Chapter 1 'Harpy'
Yes, I am writing another story. I need to stop this. But this concept I think is intriguing and I perhaps may be able to finish it. This story will probably be 5 or 6 chapters long. Maybe less, I don't know.
This idea is a hybrid between two things: I made a reference to wereharpies in the author's notes of Orphaned, part one. That gave me an idea, what if I wrote a story with 'wereharpies'? I originally would've adapted An American Werewolf in London to a Rio story and made it my own. (An American Wereharpy in Rio) The second was what started this, I read a Spanish story called 'RIO: Destination Exchange', by Zir Agron regresa. The story is likely inspired by 'Transformed', by Bluetech.
So, I decided to merge the two concepts and voila! This story. I was originally going to have it be a what if from Real in Rio, but I decided not to be lazy and write an original backstory that is somewhat similar at times to Real in Rio.
Anyways, lets get on with it! Enjoy or suffer.
It was past midday in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The sky was a bit cloudy, but it was nothing to complain about. Just another fine day in Rio.
The jungles that surrounded Rio, including one in the Tijuca forest, had many animals call it home. The Tijuca forest is considered the largest urban forest in the world. Its also man made. In the 19th century the area was plantations, but the local government had a massive forestation project due to the fact it was an eyesore and there were water issues. The forest was planted and today serves as a large patch of green in the metropolis.
That forest also was the place that two rare birds called home. They were Spix's macaws, and their names are Blu and Jewel. And rare they were. In fact, Blu and Jewel are the last Spix's macaws known to man.
They had recently become mates, and their future was looking bright.
Blu was flying out to collect food with his mate. They had separated for this; however, they would stay near each other. Blu was currently approaching a mango tree, which its fruit was Jewel's favourite fruit. He neared it and was about to get a bloodcurdling screech pierced his ears. Then something worse pierced him: The talons of the owner of said screech.
Blu yelped as he was clasped in an iron grip by something far larger than him. It muttered one word,
''Gotcha.'', it said in a quiet victorious voice. Blu saw its owner, a female harpy eagle, and fear pulsated through him.
Without thinking, he contorted his head around to bite the eagle's leg as hard as he could. She let out a yelp as she let him go from her iron grip. Blu bolted away,
''HELP, SOMEBODY HELP ME!'', he cried out at the top of his lungs. However, he didn't get far as the eagle quickly caught up with him. He felt her talons grab him once more, and a seething pain coursed through his back and wings.
''Not so fast.'', Blu was utterly terrified, but his will to live kept him going.
''HELP!'', Blu screamed. He attempted to reach back and bite her, but he was unable to. With no options left, he chose to plead for his life. He was aware that it probably wouldn't work, but it's worth a try.
''Please, don't kill me! I-I have a mate, don't do this!'', Blu trembled and felt tears well up. The eagle looked at him,
''Sorry, but I have a family to feed. Don't worry, I'll kill you quickly.'', Blu looked into the eagle's eyes and sore a glimmer of guilt. Blu could only hope that Jewel would be a good mother, and that he'd be a good meal. It was really the only positive he could think of. He sighed.
However, the sound of flapping and the sudden release of him snapped him back to reality. A hyacinth macaw had attacked the harpy and she let him go involuntarily with a yelp.
Blu tried to fly, but the pain was too much. He managed to slow his descent, and he hit the ground. Some ferns broke his fall, but he was winded. But another pain was felt in his back. He soon realised that he had just happened to land on a rock that managed to put a hole in his back.
He let out a cry of pain and saw the eagle in the sky being attacked by other birds. He soon saw his mate Jewel, and he called out to her.
''Jewel!'', his voice was a bit weaker, but she heard.
''Blu!'', she cried out and flew towards him. She landed next to him, as the harpy eagle was grounded. Blu saw one of the birds bite into its neck as it let out a cry of pain, both physical and emotional. Its cry quickly died down into a gurgle. But that wasn't of his concern right now.
Jewel saw the blood on him. It had pooled under his back and on his sides. She let out a pained gasp as she cradled Blu in her wings.
