Alexander Death

By: JL Bryan

(The Paranormals, Book 3)


CHAPTER ONE





Seth found the little bird in the manicured grass under one of the old, moss-heavy oaks in the front yard. It cocked its head as he approached, then spread its wings and attempted to fly away, but it couldn't get airborne because one wing was bent and crooked. It flailed and rolled through the grass, trying to escape him.

“It's okay, Bird,” Seth said. He dropped to his knees and crawled to the bird, thinking this would scare the little creature less than if he walked towards it at his full height. Seth paid no mind to the grass stains on the knees of his white Easter pants.

Seth studied the bird. It was blue, so, by Seth's logic, it must have been a bluebird. He wondered what had happened to the bird's wing, if an animal had attacked it or if it had just fallen and forgotten how to fly. Or maybe it never could fly. It looked very small, like a baby.

“What are you doing, Seth?” Carter ran out of the house and across the front yard toward Seth. “You have to hurry!” His approach startled the bird, which screeched and rolled around again, flapping its useless wing.

“Shh!” Seth said. “You're scaring him.”

“Don't shoosh me!” Carter said. He was ten years old, while Seth was only six, and Carter thought being older made him boss of everything. “Mom wants you to come in now, 'cause it's time for church.”

“I'm coming,” Seth said, but he didn't move from his hands and knees.

“What's that?” Carter stood beside Seth and looked at the bird with the flailing wing.

“He's hurt,” Seth said. “We have to help him.”

“We can't,” Carter told him. “If the mom bird smells a person on the baby, she won't take care of it anymore.”

“Doesn't look like she's taking care of him, anyway,” Seth said. “He's stranded.”

“We have to go.”

Seth heard his mother in the back yard, calling for him.

“We can't leave him here,” Seth said. “Something will eat him.”

“What do you want to do?”

“I can keep him in my room until he's better.” Seth reached for the bird, but it hopped back from him, opening its beak.

“Mom won't let you do that.”

“Are you gonna tell on me?” Seth asked.

“I don't have to. She's going to notice a bird, Seth.”

“Seth! Carter!” their mom called in the back yard. “Come here right this instant!”

“Let's go,” Carter said. “We're gonna get in trouble.”

“Wait.” Seth crawled toward the bird and slowly reached out with both hands.

“Leave it alone, Seth,” Carter said. “It's probably got germs.”

“He doesn't have germs!” Seth said.

“How would you know?”

“You don't know everything, Carter.”

“Seth!” their mom called again.

“I know you're gonna get grounded if you don't come on,” Carter said.

“Wait...” Seth crawled closer to the little bird, which seemed to be losing its energy. “Almost...” He scooped up the bird in both hands, taking care to avoid the broken wing, since it probably hurt. The bird bit him anyway, drawing drops of blood from Seth's thumb with its sharp beak.

“Told you it would bite, dummy,” Carter said.

“No, you didn't. And I don't care.” Seth stood up, holding the bird in both hands. Carter gaped at the grass smears on his pants.

“Oh, you're gonna get in trouble...” Carter said.

“Am not.” Seth looked at the tiny bird quivering in his hands. “I'll help you,” he whispered. “You can live on my dresser. That's like a tree.”

“Seth, you can't bring that bird...” Carter began, but Seth tuned him out.

Something was happening. Seth felt his hands grow hotter and hotter. The bird chirped and squirmed in his fingers, and now Seth could feel heat flowing out from his palms. He didn't understand what was happening.

Then the bird hopped to the edge of his left hand, extended both wings, and jumped. It fell for a moment, but it flapped furiously and straightened out its course, skimming over the grass. Then it climbed up through the air in a wide, slow spiral, to perch on a dark, thick limb overhead. It tweeted a few times, and Seth thought it sounded happy.

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