The Order: The Origins of the Sky Sapphire
The sounds of birds chirping filled my room. I liked the sound and tried my best to return it as perfectly as I could. "Chirp chirp."
I loved the pretty blue birdies that made their nests right outside my bedroom window. The sounds they made were so pretty I could just lay back and listen to them all day.
That last one caught my ear; it was different. I had spent many hours listening to the chirps in an attempt to learn their language. Mother thought it was silly. "Birdies don't talk honey," she would say, but... I saw them. They would chirp, and the others would then do something. They had a language; it was just one mother didn't understand.
I walked over to my desk and grabbed a piece of bread and laid it down on my window ledge. I then tried to repeat the last chirp I heard. I think that guy was hungry.
The pretty little blue birdie flew over to my window and looked at my offering. He pecked carefully at first but then he paused. I became worried that he didn't like it, but he looked outside and chirped again. Four other birdies joined him, and they all began eating the bread with gusto.
It made me happy-
"Sky? You'd better be ready for school. The bus is going to be here soon," Mommy shouted.
Oh, the birdies would have to wait until next time. Before putting my shoes on to finish my morning school routine I wanted to mark my progress. I opened my notebook. The page listed what my birdies liked. They hadn't liked my first guesses of tuna or waffles or even the white bread, but they liked the wheat bread. My notebook was such a good friend, reminding me of all the things I forget.
Plus Daddy gave it to me before he left. So it reminded me of him, and I liked that. He didn't call it a birthday present but he gave it to me before a week before my fourteenth birthday, and I hadn't seen him since. So I think he meant to call it a birthday present.
As I was closing the book, I saw a glimpse of the last page which made me sad. It read: Smoke makes Mommies mean. Mommy likes it better alone when she is near smoke.
Mommy really liked the smoke. She liked it much more than me. It was probably because I was a bad girl. Looking down I felt bad; I didn't like it. I pinched the skin between my thumb and index finger as punishment and winced at the pain while doing it. Bad girls should be punished.
"Sky Uuno! What is taking you so long?" Mommy shouted. "You'd better not be late to school."
Oh crap, shoes. I grabbed my shoes and backpack, sliding them on as I ran down stairs. I went to hug Mommy, but she was holding one of those smoke things, so I decided not to and went to the door instead.
As I was walking to the bus stop, I saw the bus coming. I started running to reach the bus, but it drove right past me. No, bus please stop. I had better not be late to school, but I needed the bus to get to school, so I ran after it. The bus driver didn't like me I think because he could see me in the mirror, but he didn't slow down.
By the time I reached the end of the street, the bus was gone, and I was out of breath. Mommy was going to be mad, which she had every right to be, I was a bad girl and wasn't going to make it to school on time. What was I supposed to do? Go home; no Mommy wouldn't like that.
I knew the route to school, but I would never be on time walking or running. I was a failure, and I was going to let Mommy down. I clenched my fists thinking about it, and then someone shoved me, or so I thought.
I tumbled to the ground hitting my nose against the pavement, which sucked. Rolling over I drew my pocket knife, but no one was there. Something was wrong; everything looked different. I realized that I wasn't just one street away from home anymore, but instead I was sitting outside of my school.
How did I get here so-
"Ms. Uuno," Principal Leslie said from behind me.
I turned to face her fumbling to keep my knife out of her view.
"Early for once," she continued. "It was my understanding that your mother couldn't drive you anymore. If that is incorrect, do let me know. There is no need for the bus to drive by your home if she is driving you."
I nodded while trying to figure out what had happened. It didn't make any sense. One second I was near my home, and the next I was here. It was like I crossed over space, but that wasn't possible, was it?
Principal Leslie went back to her pacing. I could never figure her out. She said things like please and thank you, but she always seemed so grumpy. I wonder if the smoke got her like it did Mommy.
Shortly after the school bus arrived, we all went to class. It was Monday, so the first thing was for Principal Leslie to hand out our packets from last week. She really did take a very keen interest in us. Though, usually it felt like this was just an excuse for her to make fun of us.