''Blu, no! Don't die on me!'', tears had quickly filled her eyes. Blu looked at her,
''Jewel… I don't know if I'll get through this…'', Blu said in a tone as if he had just realised that. Jewel shook her head in denial,
''No, no, no Blu don't say that! You'll get through this!'', denial was clear in her voice. Blu sighed,
''Jewel, please… I'm fighting I swear…'', Blu said in a weaker tone.
''Keep on fighting then… P-please… stay with me Blu…'', she said in a wobbly and soft voice as she embraced him. She rested her head on his chest.
''I… I can't help it… This is out of my control…'', Jewel lifted her head up and looked at him with denial in her eyes.
''Blu, don't go… your babies will need you… I need you…'', Jewel said in a borderline strangled voice. Blu lifted his wing up and touched the side of her face.
''Jewel, I want you to take good care of them… Please, be the best mother you could be… Give them love, hope and support… Be a good mum for me… You can do it… I love you…'', Blu said weakly and cracked a faint smile.
''Blu… Don't go…'', Jewel wept. Blu also began to cry,
''Jewel… Please don't cry… It makes… me… sad…'', Blu said weakly, as he used his wingtip to wipe away her tears. Jewel faintly smiled,
''Thank you…'', Blu's voice was growing quieter. Jewel went in and planted a kiss on his beak,
''We're… chained… together…'', Blu's voice faded away as he began to draw his last weak breaths. He closed his eyes so that Jewel wouldn't have to. He didn't want her to see his eyes devoid of life.
''Blu… No…'', Jewel's voice was strangled and full of sorrow. She embraced him as tightly as she could, as she hears Blu take in a faint, quiet breath. She listened for another, but she never heard it. The reality hit her like a ton of bricks.
Jewel began to sob uncontrollably as she hugged her now dead mate.
There was an immense pressure, and total darkness. Blu had no idea where he was for certain, but his best guess was the afterlife.
So… this is it? Wow, this place is pretty terrible. Great, just the place I want to spend all eternity in!
Blu tried to move but found it hard. He opened his eyes and felt instant pain. He quickly shut them, but the pain persisted. He opened his beak, and a substance filled it.
Dirt. Blu's eyes would've shot open, but he knew that would hurt. It seems he was buried, and so, without thinking much, he started to claw his way to freedom. Once he was out, he'd ask the questions.
It took a while, but Blu finally managed to break ground. He popped his head up and spat out some dirt, before taking a nice deep breath of fresh air. He worked his way out, and with some eye rubbing, he stood upright.
''Ugh, I haven't felt this awful since I listened to that Summer in Paradise album!'', Blu groaned. First, he decided to check his body.
To his delight, he wasn't a zombie. Everything was normal with him… Apart from coming back from the dead. His torso was normal, his feet were normal, his tailfeathers were normal. Everything was fine.
''Hm, everything seems alright. I guess things aren't so bad…'', he said with relief, but out of the blue, a surge of pain shot through his body.
''JESUS CHRIST!'', he yelled in pain, clutching his head. He fell to the ground, ''Ugh, I take that back…'', he groaned in a quiet voice because the pain made it hard to breathe or speak. He took in pained breaths, attempting to alleviate the pain. He opened his eyes and felt some pain in his talons.
He looked on in horror as they grew in size, the pain knocked the wind out of him. He couldn't even scream until his claws grew in size. He let out a strangled yelp as they grew and grew. That wasn't the end of it.
His beak began to grow out a bit. Again, he was unable to scream, due to the pain. Soon, he fell on his back, as his wings grew slightly, and so did his body. This was easily the worst pain. If his pain could be converted into electricity, then he could power a village, depending on how much electricity can be made from pain.
''Oh god!'', he cried out, the worst of the pain was over, and his feathers were turning a grey colour. Small bits of pain went across his body, corresponding with small changes in his anatomy. Then, at long last, the pain was over.
