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Autumn: Chapter Two

February 18, 2010

.:C h a p t e r  T w o:.

“That meddling kid. Why can’t he just leave well enough alone? She wants answers now. She’s close to waking up.”

Kiren stroked his short, stubbly beard.

“He must be after it. What’s he trying to accomplish?” He asked.

Faria crossed her arms.

“I don’t know yet, and I could care less. I’m going to secure it before Bryn gets to her.”

“Be careful, Faria. He’s been watching her like a hawk. He’s quite powerful for a boy.”

“For a boy,” Faria said, and left the study.

Autumn got home right on time, which was confusing to her. She had been in the forest for at least ten or fifteen minutes.

Her parents weren’t home yet, which was fine with her. She didn’t know what she would say to them.

She ran a hand through her hair.

What was going on?

What did he mean by me waking up? I’m not asleep. Am I?

She didn’t quite feel comfortable doing something like watching TV after everything that had happened, so she pulled on a coat and stepped out into the backyard.

The sun was beginning to go down, and there was a slight nip in the air.

A bird flew by overhead, dazzlingly white, with long tail feathers and a ruffled, spiky crown on the back of its neck.

She watched it soar past her, coming back down and making another pass.

She had never seen another bird like it, and certainly not here.

Something about it seemed… odd.

It landed on the back patio, and cocked its head at her.

“I bet you aren’t having the same day that I am,” Autumn said, glancing at it.

Suddenly, before her very eyes, the bird grew in size, the feathers changing into cloth, and suddenly there was a woman standing in front of her.

She was dangerously pretty, wearing mostly white, and she had sparkling green eyes and long, flowing blonde hair.

“Hi, Autumn, dear,” She said.

Autumn blinked.

“B-but you were… the bird!?” She stammered, taking a step back. One more weird thing to add to the list.

The woman tossed a white scarf over her shoulder.

“Why of course. Where else would you see a bird like that, huh? Not in your human zoos, that’s for sure.”
Human? What’s she talking about? Isn’t she human?

Autumn swallowed.

“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” She asked.

The woman smiled.

“I suppose you’ve already met Bryn, dear?”
Autumn nodded slowly.

“Pesky little boy. Listen, he didn’t tell you what you want to know, did he?”
Autumn found herself shaking her head.

“That’s just like him, to go running off and leave you in the dark. Look, dear, I’m here for something that you’ve got. It’s very important to me.”
“And what would that be?” Autumn asked.

“Don’t you know? Bryn must’ve told you already.”
“No, he didn’t. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Really? You don’t?”
She looked like she was going to say one more thing, but suddenly from out of the forest leaped a small reddish-brown fox, with gray splotches on its paws. It collided head-on with her, and she yelled, losing her balance and going down.

Autumn jumped back as the fox swiped at the woman with one of its paws before leaping away, snarling. It stood in front of Autumn, facing the woman as she tried to get up.

Without warning, it changed shape just like the bird, and suddenly Bryn was standing in its place.

“Bryn!?” Autumn was completely and utterly bewildered. This was stranger than anything she had seen in a day full of strange things.

He stared down the woman.

“Stay back, Faria,” He said. “Leave her alone.”

“Not a chance, kiddo. I’ve come for it, and I’ll have it.”

“Last chance, Faria. Stay back.”

She chuckled, smiling. It wasn’t a nice smile, it was more of a I’m-going-to-kill-you kind of a smile.

White wings grew out of her back, and she waved them, scattering the leaves on the patio.

Bryn gritted his teeth.

“Get back, Autumn,” He said.

She didn’t need to be told twice. She stepped back, and watched as Bryn’s teeth changed and were suddenly like a fox’s. Sharp.

His eyes looked like the fox’s too, gleaming, animal eyes.

She was frightened and awed at the same time.

The woman-Faria- held out her hand, pointing at Autumn.

“I’ll give you a chance to hand her over quietly,” She said.

Bryn growled in response.

“Fine. Have it your way.”
She lifted into the air with her wings, using them to stir up the air into gusts.

She lunged forward, wind gusting towards Bryn.

He growled fiercely, leaping into it, hand back. Autumn thought he was going to punch Faria, but he somehow blasted her with wind. She went flying backwards, large white wings flapping as she regained her center of balance.

Bryn leapt forward again, changing into a fox in midleap. He landed on Faria, clawing at her, and she grunted, throwing him off.

He landed on the cement patio hard, staggered up and shook it off before leaping back at her.

She held out her open palm and wind somehow blasted out of it, stopping him in his tracks.

He flew backwards.

Autumn lunged forward and caught him, and she quickly let him go, stepping out of the way again.

He dashed along the ground, leaping into the air and changing back into his human form.

He swirled the wind around him, and sent it flying at Faira.

She took the blast head on, gritting her teeth.

She changed into a bird and soared above them.

Bryn looked up, tightened his hand into a fist and let a huge gust of wind fly up at her.

She glided right through it, before soaring up and turning, then coming back down at him.

She landed on his head, scrabbling at him and pecking at him.

He stepped back and she changed back quickly.

Bryn growled again, and then the next few minutes were so chaotic that Autumn could barely follow. Leaves were flying, the two combatants were flying around the yard with superhuman speed, and changing between their animal and human forms flick flick flick.

Suddenly Bryn took a direct hit and was sent flying, changing back into his animal form as his fell.

She ran forward and caught him again, but this time he wasn’t leaping back into the fray.

He was just lying there in her arms, eyes closed, breathing shallow.

“Bryn! Wake up!” She shouted, but he didn’t do anything.

Faria chuckled.

“Oh, shoot. Your hero isn’t all he was cracked up to be, eh dear? Now, how about just handing him over…”

Autumn fixed Faria with a glare.

“In your dreams, birdgirl.”
Faria smirked, then suddenly the smirk was wiped off her face.

It took Autumn a second to realize why.

All around her, the wind was gusting the leaves around. And it wasn’t doing it on its own.

The wind picked up behind Autumn, and suddenly it blew past her, blowing her hair and clothes along with it.

The gust hit Faria dead on, blowing her backwards. She hit the ground, hard, her wings disappearing.

Autumn had no idea what had just happened.

There was a quiet groan, and she looked down at Bryn to see him stagger out of her arms and flick back into his human form.

He had several cuts and wounds, but he wasn’t seriously hurt.

“Autumn… did you do that?”
She looked down at her own hands.

“I… I guess so, I mean…”
He glanced out at Faria, lying on a pile of leaves.

“I certainly didn’t do that, that’s for sure.”

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