Ride at Twilight
Author: Zoey Balderston

Chapter 1
MAX

MAX

“What are you thinking about?” Fang’s quiet voice was suddenly right next to me. Of course I hadn’t heard his approach.

“My lovely little destiny.” No, I'm not fond of my destiny like some people are. Some have destinies like destined to be a ballet dancer, or a scientist, or destined to save the world. Yeah, guess which one I got stuck with. DING, DING, DING! We have a winner! I get the dream destiny of saving the world from psychopathic scientists.

“And the stupid voice.” Most of you who aren’t up to speed on my happy little story of Max and her gang of flying mutants, will be thinking, voice? What voice? Why the voice inside my head of course! What, you don’t have one? You can get them for a limited time at McDonalds with your Happy Meal!

“I don’t understand how they are supposed to fit together, or how I’m supposed to save the world. It’s just so frustrating!” I dropped my face into my arms crossed over my knees to hide the tears that blurred my already hazy vision. Fang was the only person who I could talk to about this sort of thing. I would never admit weakness to any of the younger kids. They needed me to be a strong leader, not a vulnerable wimp!

He slid closer to me and started scratching my back where my wings attached. And no, that wasn’t a typing error. I really did say wings.

Many sitting, standing, lying, or if you have enough concentration, walking there skimming over these pages are thinking we are the luckiest people in the world. We might have been if it weren’t for the fact that we are homeless experiments, constantly running for our lives, and scavenging for food. We are freaks who don’t fit in anywhere in society.

“Just forget the mission,” Fang said indifferently as usual.

“I don’t think I… can. I don’t… know how!” This sucked! I felt like such a weenie! He stopped scratching my wings and stared trailing his fingers lightly down my spine. I shivered but didn’t look up. He stopped at my lower back and started making small warm circles near the bottom of my shirt. My head shot up from my knees so fast my head spun.

“What are you doing?!” I said in a whisper that was a bit too loud.

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m comforting you silly!” And with that, he leaned closer, tilted my chin up, and kissed me.

 All the frustration I was felling a moment ago just melted away the second his lips started to press against mine. I wasn’t even sure of my own name! I was starting to feel lightheaded, and not only because I hadn’t taken a breath yet. I sucked in a deep breath through my nose and tried to clear my head, but it was still fried from the short circuit caused by Fang’s kiss.

He pulled away slightly to breathe and in that moment I realized we were not alone. The rest of the flock was there probably listening to every sound. And Angel was most likely listening to every thought too!

Yes I said thought. Did I forget to mention we have a six year old mind reader in our midst? Well now you know!

Fang started to move his face closer to mine, but before he could scramble my thoughts again, I sprang to my feet. His face fell through empty air where my lips had just been. He looked around in astonishment until he found me standing a foot away from him. He looked up at my face with genuine confusion pooling in his dark eyes.

“I’m not so sure about this, especially with the flock here,” I said my voice weak.

He got up and started gliding toward me, arms outstretched. I darted past him and launched myself off the cliff, leaving him and the, well they probably weren’t sleeping anymore, but my “sleeping” flock. The last thing I saw was Fang at the edge of the cave and small figures growing behind him. Great. My flock was waking to me flying away from them. I felt horrible but was in no mood to go back to face Fang. They would survive one night without me. They still had Fang and Iggy. Somehow, that didn’t make me feel any better.

 

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