Tears filled his eyes, as he panted and wept. He got control of himself, he stood up and looked at himself. His eyes widened as he noticed his plumage was like that of a Harpy eagle. He let out a terrified shriek, which also sounded like a Harpy.
''No, no, no! This can't be happening!'', he exclaimed in a slightly deeper voice. He stumbled about, not really used to his new anatomy. He found a small puddle, which was still enough to show his reflection. It was confirmed he was a harpy, or at least, looked like a harpy. Blu noted that he wasn't as large as a normal harpy. The only thing that wasn't altered was his chocolate brown eyes.
He was too distraught and confused to cry. He wanted to, but the tears didn't fall. So, he just stood by the puddle for so long that he zoned out.
''Hello handsome…'', his thoughts were disrupted when he heard the voice of a woman. He turned around and saw the voice it belonged to. It was a female harpy, she was bigger than him, but he noted she was below average in size for a harpy. She still was huge, but not as huge as most of them.
He had to admit, she was actually quite beautiful. What he didn't like was the fact her beak had blood in it, and she had a fresh kill at her feet. Blu felt like he should respond.
''Oh, hi…'', he replied in a believably normal tone. She smiled,
''Care to join me?'', she asked. Blu thought about it for a moment. For some reason, the idea of eating meat wasn't as bad as it used to. Not wanting to be rude, he decided he'd give it a shot.
''Alright, thank you.'', he replied. Blu walked up and dug his beak into it. His beak watered, and he was in awe at the taste. Blood and flesh were in his beak, but it tasted so damn good. He actually let out a small moan. This tasted even better than a mango, and that was saying something.
''You like it?'', she asked with a beakful of meat. Blu could not believe how good this tasted. Had he really been missing out for all these years? He understands why they eat meat.
''Yeah.'', he answered. After they finished their meal, Blu found that he was sufficiently satisfied. The female turned to him,
''I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Laura.'', Laura told Blu. Blu could tell her his name was Blu, but he knew that name would make no sense for a harpy. He could come up with some lie about how his mother's favourite colour was blue, or he hatched under a very blue sky, but he was going to play it safe.
''My name is Tyler. Nice to meet you.'', Blu smiled. The two approached and shook talons. Blu noticed that Laura was blushing slightly. Judging from the first words she said to him and her blushing, he could tell he is what one would consider a handsome harpy. Blu would've otherwise felt no attraction to a harpy, but now he admitted she was beautiful.
''Well… It was nice meeting you Tyler. Uh, why don't we meet each other here tomorrow night.'', Laura suggested with clear nervousness. Yep, she's got a crush on me, Blu thought.
''Alright. I'll see you there, Laura.'', Blu responded. Laura nodded, and flew off. Blu's smile faded away when he realised what was happening. He found her attractive, and she found him attractive. Some parts of him were more harpy than macaw, and that wasn't just his appearance.
How would Jewel react to him? Blu knew that harpies were feared by most animals, including macaws, so if a harpy was after Jewel she'd be scared, and what if they fought back? Its especially bad because his life was taken away by a harpy, and so she'd be even more terrified, and what about the others? It was all so overwhelming for Blu. He flew up into a tree where he perched on a branch and began to cry.
He wanted to go and try to confront Jewel, but he couldn't bare to do that. He didn't know how much time had passed. Maybe it had been hours since he was buried, or it could've been a year. She might've found a new mate. It wouldn't be fair for them to be thrown out of the relationship. But Blu loved Jewel, and they had children.
His only wish was for him to be back in his normal body, and for none of this to have happened. But perhaps all that would wait for the next day. He also wanted to get to know Laura more, perhaps she could help him. Blu cracked a smile, he couldn't do this by himself, and he couldn't bare to face his friends, let alone his mate.
He let out a sigh and fell asleep. Tomorrow was going to be a big day…
The next day was a saddening bore apart from Blu flying about. A large part of him liked how other birds trembled before him. This made him feel good, it made him feel like he had power – control. Something he had never had in his life. He was always the weak one, the timid little blue macaw. But now he felt like he was more than that.
He smiled. It was like a minor power fantasy.
