'Orphaned' (Part one)
Hi, I suddenly came up with an incredibly dark concept when writing One-Winged Angel chapter 6. My bird was squawking, and I couldn't concentrate, and then like lightning, an idea came. Initially as Jewel or Blue visiting the other's grave, it evolved quickly to this.
Thanks to FilmedIt, I know where each of their bird boxes are.
As you could tell from the description, this story will be dark. So, if you're faint of heart, then this story may not be for you.
Let's see how it turns out. Enjoy or suffer.
Today began like any other for the Gunderson family. Who is this Gunderson family? The last Spix's macaws known to man. There are 5 of them: Blu and Jewel, the parents, and their three chicks, Carla, Bia and Tiago. They didn't get along always, as siblings do, but they all loved each other.
Living in nest boxes, in a protected area of forest next to Linda, Tulio and Fernando's cottage, which meant they were safe from smugglers. It was still possible, but very hard, and as such they never worried about it.
Tiago, the youngest, was a mischief maker. He loved pulling pranks and joking around, his sense of humour was rather childish, as was his overall personality. In contrast to his sarcastic, music loving oldest sister, Carla, and his nerdy older sister, Bia.
Tiago slowly opened his eyes. The sleep was still on his eyes, which made opening them hard, not to mention he was still recovering from sleeping for 8 hours or so. Slowly but surely, he opened his eyes wider and for longer, until he eventually could keep them open. With a bit of rubbing his eyes, stretching and smacking his beak, he got up.
He stepped outside his box and flew down to the roof of his parents' box. To his surprise, the others were up. He saw his mother, Jewel, flying back with a jumbo leaf carrying their breakfast. At Jewel's insistence, they often had a 'natural' breakfast. Tiago preferred pancakes but couldn't care that much less if they had a 'human breakfast' or a 'natural breakfast'. It was delicious regardless.
Jewel gently placed down the leaf on the main balcony. It contained various fruits, nuts and berries, including her favourite: mangoes.
''Kids, breakfast!'', she called out. Blu was already out, and Bia came out quickly. Carla followed suit, peering out of her private box. She had the most privacy of them all, even more so than Blu and Jewel.
Tiago flew down and joined his family at their 'table'. Carla preferred to eat off in private, as she was seemingly entering her angsty teenager phase. Grabbing a berry in his talon, Tiago chomped down on it, which actually squirted juice at Bia.
''Tiago!'', she snapped. Tiago quickly rushed to defend himself,
''I didn't mean it, sorry!'', he quickly said. He avoided any sort of trouble from that, much to his relief. Now more careful not to squirt juices at his sister or parents, he ate more slowly. Luckily for him, the rest of breakfast went without incident.
That morning, Blu and Jewel decided they'd have a flight together as a family. They hadn't told their kids yet, but now that breakfast was finished, they decided to.
''Hey, why don't we all go out and fly together?'', Jewel proposed with excitement in her voice.
''Yeah, as a family.'', Blu added. Bia and Tiago lit up, and so they decided to do so. Blu notified Carla, and she reluctantly agreed to go.
They gathered and took off. It was a pleasant flight, swooping over the trees and looking at fellow birds and other animals. It was wonderful to feel the wind through their feathers.
This flight carried on for a while, and Tiago had been racing the others. This made him fatigued, and he flew behind the others.
They continued along, finally stopping to rest on a branch. Tiago was behind them; he heard his mother speak up.
''So, how was that?'', she asked enthusiastically. Bia and Carla responded, ''It was great!'', they exclaimed.
''Yeah, we're going to head ba-'', Blu began, but out of the blue, the scene turned from one of peace to a scene of horror. A female Harpy eagle swooped down and in one devastating blow, knocked Blu down. Their massive weight and talons crushed Blu, but he wasn't dead yet. Carla was caught in the crossfire, the eagle's talons crushed her. Her quick cry of shock and pain was silenced by a sickening crunch.
Another eagle, a male, who appeared to be the other's mate pounced on Jewel. In a panic, Tiago bolted away. He flew as fast as his little wings could take him. The sounds of his family crying out in pain and terror, mixed with the harpies' squawks of delight filled his ears. Tears formed in his eyes, he looked back and saw them attacking his family, ripping out chunks of their flesh. Bia was there too, and the eagles appeared to be sharing meat, in their own twisted show of affection.
To them, they were simply doing what they needed to survive. It wasn't their fault they ate meat, but their diet came at a cost for others. In Tiago's case, his whole family. Unable to bear seeing that gruesome scene any longer, he snapped his head forward and flew even faster. Adrenaline surged through his body, making him forget his fatigue as he pushed himself into overdrive. Tears trickled from his eyes as he flew and flew and flew.
Soon, thoughts of regret entered his mind, but he brushed them aside, as fear overpowered them. He looked back and the eagles were nowhere to be seen. He flew on until their house was visible. The cottage was locked, so he simply bolted to his box. He darted inside and collapsed from exhaustion.
He was hyperventilating, and the adrenaline wore off, leaving him completely exhausted. He soon passed out.
