass, running through the forest and jumping around the roots of the huge trees. Smaller birds curiously watched the bird of prey chase after the rabbit, now gliding through the branches of the trees with its eyes locked onto the rodent. It was flying extremely fast, like a miniature feathered jet. Once again, he screeched and dove down towards the rabbit. The eagle dug his claws into the rabbit's back and slammed into it, pecking it with his beak multiple times. The rabbit died quickly and rather painlessly.
He pulled the rabbit up from the ground and flew through the leaves of a tree, carrying the rabbit in his talons. He was going to find a nice little place to eat, seeing as he no longer had a nest. He needed to find a new nest, a new home. A new mate. The eagle's eyes scanned the carpet of trees, and after a few minutes descended towards a tall and large pine tree. The leaves of the tree were unpleasantly sharp, but it was very tall, and the higher the altitude, the better. He dropped the rabbit onto the large branch and landed. The eagle examined the area, watching for signs of other eagles or birds, and decided this would be a perfectly fine place to feast. He turned and stabbed his peak into the flesh of his prey, awarding him with a hole that lead to a bounty of meat.
As he ate through the shoulders of the hare, the eagle suddenly froze up, his feathers sticking straight down. His pupils decreased to an extremely small size as the entire world shifted before him. The instinctual urge to find a new mate and eat the food he just hunted faded into the back of his mind, replaced by a new urge. He had to fly farther north, he had to find another eagle. No, he didn't need to find another eagle, he needed to find a two-legs. The bloody haunch of meat before him was no longer important, nor was the partial emptiness in his stomach. It was absolutely necessary for him to go towards this two-legs, to meet and and guide him. Without another thought, the majestic bald eagle leaped from the branch and snapped open his wings, which were about 77 inches end to end. Again, he felt the cool air pressing against his feathers and shifted himself so that he could rise to a much higher altitude. He needed to get there now. He needed to find this two-legs.
Kenny shot up in his bed, sweat dripping down his face. He sat there, breathing heavily for a few moments, and regained his composure. He was not an eagle, and he did not just kill a rabbit - he was Kenneth Daniel Snow. He was a fourteen-year-old teenager who lived in Canada. Kenny sat there in his bed, sweat still clinging to his t-shirt and boxers, still trying to gain his composure. The dream he had was extremely unusual and extremely confusing. It was the most vivid dream he had ever experienced, and it truly felt as if he were an eagle. Kenny still remembered how the air felt against his feathers, and the way the rabbit's blood leaked down his beak after biting into it.
"Kenneth, Rachel! Come eat breakfast, dears, it's 9:00 A.M. and you two need to get started on your days!" Shouted a voice from beyond the door to his bedroom. Kenny stood up, watching the door and remembering that that disembodied voice was his mother, downstairs. Kenny looked down at his tan hands and grimy fingernails, then looked back up at the door. Then he examined his surroundings.
Kenny's room was small, but it contained lots of 'toys'. All over the black walls were posters of videogames such as Halo, Call of Duty, and The Elder Scrolls. Right in front of his twin sized bed was a 32 inch flat screen, mounted on the wall. It was connected to an Xbox 360, which was right below it. To the left of Kenny was an old Dell computer. It was extremely slow, but the browser ran fast and that's all he needed, really.
The smell of bacon and eggs intruded through his senses, breaking through his trance and reminding him how damn good breakfast tasted. Kenny opened the door and walked through the hallway, turning left to walk down the stairs. He heard a door open behind him as he descended through the stairs, sure to be his sister exiting from her own room. Kenny walked into the kitchen, which was through a doorway right in front of the stairs, and grabbed a plate that had already been set out for him. His mother was wearing an apron and flipping pancakes. Kenny grabbed a glass of OJ and sat down at the kitchen's bar, stabbing a fork into his eggs to break the yolk.
"I don't know why you do that. It ruins the whole sunny-side up thing," Kenny's sister told him. He looked up at her, disgruntled. She grabbed her own plate and gave their mom a kiss on the cheek.
"Shut up, Rachel. Go fix your hair." Kenny replied grumpily. Rachel rolled her eyes and put a hand to her brunette hair. She discovered that the left side of it was puffed up. She shrugged and brushed it down a bit before giving up and setting her plate down next to Kenny's. Kenny poked at a piece of bacon, feeling the watching eyes of both his mother and his twelve-year-old sister. Kenny looked up. "What?"
