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Cleo James
Wish upon a... feather
Wed Feb 14, 2018 06:34

Cleo stood at the wishing well. It had been two days since Parker had sent the owl. She had reread the letter a couple of times but it still didn’t fully make sense to her. One thing it had said though was ‘write back soon.’ She had no idea how. ‘Soon’ was not ‘straight away’ though, and so she could keep telling herself not to feel too guilty, although the clock was ticking on that one, and she was nervous about running into Parker before she’d replied. She’d rediscovered the fact that students could get snacks outside of meal times, and the Prairie Elves were always keen to oblige, so she had managed to figure out a way to eat whilst keeping her distance from most people, which lessened that risk.

She had been rather startled when the owl flew in her window. Not that that way of getting the post was new to her but she’d kind of designated her room as the Official Impenetrable Fortress of Solitude. Ok, there were a bunch of other Crotalus girls in the corridor beyond, but she didn’t think any of them really wanted to talk to her or hang out with her, and she had her ghost bodyguard who she could tell on them to if she didn’t want them around.

Her first reaction on reading Parker’s letter had been panic. Who had told him? Someone had to have told him. The birdfish story hit far too close to home. But she hadn’t felt like confronting Professor Skies over that. She hadn’t felt like talking any more about this with her Head of House, and if someone had let it slip, then she blamed Professor Skies, and it was easier to just be angry and indignant at her from afar than to actually try to have a grown up conversation where she wouldn’t be allowed to yell because Professor Skies was a teacher and the deputy headmistress. After she had calmed down a bit, she had reread Parker’s letter. She noticed the opening sentiments, which had been driven from her mind by the panic over her secret being disclosed, and was touched, even if she still didn’t know how any of it got better, and even though she didn’t think Parker would really understand if he knew the truth. He’d had to come to magic school and lose some friends… It wasn’t the same. The birdfish thing still threw her though, especially as Parker had signed himself either as a birdfish or a friend to birdfishes. It was ambiguous - it looked more like the former but that didn’t make sense to her. The non-humanness of the analogy hit her way too literally for her to understand how Parker, who was fully human, might consider himself a birdfish.

The feather had seemed simpler though. It was for wishing, and he had given her permission to do that alone. She knew it wasn’t what he wanted really, but she didn’t have space for what other people wanted right now. It had taken her a couple of days to brave going out, and to think about what she might wish for. There was one thing she dearly wanted - to just be human. But she knew that was impossible. She did not want to give up the childish fantasy that wishes could come true, but she was adult enough to know that meant tempering her wishes to fool herself and preserve her own pretend belief.

She ran her fingers along the feather, a little sad at giving it up. It sounded stupid but she’d felt less alone waking up and seeing it on her bedside table the last two mornings.

Bye feather… she thought sadly, as she held it over the well. She focussed on the wish, and let it fall from her fingers. I wish for this to get better.

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