Each class started ten minutes after the previous one; this was so Principal Leslie could hand out every packet to every student and give us a comment about them. When it was my turn, I quickly noticed that I had received an A* in math, a B in science and history and a D in English and art. That was what I usually got.
"Ms. Uuno. Again your poor grade is art. Seriously now. What kind of proper lady do you hope to be without at least the basic understanding of poetry? Maybe if you applied half the effort you do to those silly numbers, we might see some improvement in you."
I looked down, and away from her, I wasn't a proper lady. I was a bad girl, so I pinched my hand again.
"Ms. Uuno, seriously. I am speaking to you. The least you could do is look at me while I am talking to you."
I looked up at her, but I didn't like doing that. Her face was scary, like a venus flytrap, I felt it might try to get me if I got too close.
"Go on, Ms. Uuno. Get to class and please try to take it more seriously."
But I did take it seriously; I didn't know how to take it more seriously. Why couldn't she explain it better? Like with how she said if I applied half the effort I did to math to art I would improve, but I tried twice as hard on art. I just... I just don't get it. Every time it is different, it is like there is some rule they are keeping from me, and that wasn't very nice, but math. I like math; it 's the same regardless of who is teaching it. It doesn't change from Monday to Tuesday. I wish more things were like math. Then again, maybe it was because I was a bad girl that they kept art hidden from me. I decided to pinch myself again, just to be safe.
Classes went as normal as they always did, except for the fact that I was occasionally distracted by what had happened this morning. It was really confusing, I mean, if people can cross over space at will, why did they even need school buses? I really must have misunderstood the events that happened this morning. It was the only logical conclusion.
Around lunch time, while walking to the cafeteria, Monica tapped my shoulder. I recognized the cool tip of her fingers. She was my best friend, well she was more like my only friend as most of the other students didn't like talking to me. Monica was different, and I liked being around her, or I noticed I smiled more around her. We didn't share a lot of classes though; she was a good girl. She understood things like poetry.
"Hey girl, I'll race you to the lunchroom," she said before she took off running. She loved running, she was the fastest girl in the school, beating even the older kids. So she always won, but that didn't stop me from trying. With any luck maybe one day I would beat her, I thought.
I tripped and slid across the floor; I could feel the cool tile against my face. Wait... cool tile? But the outside area is brick? Only the lunch room had tile. Looking around, that is exactly where I was. I did it again. I was getting kind of scared. What was happening to me? I was crossing over space instantly, or was I losing my mind? Maybe I was forgetting the memory of walking- no that didn't make any sense because I had beat the bus and I was the first person in the lunch room.
"Ah, Ms. Uuno. Early again, I could get used to this side of you," Principal Leslie said. "Well, go on. Get your lunch."
My lunch... but... I was first. I was never first, and I didn't want to be first. No kids were behind me yet, and that caused me to panic. How was I supposed to pick? There was no one in front of me to help guide me. I was first. No. No. No. I don't like this. I don't like this at all. I could hear my heart beating in my chest. So many choices, how was I supposed to pick?
"Come on Ms. Uuno. Grab something to eat before the other kids arrive please."
She said please, but it didn't sound very polite with the grumpy grin on her face. I grabbed a few slices of bread and quickly walked away. Thank god that was over. Please, whatever you are power, please never do that to me again.
There were normal tables to eat at, but the school didn't care where we sat, so I went outside to the old oak tree. There were more pretty birdies there, except they were a different type because they had red feathers. I wondered if they liked wheat bread too.
Sitting under the tree, I chirped at the birds. I tried repeating the food call chirp I head this morning, and it worked. The three red birdies flew down and began pecking at the bread. So red and blue birdies both like wheat bread. I began to pet them and noticed they were very cold. Looking up, I noticed their nest was half destroyed. Why hadn't-
A huge gust of wind blew causing the birdies to fly away. It was really cold too.