He awoke and felt a sense of relief that it was just a dream. He stepped out, with tears in his eyes from the terrifying nightmare.
''Mum, dad?'', he cried out, desperate for their comfort. He received no reply, he called out again. He started to get more worried but clung onto the thread of hope that it was a detailed nightmare. He peered into his parent's box, only to his horror, it was empty.
''Bia, Carla?'', he called out, anxiety rising higher and higher. He checked both their boxes, and they were empty. He started panicking, and tears filled his eyes.
''MAMA!'', he cried out in vain. He rapidly respired, denial surged through him,
''No, no, no, no, no! This can't be happening… it can't be!'', he wailed. He was still a chick but was going through something no child should ever go through, losing their family.
Without any options, and the fear of the eagles returning, he flew down to the cottage where Linda lived. Thankfully, their window was open. He darted through, and spotted Linda immediately.
''Oh, hey Tiago!'', she happily greeted, unaware of the nightmare Tiago was going through. Linda swiftly sensed something was wrong, as Tiago made his way to a piece of paper and squawked to get her attention. He seemed disorientated… scared…
''Is there something wrong?'', she asked, her voice was very different to the joyous one she used just before. Tiago nodded rapidly, and frantically grabbed a pen and began to draw to the best of his abilities, what happened.
It looked very bad, but Linda could make out bird shapes, a branch, and two large birds at them. He pointed the pen to one of them, who was far from the others, and squawked. Linda had an idea of what he was trying to convey, and her expression dropped to one of fear.
''Were they… attacked by an eagle?'', she slowly asked. Tiago began to tear up more, as he nodded. Linda's heart sank at that.
''Y-you mean to say… my Blu… is dead?'', she asked in a wobbly voice, and Tiago slowly nodded. The two of them could not hold their emotions, and began to sob, but Tiago sobbed more, as he lost his entire family.
Linda held Tiago, and attempted to calm him down, not caring about her own state.
Linda would tell Tulio and Fernando about it. Tulio was there to comfort Linda, and so was Fernando. Tulio was distressed, as this spelled the extinction for the Spix's macaws, unless new members were found. But as Tiago was the sole survivor, their future looked grim.
Night came, and Tiago was in his new home, a cage. Linda kept Blu's old cage in storage, and now Tiago would inherit it. Like father, like son. It included his old toys, but Tiago was too grief-stricken to play with them. He just wanted to go to sleep and wake up in his nest box, with his family alive and well. It was horrifying how quickly things went south. In mere seconds, the scene went from a joyous one, to a horror scene. In mere seconds, lives were taken.
Just a few seconds before, they were alive and well, and then a few seconds later, they were mutilated and consumed by Harpies. The scene played out in Tiago's head over and over again, causing him to sob uncontrollably.
Today was horrible, and the sooner it ended, the better. The cage was already covered up by a sheet, that would be removed the next day. So it was all ready for him to sleep. So, Tiago crawled into a small sleeping pouch that was designed for parakeets. Linda and Tulio owned it, just in case they needed to nurse a parakeet or some other small bird in their cottage. It came in handy for Tiago, as it was just about the right size for him. As such, they had placed it in the cage.
The bed was very comfy, and he let out an anguished coo as he cried his little hazel eyes out, as he slowly drifted off to sleep.
Panic surged through Tiago as he flew as fast as he could through the jungle. He wasn't sure yet what he was flying from, but all he knew was that he had to fly away.
The brief snippets of his family's slaughter flashed before him as he flew. Soon, his questions were answered as the spine-chilling screech of a Harpy eagle assaulted his ears. It was ear splittingly loud, and his heart skipped a beat as he flew even faster. But he didn't fly fast enough.
The eagle grabbed him and took him to the ground. Pain surged through his body as he turned around to see the female harpy eagle, soon joined by her mate. Tiago backed away in vain, he couldn't escape them.
''Please don't hurt me, I'm begging you! I'm too young to die!'', he cried out. The eagles seemed to be unable to care less. Tiago cried, hoping that they'd pity him and let him live. Unfortunately, as it would be a major disadvantage for their survival, they didn't feel much empathy for their prey. They did for other Harpies, but not for their prey.
''Please…'', he softly spoke. Tiago swore he could see his mutilated family stand beside him, as the harpy eagle lunged at him. A surge of pain made him yelp, as the eagle took a chunk of his torso out with its beak.
Tiago's eyes shot open, and they instantly filled with tears. He was in a cold sweat and was panting rapidly. He peered out of his pouch, only to have the fright of his life when he saw Bia.
He jumped back and shook his head. He nervously peeked out and saw her. She was all bloody, but it was all clotted. Her injuries were sickening. Her left wing was missing entirely, a bit of her upper right head was missing, and her body was covered in lacerations and massive wounds. Tiago would've thrown up, had he not been so oddly intrigued and scared.
''B-Bia?'', he stuttered. Her hazel eyes focused on him intensely. Her look pierced through him, and it was a look of hate. Tiago shrank under her stare.
