A bird flew through the trees, soaring over and under branches as she reaches her destination.
She flew into an open window of a tree lab, flying down around the spiral staircase and over the banister connecting the upper levels of a living space to a laboratory. As she fell, the bird transformed from a bird to a girl and she landed loudly on a table, startling the only other occupant of the living space.
The older girl yawned and stretched as the other leaned in close with a smile on her face, her hair braided with feathers falling down to her right side.
“Mia,” The grinning girl said, “Guess what I found?”
The older of the two, Mia, looked up and jumped at the other’s close proximity. Her eyes widen and she stood, a hand to her chest.
“I know, that’s why I’m so excited!” Song paused to place her braid behind her, “Wait, how did you know?”
Mia rolled her eyes, moving to adjust the machines cluttering the area as she spoke, “I didn’t- I don’t. I meant- ugh. Just… no.” She bites her lip.
“Breathe,” Song whispered under her breath, and Mia relaxed before turning to Song.
“Don’t do that,” Mia ordered.
Song shrugged, “If it helps, why shouldn’t I?”
“You know why, Song. Now what about what you found? Space?” Mia asked, diverting Song’s attention.
Song perked up, sprouting wings and only stopping her transformation when Mia demands, “Not in the lab!”
Song stopped, wings retracting after they knocked over an entire shelf of tubes and vials.
Both girls winced as the glasses shatter and Mia pursed her lips, clenching her eyes and swallowing her frustration.
She took a deep breath, “It’s okay. It’s okay. Okay? Okay.”
Mia opened her eyes after repeating her small mantra to herself, “What did you find, Song?”
“It’ll be easier if I can show you,” Song amended, exiting the lab before turning into a bird and hovering by the door.
Mia shook her head, yet she still grabbed her bag and made her way outside. Briefly blinded by the sun shining through the trees, she covered her eyes with her arm and followed Song back to the familiar road that keeps those of a different kind.
The two made their ways to a creek where Song turned from bird to human and landed in the middle on a rock.
“What did you want to show me?” Mia asked.
Song looked around before pulling something out of her hair.
“Is that…?” Mia trailed off.
“A stick?” Song finished with a smirk, “Nope. I thought you of all people would know what this is.”
Mia deadpanned, “I know a conduct when I see one.”
Song looked up to the sky, “Then you know why I brought you here?”
Mia nodded, “Go on.”
Song stepped into the water and dipped her conduct in. Then she slowly transformed into a bird, this time in a bubble of water as her conduct disappeared. Her brown feathers, tipped black with a black head and beak now had a stripe of brilliant gold from directly under the beak, wrapped up around the head and down to the tips of the underbelly’s tail.
Once the transformation was complete, the water mimicked the movement of twinkling stars and drifted away, sinking back into the creek.
Song turned back into a human, now with a golden stripe tracing above her brows and down the center of her nose and a golden necklace band held together by a smaller version of her conduct.
Song looked herself over, glancing in the water before stepping over to Mia who was taking notes.
“That was amazing,” Mia gushed in a rare show of excitement as she lifted Song’s arm with one hand and a book in the other. Her pencil, which was held in her mouth moving as she attempted to draw the amounts of Song’s change.
Song laughed as Mia poked her side before she was swatted away.
“Mia,” Song began, “I- what is that?”
Mia’s face scrunched as she followed Where Song was pointing with her eyes.
There, falling from the sky, was something. What, the two didn’t know. All they knew was it was fast approaching their home and was that a person?
Both girls simultaneously cursed before taking off – one human, one bird – towards the lab as the body hit the roof.