Thud*. Looking over, I noticed the gust of wind had knocked the nest out of the tree, and it broke apart when it hit the ground. Well, that explains that. The sticks on the ground around me were very brittle, and none of them had leaves. No wonder the birdies were cold. I decided I wanted to help. I climbed the tree, getting to where the nest had been and took off my jacket. I tied the sleeves of my jacket to two branched and then tried to make a basket-like shape with the rest.
The birdies flew up and examined my present; all three sat in it together. I wondered which one was the Mommy or the Daddy. I liked the pretty-
The school bell rang, and it caught me off guard. I lost my balance and fell out of the tree and landed square on my back. That hurt but the birdies were happy. So it was worth it. I grabbed my lunch tray and ran back to class.
The rest of the day went without incident, well besides the occasional roar of my stomach. The pains of hunger did make it mildly difficult to focus, but that seemed like a minor problem.
Lucky for me, catching the bus home was much easier. I even managed to do my math homework on the ride home. That was mainly because no one would sit with me. I noticed a long time ago if I sat next to someone they would move. I didn't know why, maybe they were trying to be nice and give me room to do my homework, but if that was true... if they were trying to be nice, why did my heart ache whenever they did it?
I was hoping that Mommy would be willing to take me to the library. We used to go all the time, but that changed when the smoke came, and Daddy left. But if I did all my homework before I got home, then maybe Mommy would take me to the library. I smiled at the thought. Good girls did their homework fast, and Monday was math homework. No one did the math assignments faster than me, not even the teachers. I loved math day.
By the time I got home, I did manage to finish all my homework, and Mommy was outside to greet me. Today was looking like a nice day.
Mommy's phone went off, and she put up her finger to silence me.
"What? He did what. That bas..." she clenched her jaw. "Sky, go to your room and do your homework."
"Now Sky, go to your room."
I looked down and slowly walked upstairs. Once upstairs, I glanced out my window down at Mommy. She had the smoke. Today was officially ruined. I sat down at my desk with my head down. I missed the library, in my mind I could picture it so clearly, we used to go there all the time. I knew the way, but Mommy didn't approve of me going anywhere but school alone.
Suddenly there was a chill in my room, and the birdies stopped chirping. I opened my eyes and looked up; I did it again. I was at the library! In the very chair, I had been thinking about seconds ago. I brought my feet up to my chest and wrapped my arms around my knees. Was I a monster? Or a witch? I didn't like this; I thought rocking back and forth. I didn't want to be a witch; I wanted to be a good girl.
Oh crap, I am not home. Mommy will be so mad if she notices. I need to get home, but wait; I was already here. I decided a few minutes toward my original task would be understandable, so I went to the reference desk.
"Oh Sky," Peter said. "Long time no see. Where is your mom?"
I looked down for a second. "She is outside with the smoke."
"Ah, I see. So, what can I do for you?"
"I want a book on crafts from nature supplies please," I said.
He wrote down a number and handed it to me. Numbers, oh how I love numbers. It didn't take me long to find it. It was called, Turning your Yard into a display: Cheap home crafts. I went and checked it out, before returning to the desk where I had appeared. Okay, magic witch powers. I would like to go home, please.
I waited, but nothing happened.
Please magic, my Mommy will be awfully sore if she sees I am not here. Please take me home. Again, nothing happened. Crap.
Like lightning, I flew out of the library running as fast as I could. Must get home, must get home fast. Nothing got in the way of me running so the only challenge was getting the three miles without getting tired, which was in itself rather hard.
As I was approaching home, the front door was opening. I quickly tossed the book towards the tree to keep it from her sight and slid into the grass panting.
"Sky? Did you finish your homework already?"
"Dinner is in the microwave, just warm it up once you are hungry."
I nodded again and watched Mommy leave.
I was starving, so once she was gone I grabbed my book and ran inside to eat dinner. While it was cooking, I opened my book up to the fifth chapter titled. "How to build a birds nest out your front lawn." I would build a more proper nest for the pretty red birdies. I smiled thinking about it as my dinner chimed that it was done. If I was a witch, maybe I was a good witch.
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