''You left us.'', she coldly accused. Tiago was stunned,
''I-I…'', he tried to respond, but he was speechless.
''You left us Tiago… you left us to die…'', she finished. Tiago felt a wave of guilt,
''Bia… I'm so sorry…'', he repented. Bia's stare softened slightly, but she still stared at him with hatred.
''It doesn't change the fact that you left us to die.'', she argued. Tiago started to tremble. It was true, he didn't bother to help them. He simply bolted off, while they died.
''Bia…'', he couldn't speak anymore. His anguished cries took over, and he went inside his pouch. He huddled inside and sobbed. He felt horrible. Not only was his family dead, but he felt guilty. How come he got to live while the others died? He should've been the one to die. What's worse was he flew off, not bothering to help the others. His thoughts were disrupted by Bia,
''You know, I helped mum and dad. You merely flew off. You're selfish, you know that?'', her words only caused Tiago to cry more. Bia should've been the one to survive, as she was brave enough to try and help her family.
Although Tiago wished none of this ever happened. Or at the very least he had one of his family members live as well. At least then he wouldn't be so desperately alone. He wanted comfort from another bird… especially his family.
''Bia… Please, I'm so sorry!'', he wailed. Although he wasn't looking at her, he could tell she didn't care.
''Too late now.'', she coldly responded. Tiago turned around and looked at her with his teary eyes, hoping that she'd forgive him or at the very least offer some company or comfort.
''Bia, I… I'm sorry. Please, forgive me… Please!'', Bia's expression softened a bit more, but she still looked at him with hatred.
''Tiago, you chose to abandon us, and this is what happens.'', she bluntly said. Tiago felt even more guilt.
''I know, but I just want some company… please…'', Tiago softly said. Bia paused for a moment, and he had a sense of hope that she'd forgive him or comfort him.
''Sorry, but I can't bear to be around you anymore.'', Tiago's heart shattered, and he became desperate.
''No, please don't go!'', he cried out. Bia didn't respond. He decided to go all out in his apology, hopefully she'd soften up. He took a deep breath,
''I'm sorry Bia, for everything I ever did. I'm sorry for all the pranks I pulled. I'm sorry for squirting the berry juice on you yesterday. I'm sorry for all the times I've done that to you. I'm sorry for all the names I called you. I'm sorry for all the things I've said to you. I didn't any of it mean it, please, I'm so sorry for everything and I really miss you. Bia, I love you so much… Y-you're the best sister I could ever ask for, and I am so sorry for being so horrible to you and everyone. I don't deserve someone like you as my sister. I'm so sorry… Please forgive me…'', Tiago had never ever been this heartfelt or sincere in his entire life. Bia turned around; her expression softened.
''I forgive you for all that… but not for leaving us. That is unforgivable.'', Tiago was relieved that she forgave him for all the things he did to her. But still, she hated him to an extent.
In one last act of desperation for any comfort or attention, he tried another thing.
''Well… can I see the others?'', he asked, and Bia turned around.
''Yeah… later.'', she answered, before slowly fading away, as if she walked to the other side.
Tiago just sat there and crawled back into his pouch. Bia hated him, and he guessed the others did too. All he had left was the humans. But nothing could compare to the comfort brought on by another bird, and even more so his family. But they were gone, and they probably hated him.
But at least he had someone. This all seemed like a nightmare, but it was all real. He wasn't going to wake up, ever.
Just to think, that yesterday morning he was with his family, happily eating and flying about… and this morning… well, he was all alone, his family gone, and they hated him. But he still wanted to make things right… but how? They were gone, and all he could do was apologise for how horrible he had been to them in life. But as evident with Bia, she still disliked him for abandoning her.
He just wanted to wake up from this nightmare and be back with his family. Perhaps this was a crueller Christmas Carol. Maybe if he changed his ways, maybe if he apologised for everything, he'd wake up and truly appreciate his life.
That would work… but it was clear that this was a real nightmare and was no twisted Christmas Carol.
''I'm so sorry…'', Tiago softly spoke towards his family that was no longer there. Nor would they ever be… except their ghosts, like Bia.
Today was going to be wonderful...
Well, that wraps up part one of this incredibly dark story. I hope you didn't drown or die of sadness.
I gotta be honest, I teared up when I wrote Tiago's heartfelt apology. This story is partly inspired by… An American Werewolf in London… let me explain. The majority of the film is about David's guilt from leaving his friend Jack. Jack was attacked by a werewolf in the moors, and David bolted off as any sane person would do. However, he turned back, but it was too late. Jack was dead, and David was then attacked by the werewolf, but he survived as some locals shot it. He's visited by Jack's ghost, and he suffers survivors' guilt. One could interpret the film as him going insane from guilt.
While Tiago won't turn into a werewolf, or a wereharpy… His situation is similar to David's. Tiago suffers the same survivor's guilt, even though there was nothing he could do.
I must ask you, is this more depressing than Wish You Were Here, or are they equal?
Anyways, next part should be out soon or something.
Until next time, goodbye.