Articles by Amber Hill



Bird: Chapter 5

I get to my feet, breaking the strange closeness. “Let’s just go home.”

He doesn’t say anything more. He watches me, head turned so that one eye can look directly at me. Then, with an odd little hissing noise, he spreads his wings and takes to the sky in one leap. He curves off through the canopy of the trees, vanishing into the cerulean backdrop.

I pause for a moment, an unfamiliar fear tickling my belly. I find myself gazing off in the direction of the cabin. I didn’t fall far from it. Maybe a few hundred feet.

My stomach ties up in a tight coil. Without another thought, I lift my wings and ascend through the trees, ignoring the strain in my shoulders.


Bird: Chapter 4

“Just go.” They bicker for a moment, and I glance down the hallway. I could be out the back in seconds. I take several breaths, half watching them and half the hallway. When Oliver starts to talk again, I turn and start off as quietly as I can.

“Wait, Miss,” Oliver shouts slightly, and then falls very quiet. Even the fire settles a little, dimming the room with the hush. My back is to him.

I hardly even hesitate. I take off down the hallway in a blind run, making for the back room with most of the rear wall missing.

“Wait!” I hear Oliver give chase, and I fumble for half a second with the knob. There are tears in my eyes when I turn and slam the flimsy door shut. I lock it loudly, one hand flat against the wood, and take half a step back. Every feather on my wings stands on end, and I can’t seem to catch my breath.


Bird: Chapter 3

He clicks a few more times, and for a moment I think he’s about to answer. But a sudden hush falls over the cabin, dampening even the warmth of the fire. I freeze, glancing around without moving. The morning has begun spilling into the rooms, but only barely. Bird turns in a little circle, gazing around the room.

There is a sudden crackling outside. It is so abrupt and so loud that my body jerks slightly. I am on my feet within the space of a heartbeat, my wings unfurling just a bit in a flight response.

There is another noise outside now. Like footsteps. My chest cavity freezes over. I turn to look at Bird, and I can sense his fear in the hair along the back of my neck.

And then, too late, the doorknob is turning. Before I can put out the fire, run, or even duck for cover, the door has opened just a crack and a voice shouts far too loudly.

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