05 Dec

I watched as the bird people dove towards the beach. My brain was scattered. Too much had just happened, and now I was in genuine mortal danger. 


What should I do?!

Without thinking, I threw the fireball right at the group of five. It wasn’t going to hit.

Dammit! Stupid fu-

Suddenly, the man all the way to the right of their formation burst into flames. It must’ve just nicked him; it’d started at his wingtip. 

Whatever I did started a chain reaction: The one I managed to hit slammed his comrade to the left, who flew into the next. The flame spread to the man’s two comrades, causing them all to plummet into the ocean. 

Now down to two of the flying-men remaining, I attempted to summon a second fireball but found only sparks.

Wha- how?! 

They finally landed on the shore, not having any other options.

Screw it. 

I immediately ran up to one that was running towards me, yelling my head off. He looked confused and panicked, if only for a moment. It was all I needed; Once I was close enough, I swung my knee upwards nearly blindly to where I hoped his nuts would be. Fire at night had that disadvantage; it wrecked my built up night vision. Luckily I guessed right, and the bird-person squealed in pain, before collapsing onto the ground. 

With only one still standing, I tried one last time to summon a fireball. 

Why isn’t it working?! How does one even ‘summon’ a fireball?! 

I didn’t have time to think of a solution because the last man was already right on top of me, his fist connecting with my jaw. 

Disoriented I stumbled back, managing not to fall on my ass. The fist connected once more in an uppercut, and I fell backwards into the sand. 

That didn’t last long. 

I got a good look at the man’s face as he crouched over me, getting ready to pummel the shit out of me.

Rage. It was written all over his face. 

Flashes of the last time I was in the village filled my mind. Then too I was knocked on the ground. 

“Fucking disgrace!” 


I saw the villager’s foot slam into my abdomen right as the birdman’s fist slammed into my face. Blood splattered into the sand. Rage. The birdman was furious. 

I saw the village burning, people screaming, futility running away only to be picked off with no mercy. 

Rage was something I too was all too familiar with. 

I clenched my jaw and endured one more punch. As the birdman wound up for another strike, I turned my palms upwards towards him, and a raging inferno exploded out from them. Shrieking, the birdman lept off of me, smacking futility at his feathers and animal skins covering the man’s body.

While my enemies were either down or distracted, I scrambled to my feet and darted away. If any of them could recover, I would be as good as dead. 

I ran past the burned ashes of my village into the protection of the jungle. 

God, my face hurts. 

I made sure to keep as quiet as possible, and normally I would be. I know this jungle like the back of my hand. But my vision was swimming, and I couldn’t rid the taste of blood from my mouth.

It would take quite some time for any of them to regroup and begin a search, if that's even worth it. I was sure of it.  I headed towards the volcano at the center of our island and found an obscured cave to hide in for the night, confident they wouldn't be able to find me easily. I laid down and fell asleep, sleeping great for the fact I had just been in the first fight of my life and seeing everyone I've ever known dead.

I don’t think I could even call it sleep. Who am I kidding? My body shut down, and the next time I was conscious, the next day’s sun was already setting. My entire face was throbbing. The spot where I’d laid my head was a bloody drool puddle, and I felt like I was rotting. 

I really need a bath

I looked up at the sky, the angry orange fireball that was the sun aggravating the shit out of my migraine. Four of the birdmen were still circling the sky above the island, searching for me. 

Only four. 

I must’ve managed to kill someone with that initial fireball. Holy shit. 

Holy. Shit.  

I sat down and just stared for awhile. I actually had murdered someone. Their life had ended because of me.

I wondered which one it was. If they had a family, if they had kids. I shook as I stared at my hands, now forever stained by death. I didn’t want this. 

What have I gotten myself into...

Soon enough nightfall occurred once again, and I noticed the four finally flying off. I quickly climbed a tree to get a better look at where they were heading, and it seemed like they were leaving. 

Either they thought I was dead, or they most likely did not have the supplies to stay out for much longer. I took my chance and climbed down, running back to my hut and cleaning myself up. I grabbed as much supplies as I could gather- various dried fruits and meats, clean drinking water, animal skin to hide from the sun and or cold. 

Once I had enough to survive, I went to my secluded stretch of beach and grabbed the small raft I would use for fishing out from where I’d tucked it hidden in the brush. It was a wooden platform of sorts held together with woven fiber, and it had three slots that could easily fit slender wooden poles to drape the suncloth over. 

I could remember a day in my early childhood when I’d watched my father leave the island, set out for a journey to distant lands. I hadn’t really understood it at the time, how could there be more places out there in the vast blue that seemed to stretch on endlessly? 

I remembered the boat my dad had left on. It had a sailcloth, used to harness the wind to travel great distances. I knew that I wasn’t going to get far with just my measly oar. Quickly I put up the center pole and tied the suncloth to it, fashioning a makeshift sail. Well, there was only one way to test if it would work. 

I dragged my raft into the water and waded in as far as I could take it before I hopped on. In the dark of night I paddled furiously to get myself out of the safety of the safe, shallow waters that surrounded the entire island and into the deep blues my people had cautioned me from entering my entire life. 

And for the first time in my life, I left the only place I’d ever known.

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