Featuring cover art by SimpleGuitar
Bitter cold nipped at his nose as he awoke to the sound of a car speeding down the alley. It was dark, and he tried to figure out what was happening-he had no idea where he was, the only thing in his newfound memory was yelling, and a sharp crack as if glass had been broken. The air around him smelled foul, yet somewhat inviting. Turning over onto all fours, he smelled the surface beneath him.
Suddenly a very uncomfortable feeling occurred in his stomach- it was somewhat painful, but it just felt like it was missing something. Continuing to stay low, he sniffed softly until he picked up a particularly inviting scent, following it until it became overwhelming. A half eaten, discarded pizza slice sat under his nose. He cautiously stuck out his tongue and licked the surface. The sensation was overwhelming. His small mouth filled with the glorious taste of that small bite of cold, expired, dumpster pizza. He set to work on eating his first meal, slowly reducing the slice to nothing.
20 minutes later, the slice of pizza was gone, and so was the painful feeling in his stomach. The taste in his mouth slowly faded away and was replaced by dryness. The small creature climbed up and out of the pile of trash, onto the lid of the dumpster. Tiny ice crystals blanketed the lid, resulting in a white powder. It seemed somewhat wet, and therefore the best candidate to satisfy the dryness in his mouth. He opened wide and took a big bite- at first it was crunchy but instantly melted into a liquid that was tasteless for the most part. And it was cold. A slight aftertaste of rotten food and metal lingered, for after all, it had snowed on a dumpster. He munched away at the snow until he had his fill. Brushing off what was left from his muzzle, he crawled over to the edge of the dumpster. The surface stopped in front of him and was replaced by…nothing. He crawled forward and peered over the edge.
This must be the end of the world, he thought.
Before he could get a good look of what was at the edge of the world, he lost his grip and fell forward. As he fell, he felt something on his backside begin to extend. Realizing he had control over whatever they were, he instinctively flexed and felt himself rise. His wings caught on a gust of air and slowed him safely to the ground. Standing up, he flexed again to bring them around to the front of himself. There he saw long, silky brown feathers with lots of down still attached. They felt fragile, and he folded them back. For a few moments he just stood there folding and unfolding them in amazement. He wasn’t sure what they were, but now he knew what they could do, and they certainly didn’t feel natural.
The sun peered over the rooftops of the buildings he was standing between, as it was early in the day. Even though it was sunny, it was still winter for a few more weeks, and therefore still cold. The patches of light were warmer than shadows, like the one he was standing in now. But the light was out in the open, where he was afraid to go. He mused under the dumpster for quite some time. He could see very far in front of him that there was a street with lots of furry figures walking, and they all struck him with curiosity. They all looked similar to him, just much bigger. They walked on two legs, and were all shapes and sizes. Some even had wings.
Eventually his curiosity overcame him. He decided that whatever was out there couldn’t be terrible as long as he stuck close to the alleyway he was in. Skittering alongside the building he was created in, he came closer and closer to the end of the alleyway, his nervous heart beating faster and faster, the world getting louder and brighter.
To be continued….