His mother was a blonde woman in her late forties. She had hazel-colored eyes, constantly glazed over with a look of compassion and concern for her children. Kenny despised it. He could tell she was depressed right now, just by looking into those eyes. "You're sweating," his mother pointed out to him. Kenny shrugged and looked at his sister, who instantly shoved her hand into his face. She withdrew it quickly and smiled mischievously, her green eyes gleaming.
"He's burning up! Like, bad. Haha, you're sick, Kenneth!" Rachel exclaimed in a singsong voice. Their mom nervously walked around the bar, wiping her oily hands on her apron, and put the right one to his forehead. She withdrew it slowly and nodded.
"Yes, you're very hot, Kenny. I'm afraid you need to stay in today, dear, and recover." She told him nervously. Kenny shook his head and glared at his mother, but then caught himself and watched her with a softer expression.
"I'm fine, mom. I just had a weird dream and too many blankets on." Kenny told her. He looked back down at his eggs and scooped up a bit. Kenny shoved the mouthful of food into his mouth, trying to eat as casually as possible.
But he was still wary of the eyes watching him. His mother went back to flipping pancakes, but as she put two onto both of her children's plates, Kenny caught her watching him. When he reached for the syrup, Rachel still had her eyes trained on him. After he once again saw them staring at them as he put the syrup back, Kenny slammed his fork down on the bar table. His mothered jumped up in surprise, and Rachel just giggled. "I'm fine, for the love of God!" Kenny grabbed a piece of bacon and jumped off of his bar stool. "Ramsey's in town. He and I are going to try to finish our History project. We have the Nooksack tribe, which I know nothing about, so I got stuff to do." Kenny ran upstairs and into his black room. He felt sweat coming down his nose again, but didn't mind it. He was always comfortable in the heat, anyways. Kenny changed clothes and walked back down the stairs. He turned to the right, messing with his phone, and walked into his mother. Kenny paused and looked up at her, standing at the doorway.
"Don't you want to shower, honey?" she asked him. Kenny shook his head, staring back down at his phone. She sniffed him and smiled. "You smell, stinky."
Kenny rolled his eyes and nudged his mother a bit, indicating that he wanted her to move. "I'm gonna shower at Ramsey's house, mom. He's rich, there's like six different showers there," he said. His mom still watched him nervously and nodded after a moment or two, then stepped aside. Kenny patted his jean's pocket to make sure he had his wallet then walked out the door, still staring at his phone. Kenny was texting a girl named with who he had been flirting with for a while.
<9:32 A.M.>Alexis:No, I finished it already.
<9:34 A.M.> Me: Really? What was yours over?
<9:35 A.M.> Alexis: Mine was over the Chili-whack...thing.
<9:36 A.M.> Me: You mean the Chilliwack?? LOL. Doesn't sound like you learned much from the project.
<9:36 A.M.> Alexis: Shut up! I got a better grade than you on the History Exam!
<9:38 A.M.> Me: Touche.
<9:45 A.M.> Me: Hey, do you wanna go see a movie tonight?
Kenny watched his phone as he walked down the street in his neighborhood, passing by row after row of monotonous and similar houses. It had been ten minutes, and still Alexis hadn't responded. Ugh. Kenny admitted defeat and clicked the top of his phone, watching as the screen blinked off into standby. He put it into his pocket and breathed in the scent of car exhaust and freshly mowed grass. Not pleasant when mixed together. Kenny narrowed his eyes, observing the larger house down the street. It was huge, really. The mansion was four stories with a magnificent front door surrounded by marble columns. It had to be worth millions of dollars. This house was Ramsey's, who was an immigrant from Syria. Ramsey knew perfect English and Arabic, something Kenny envied. He only knew a little Spanish, and English was a useless language to him.
He stepped onto the steps of the large oak door and pressed his finger into the round doorbell. A pleasant chime rang throughout the house, and a few seconds later the doors opened. A girl stood in the doorway and immediately sneered. "What are you doing here, Kenny?" She asked. Kenny groaned and rolled his eyes.
"I don't want to hear it, Alima. Me and Ramsey need to work on the Canadian History project." Alima was Ramsey's twin sister. She wore a constant facade of sarcasm, arrogance, and hate, but Kenny knew she was a sad and broken person inside. Many a night was spent texting the girl, trying to calm her down while she was freaking out. Alima sneered again and walked away, leaving the door open behind her. Kenny walked in, looking up the grand spiraling staircase. Ramsey was standing at the top. "Hurry up, dude."
<11:13 A.M.> Alexis: No, I'm sorry, I got stuff to do.
