• I wish I could just slow everything down, everything was happening way to fast. My head was filled with one thought and one thought only. “Run, get out”, my head hurt.
    “Cough, cough.” The air was thick with smoke; it was becoming hard to breath. Tom, this was all Tom’s fault all these questions, all the chaos in my head, all the pain. Rose, my birth name? Rose! It didn’t make cense, my name is, was, Jaclyn! Did this change that, did it make me any different? So many questions, and no answer; Tom had made sure of that, I’d thought he’d loved me…
    I couldn’t think about that right now, I had to get out of the compound; any second the building would be crashing down on all our heads. Luke walked only a few paces ahead of me, I wondered if his head was just as full of questions as mine, maybe it hurt too.
    The gun, where had he gotten a gun? Blood, so much blood it pooled around the professors lifeless form, still against the hard linoleum. He could have given me the answers. Who I am. Why I am the way I am. Answers lost on the lips of the man now floating in blood. Tom’s face, his lips so tender and sweet as they had kissed me, now contorted into a look of such contempt and hatred. Eyes the color of the ocean, the kind of eyes a girl can fall into, eyes that showed so much emotion that night, now bleak and steely in the few seconds before he flew up, sending shards of glass raining down on the oppressing scene. A lie, everything was a lie. I no longer knew how much of the blood was really blood and how much was tears.
    For a second I felt like I was still sitting on my knees, next to the professor’s body, Luke’s hand resting so lightly on my shoulder. I looked up, the smoke was getting thicker every second, and I had only just realized I was standing still. My eyes met Luke’s and he began making his way through the tide of kids and teens streaming in the other direction. The touch of his hand was welcome and I could almost feel him lending me the strength to keep moving. He had been our father, our creator; he’d made us who we are, made us special, all of us. He’d never wanted any of this to happen, he’d wanted us to live normal lives. Well as normal a life as you can have when you have bird wings.
    I could see the pain in Luke’s eyes, he was so strong, and he had enough strength for both of us. He held my gaze for a few minutes, my eyes locked to his. The compassion in his eyes was overwhelming, suddenly the only place I wanted to be was in his arms. So much had happened, and he’d always been there silently watching even when I new he didn’t agree with my decisions. Like a big brother always there, but it was more then that, the way I felt for Luke. I needed him, and as I looked into his eyes I knew he needed me just as much. I felt myself leaning forward, slowly arching my back, what was I doing! We needed to keep moving, I leaned away, and squeezing his hand we began to run; by now everyone was long gone, that was good; they were safe. All the other kids we’d found held in the compound were mutants, each with their own powers, and each prepared to use them to escape.

    I wanted to be gone, and I never wanted to see this place again. I could see a faint light emanating from the end of the tunnel, getting brighter with each step I took. I could still feel Luke’s hand holding tight to mine, “Cough, cough.” The smoke was thinning as we reached the surface, a thick grove of trees spread out in front of me. I could see heads poking out of the trees with worried expressions. Wondering why we had taken so long to make it out. I nodded encouragingly, and each head disappeared I new each was busy running as fast as they could toward the north shore, where a small fleet of unmanned sailboats’ was docked. The plan was ten to a vessel, each escapee applying their own unique ability to make sure everything went smoothly. It was the job of the flyers, there were four in all, to scout ahead; making sure there was no ambush waiting on any of the surrounding islands, and that non followed behind.
    By now I could smell the oceans breeze wafting in from the coast, only slightly marred by the unpleasant smell of smoke still coming from the direction of the factory. I unfurled my wings I could almost feel the clouds beneath them, swooping high and low, over the white-capped waves, the sun sparkling on the role of the sea. Letting go of Luke’s hand I ran, I didn’t even feel my feet lifting away from the ground as I rose into the air. Below me I could see Luke’s blurred form as he dashed through the trees allowing himself to reach full speed.

    I lazily aloud my feet to brush the tops of the trees, I could see the ocean stretching endlessly in front of me. Then suddenly he was there. He sat on the highest branch of a tall oak, his mouth forming an endless grin, eyes sparkling. He looked as if he hadn’t just committed murder. I slowed to a stop. I stood maybe five feet in front of him, my look steely.
    “Why so grim?” His laugh pierced the air unwelcome in the silence. His eyes blazed no longer exuberant or happy. His look was cold even malevolent, but I would not look away, neither would I speak. He was scum a traitor to his own kind, to me. He’d betrayed me…
    “Oh so sad, why you look as if you’d just seen someone die.” He laughed again, cruel and heartless, unnatural.
    I turned away, and began once more to fly, and suddenly he was right in front of me so close I swear another inch and we would have been nose to nose. I couldn’t help looking at his mouth… I looked away. I needed to forget. He laughed again, his wings unfurled to their full length. “We don’t have to be enemies, Rose.” How dare he use that name! He had no right! I spit. He disgusted me.
    This time I was the one to laugh, “The thing is Tom,” I danced just out of his reach, his scowl almost appeared comical, “…we do.”
    He looked at me his eyes a blaze with hatred, and I wondered if my own mirrored his. Inside it was different, instead of hatred, which was exactly what I thought I would feel, all I felt was pity. A lost boy in every cense of the word.
    He flew up uttering the most terrible cry. I was affronted even scared, the only thing logically that would happen next, was, that he’d attack me. He didn’t, instead he said, “Your lose.” There was no turning back, not now not ever, I’d sealed my fate. He’d given me a choice, join him or fight. I’d chosen to fight.

    It felt good to be at sea, the gentle rock of the boat, shifting side to side with each small wave. I sat at the prow of the ship letting the wind blow my hair in whatever direction it chose. It was almost sunset, by now I could already see the soft lines of purple beginning to streak across the sky. I let my eyes slip closed, and felt my whole body relax, I breathed in and out, slow even breaths. It would be my turn scout ahead soon.
    Luke stood behind me; I could feel his presence before he spoke. It was almost like an electric shock; my veins thrived with new energy whenever he was near. It was more then I’d ever felt with the traitor. I still found it to painful to utter his name; my throat became dry with his very thought. “How long were you planning to just stand there before you said anything?”
    I felt his arms wrap tightly around my shoulders, strong protective arms. “How did you…” His question was lost as his lips explored my neck. Together we watched as the sky became black in the blanket of night.
    It was a clear night, and I found myself gazing up into the stars. It wasn’t like the city you can hardly see any stars in the city, there were millions of them here. I didn’t know many of the constellations, “Look the big dipper.” I pointed into the night. Luke looked up; I could almost feel his smile against my shoulder.