Night came, and he headed to the spot where he met Laura. She wasn't there, and so he waited for a few minutes. Low and behold, he spotted Laura. His beak dropped at the sight of her.
She was stunning. Her beak was polished and shiny, and a great deal of feather care made her feathers look soft as silk and flowing like a river. Blu was worried, as he had no idea this was a date.
''How do I look?'', Laura asked. Blu was speechless, but he managed to answer.
''Amazing… Now I wished I groomed myself.'', Blu answered. Laura giggled as she walked up to him.
''Why didn't you?'', Blu paused for a moment out of embarrassment.
''Well… I didn't know this was a… date…'', Blu said sheepishly. Laura blushed,
''Oh… No, this isn't a date… I just like to look good. That's all.'', Blu nodded, ''I just want to hang out with you.''
''I think we could go for a quick flight and find somewhere to talk.'', Blu suggested, and Laura nodded in agreement.
''Yeah, lets do that. Lead the way, Tyler.'', Laura said. The two took flight and soared up in the sky. Laura decided to have some small talk.
''I just love flying at night. The cool breeze flowing through your feathers is an unbeatable sensation. Wouldn't you agree?'', Laura told Blu.
''Yeah.'', Blu simply responded. The two remained quiet for their flight, as neither really had anything to say. Blu spotted a cliff edge for them to sit. They flew over to it and landed with grace. Laura looked and took in the view.
''Wow, this place is cool.'', she said in awe. The view was good. While the view from the cliff that Blu first tried to fly from, the view from the Vista Chinesa and the view from Christ the Redeemer was better, this was still a nice view. They both sat down.
''I just want to say I'm sorry for the way I acted when we first met, and how I may have tried to rush things.'', Laura apologised. Blu turned to her,
''No, its alright.'', Blu responded. Laura promptly smiled,
''Thank you, Tyler.'', Laura smiled. Blu noticed she shimmied a bit closer to him, but he didn't mention it.
''Its been nice to talk to someone like me.'', Laura mentioned with a lower voice. Blu was puzzled by her statement,
''What do you mean?'', Blu was sure harpies talked to other harpies. They weren't rare.
''Well, you know… I haven't ever talked to someone who's like me – small.'', Laura elaborated with a slightly more emotional voice, ''Its just that… No one seems to like me… E-Everyone makes fun of my size… So, it's just wonderful to finally meet someone else that's small… like me…'', Laura's eyes were all teary and her voice broke down. Blu couldn't help but feel bad for her. He knew how she felt. He was made fun of for things he couldn't control. Notably how others made fun of him for being a companion to Linda. Laura softly cried,
''Sorry for being such a cry baby…'', she said with shame. This caught Blu off guard. Jewel had said that to him once, but it was usually him who felt a bit ashamed to let out his emotions. But it makes sense with birds of prey, as the females are larger than males in most species, and as such, the females are expected to be strong and the males are the weaker ones. Basically, the opposite of most other species.
''No, don't say that. You're not a cry baby… And I know how you feel, and I won't let anyone make fun of you again…'', Blu responded with slight emotion. Laura cracked a weak smile and hugged him.
''Thank you…'', she whispered. To Blu's surprise, she kissed him on the cheek, which made him blush. Laura sat in awkward silence, clearly embarrassed/ashamed of her action.
''I-I'm sorry for that…'', she apologised.
''I don't mind.'', Blu responded. The two sort of sat there. Blu wanted to mention Jewel, but he was starting to feel a connection with Laura. She was like him in many ways. She was awkward and meek. Both felt small, he honestly had more in common with her than he did with Jewel.
He was ashamed by these thoughts, but he felt hopeless. Part of him wished he didn't meet Laura, as this was making things more difficult. Her emotional speech tugged at his heart strings. He empathised with her on a profound level, especially considering he's originally a spix's macaw. Besides, Jewel may not believe him, and she may not even want to be with a harpy, even if its her mate.
''Are you okay?'', Laura asked with a concerned voice. Blu noticed he had shed a few tears.