Kenny stared at his phone, a sinking feeling of dread settling into his stomach.
"Alright man, we've done enough, we're almost done with the poster. I'm starving, I never ate breakfast. Why don't we go to Cool Beans?" Ramsey suggested. He shut the large Canadian History textbook and tossed it to the side, where it landed on the floor of the attic. The attic was a large, bare room, with white carpet on the floor. There were two 60 inch flatscreens, a pool table, and a Foosball table. Paper, scissors, glue, books, and pens were scattered around Ramsey and Kenny.
Ramsey poked Kenny, who was still staring at his phone. "Dude?" He asked. As his finger touched Kenny's side, multiple things happened at once.
First, Kenny's phone let out a loud screeching noise, and shut off. Ramsey let out a screeching noise of his own and rubbed his finger, where he had shocked himself by touching Kenny. He dismissed it as static electricity and all, but had no time to think of it as yet another squawking, screeching noises invaded his ears. It came from the window. Kenny and Ramsey both over at the window, where a bald eagle was perched. It was staring at Kenny. Not menacingly, but curiously. Ramsey's jaw dropped, and he did nothing but watch as Kenny stood up and walked to the window in a trance. He unhooked the latch and opened it. Still in a trance, Kenny reached his hand out to touch the eagle on its head. It responded by pecking him on the finger.
"Ow! Shit!" Kenny clutched his hand and jumped in the air, glaring at the bird. The eagle was unimpressed. What did the child expect him to do? He tried to touch him! Ramsey broke out in a fit of laughter while Kenny and the eagle stared each other down. Finally, Kenny reached his hand out again, but this time did not aim for the head. Kenny lay his hand on the eagles beak and physically flinched as a flurry of emotions, memories, and feelings slammed into him like he opened a floodgate. Among the memories was the memory of the eagle killing the rabbit, and then interrupting his own feast after gaining a new instinct. Kenny watched the memory through its entirety, the same memory he dreamed. He watched as the eagle flew as fast as he could to the town Kenny was in.
~Child.~ The voice that uttered the word within Kenny's mind was deep and solemn, as if spoken by an elderly God. Kenny knew instantly that it was the eagle whom spoke it - he could tell by the way it ruffled its - no. He could tell by the way HE ruffled HIS feathers. He communicated with physical signs as well as verbal language. Or, sort of verbal language. Mental language? Kenny nodded and stroked the bird's beak. "I am a child. I guess." Kenny admitted.
~Two-legs Child.~ This time the phrase seemed resentful and angry. Kenny did not feel emotions of hostility, and the eagle showed no sign of attacking, but the eagle made it very clear that two-legs part was like an insult. Kenny nodded. "Yes. I am a two-legged child."
Ramsey stood up and yawned dramatically. "As much as I would love to watch you talk to birds, I'm just gonna get a sandwich. I'll meet you at Cool Beans tomorrow, though, dude." He told Kenny. Kenny nodded absentmindedly. Ramsey shrugged and walked out the room, descending down the steps of the spiraling staircase towards the kitchen.
---------------~Cool Beans~, repeated the eagle. Kenny laughed and looked back up at the sky to confirm that he was still being followed by the bird of prey. Ever since Kenny exited Ramsey's house, the bird had followed, and the two shared memories and information about their native species. The eagle made it very clear that he hated 'Two-Legs', but he seemed to have a strange affection for Kenny. The entire walk towards Cool Beans did not only involve Kenny and this new avian friend getting to know one another, but it also was thinking time for Kenny. Many strange things had been happening today. The way his phone short-circuited while he was trying to compose himself in Ramsey's house. The dream he had of this bird. Yeah, the fact that he had been talking to a BIRD for the past half hour. Kenny looked down the side-walk and entered the eagle's mind again.
"I think I will call you Aeotos. It's the Greek word for Eagle." Kenny informed the eagle. Aetos was silent for a few moments as Kenny rounded the corner of the block.
~Aetos. Child. Cool Beans.~ He said after the silence. Kenny laughed. Those seemed to be the only words he knew, or maybe the only words he liked. Kenny paused, keeping up his brisk walk towards the coffee shop but stopping his train of thought. Why was it not stranger to him that he was talking to this eagle? Why was it not weird to him that he just named a BALD EAGLE? Why was he accepting this so easily? As Kenny turned the corner to the next block, he quickly realized he would not get the chance to dwell on it as something of more importance presented itself to him. A goddamn bear was right outside of Cool Beans.