To read the entire series click Night Wings link at the top of the page.
I am exhausted and should be asleep but every time I close my eyes, scenes from this night play over and over. The freedom of flying through the night. The shock and terror when they were attacked. Pictures of Ryall lying there hurt, wings changing from the beautiful midnight blue to gray to almost transparent and back again. Emelia with her eyes shut, white blond hair streaming. The eschatometer glowing – and just what IS that thing supposed to do? The moment we joined and power flowed in and through us to heal Ryall. It was not just healing, somehow – it was about us becoming more.
Until tonight there was danger, but it was a vague thing hiding in the corner. Now it has a face and a weapon and it perches over the door waiting to hurt us.
Us. I am becoming a part of this group – we are an us, as opposed to them. My family is part of them. Mattie is part of them. How do they feel about what the paper said? Do they think I could be their daughter one day and a stranger that would tear up their water supply the next? This is bad. This is chest hurting, run away, don’t want to be a grown-up bad.
Ryall went to sleep still holding my hand and I know there is a bond there between us. Is it just that we share flying? I don’t think so. I’ve had friends, even a boyfriend for awhile. It’s different with Ryall. He knows me. I’m never nervous talking to him. It’s everything else that confuses and scares me now. What happened when we all joined with Emelia to heal Ryall? I thought we just had our individual gifts. There had been stories about what the papers were calling “reborns”, but nothing about sharing gifts.
So how am I supposed to figure all this out when the only real things are the warmth of Ryall’s hand, Emelia whimpering in her sleep, Ralph over there snoring, and a feeling of my life being out of control. My eyes are burning and tears are right there, but I am not going sit here and cry in the dark. I will learn to be strong for Ryall, and for the rest of my new friends.
The only thing I am certain about tonight, is that I can’t survive without my friends. I lost my family. I wonder if my mom cried when Mattie told her why I was gone. Does my dad miss me, or does he just go on to work like he always did? Come home to the paper and dinner and his pipe? Who watches over Mattie now?
Ryall says it is too dangerous to go back and check on them. Mekaneks will watch the house for awhile. Others have been caught that way, and so I will wait and learn to take care of my new family. Ryall is kind of their unofficial leader. Where do I fit in with that? He doesn’t give orders or try to take over. There is just something about him that makes you respect and trust him. I don’t think he likes it. He just wanted to help people like him. Like us. Sometimes when the others look to him for a decision or advice, there is a frightened look in his eyes just for a second. I don’t think anyone else even notices. If we were all normal, he would be the quiet guy that sits in the back of the class and never participates but gets decent grades and just kind of flies under the radar. Ha ha, flies under the radar. I guess I am beyond tired if that seems funny to me.
Ryall squeezes my hand in his sleep, as though he knows what I am thinking somehow. That thought makes me shiver. After tonight, I believe anything is possible, except sleep.