''Oh… Yeah, I'm fine…'', Blu lied. She shook her head,
''Tyler, you're crying, and you've been quiet. Somethings bothering you. Please, don't be ashamed…'', Blu let out a sigh.
''Its just… I really don't want to talk about it…'', Blu told her. She too, let out a sigh.
''I know how it feels to lose someone. I lost my mama to poachers… and I lost an acquaintance a year ago to… I don't even know. She was just viciously attacked and had a wound in her neck.'', Laura wiped her eyes with her talons. Blu was incredibly anxious when she mentioned her dead acquaintance. It may just be the one who killed him.
''I'm really sorry to hear that.'', Blu said. Laura let out a sigh,
''I hate how other birds always think of us as unfeeling beasts…'', Laura admitted. Blu was inclined to agree. Even before, he felt that it wasn't their fault they had to eat meat. But now getting to know a harpy, he felt they were just like macaws, or any other bird. They were the same as them, only they were carnivorous and were larger.
Blu was silent though, as he thought back to his death. He would never get to see the eggs laid, or them hatch. He'd never get to see them walk for the first time. He'd never get to hear their first words, or their first flight. He'd never get to see his children grow up. He'd never get to grow old with Jewel. He'd never be able to do any of that. He'd never be able to because that harpy eagle took his life away from him… Although it was the rock that he landed on that delivered the mortal wound.
At the same time, she mentioned her family. What about them? She must've had a son or daughter, she must've had a mate, all waiting eagerly for her to return. But she never did. Was it fair to have their mother and mate taken from them? It wasn't. None of this was fair. No one won. Everyone lost. Two families are now ruined over the death of a parent. That harpy's mate is now a widower, her children motherless. Blu's mate is now a widow, and his children are fatherless.
''Tyler?'', Blu was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard her soft voice and wing on his shoulder. He looked at her, and noticed his vision was blurry from tears. He saw her through the blur, and a look of concern was in her eyes.
Blu didn't respond, he only brought his face closer to her chest and hugged her. Laura wrapped her wings around him as he cried into her soft, feathery chest.
''I-I'm sorry for bringing up a painful memory…'', Laura softly apologised.
''Its okay…'', Blu replied in a strangled voice. He had no idea if he should confess to her what happened. It may be better to do that before they developed a relationship.
Blu couldn't help but feel pessimistic, Jewel would likely shun his attempts to tell her what happened. Even if he managed to convince her, he knew their relationship wouldn't be the same. Their kids would grow up with a harpy as their dad, and a spix's macaw as their mother. Jewel would likely be constantly reminded of that faithful day every time she'd see him.
But what about Laura? He knew that if he developed a relationship with her, then it would be heart breaking for her if Blu broke up with her to return to Jewel. And it would be heart breaking for Jewel if he left her to live out his life with Laura. While he could have a triple matehood between Laura and Jewel, but he had no idea if that would pan out well. Maybe it would, who knows. It seems that no matter what he does, he'd hurt someone. He didn't want to hurt Jewel, nor did he want to hurt Laura.
A very difficult decision lies ahead of Blu. There is a fork in the path, and both lead to hurting someone. Its like the trolley problem, except there is no greater good to help him decide.
Well, that wraps up this long chapter, I hope you enjoyed it!
I apologise if the scene with Blu's death felt short/rushed. Specifically, either the part before Blu is attacked, or the part before Blu is cradled by Jewel as he lays dying in her wings. The part where Blu is dying turned out quite well. I didn't tear up while writing it, but I'm sure it may make someone cry.
I think I made this story my own thing so far. While it shares some similarities with Transformed, I feel the stories differ after Blu rises from the grave. The stories will share similarities, but I plan on having the main source of drama be Blu's decision. Which path shall he choose?
Anyways, I have no idea when the next chapter will be out. I just have quite a few stories in the works. I'm writing either a one-shot or a two-parter, and I'll try to get back to One-Winged Angel and Little Blue Orphan. Quite a bit of juggling.
Until next time, goodbye.