Chapter 1 'Grounded'
With permission from bluJewel stories, I have set to expand upon his idea from chapter 22 of Rio: What would happen if… I have had this idea for quite some time to be honest. So, hopefully this all turns out well.
I have actually done something I haven't done before: Plan out a story. This story has had 6 chapters detailed in simple sentences, (pretty much dot points without the dots) so hopefully I don't experience good ole' writer's block.
I am very proud of how the cover image turned out. Originally made using MS Paint, and it took me 20 minutes or so. Enhanced with photoshop. (Blurring the edges, and using spot heal or whatever its called to smooth the transition of colours in the spot where I removed her left wing)
I will base the structure on bluJewel stories' chapter, but with some changes in dialogue and description, as well as taking place earlier. Takes place as soon as the cargo door is open fully.
Okay enough rambling, let's get on with it! Enjoy or suffer.
It was a race against time for the now freed birds. The plane was a sketchy old looking one, it's a wonder that it can even fly, considering how it looks like its 50 years old and would fit quite well in the second world war. The turboprop engines, boxy design and plain steel coating kind of gives one that idea. But miraculously, it flies.
But the plane's airworthiness is not something those birds were worrying about, rather, they were worrying about escaping. Luckily for them, freedom was right in front of them. The cargo door opened fully, revealing the beautiful south zone of Rio de Janeiro. Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana and other sights were visible. But they weren't going to just stare at its beauty, because if they did, they might be captured again. The smuggler leader, Marcel, was banging on the door. He had made good progress in moving the cages which were piled there to buy them some time. Sooner or later he'd barge the door open.
The bird who was responsible for their escape was a Spix's macaw named Blu. With the cargo door open, he ordered the birds out.
''Go, go, go!'', the birds flew out like if they were paratroopers.
''FREEDOM!'', a Red crested cardinal named Pedro cried out as he shot his wing up. The birds swarmed out and flew above the water. They were free! That only left two birds there: Blu and Jewel, both were Spix's Macaws.
''C'mon Blu, c'mon we need to get out!'', In a hurry, Jewel grabbed Blu's wing and bolted towards the exit, completely forgetting Blu's inability to fly.
''Wait, wait!'', Blu said in a panic. Jewel quickly stopped and let go of his wing. Remembering that Blu can't fly, she changed her expression into one of concern and understanding. She softened her voice, trying to calm Blu's fears.
''Um, its okay… Hey, its okay... We'll figure this out together, right?'', she soothed Blu's fears as she placed her wing on his shoulder. Unfortunately for them, the smugglers had managed to open the door far enough for their Sulphur crested cockatoo, Nigel to get through. Jewel shrieked in fear, as Nigel charged at them. She dodged out of the way, and Blu was pinned down by the throat by the cockatoo, as he cackled maliciously.
Jewel quickly rushed to Blu's defence, pouncing onto him. Unfortunately, Nigel was far stronger than she was. He simply and violently threw her off. She landed against the wall, and the vibration caused a cage to fall right on her left wing, breaking it in the process.
''Ow!'', she cried out in pain, as Blu called out her name. Jewel looked at the cage, and with a sad, and low voice, ''Oh, my wing…'' She sounded like she was about to cry.
Nigel took no pity in her, nor did he for seemingly any bird or living creature. He was a sadistic psychopath, motivated by a pathetic revenge for his career. He hated all ''pretty birds'', as he was once the star of a show. Unfortunately, they swapped him out with a parakeet, and ever since he has despised all pretty birds. One wonders if he'd spare a bird with deformities, or if they were a species he'd consider not pretty. Such as a cockatoo, like himself. But as far as they were concerned, he hated every bird that wasn't himself.
''Oh pity, now we have two useless, flightless birds!'', he giggled his signature insane laugh at his own joke. Blu spotted a fire extinguisher he had used to ''pop his cage open like a soda can''. He reached his leg out, and grabbed the hook with his talon. Drawing it closer, he attached it to Nigel's leg. Nigel felt it, muttering a single word, ''Oh''.
''Not cool man, not cool!'', Blu said his one liner like an 80's action hero. Except their one liners are usually some sort of pun, or a cheesy line. He pulled the pin, and sent ole rocketman off. Nigel crashed through the window on the door connecting the cargo bay (is that what its called?) and the cockpit, and out of the cockpit window. The extinguisher detached, leaving Nigel right in the path of a propeller that would seemingly shred him to bits. He shrieked in terror, as he collided with the propeller, leaving a trail of white feathers behind for Blu and Jewel to see. But unfortunately, him colliding with the engine caused it to stop working. Common sense tells us that that's not a good thing.
The plane started to go down, and this caused the cages to go flying out, including the one on Jewel's wing. However, she too, would be sent out. Blu rushed to grab her as she slid out, and desperately tried to use her good wing to stop herself.
''Blu!'', she cried out, as she tried to stop herself from falling off the edge, as Blu ran to her. But it was in vain, and so was Blu's attempts to grab her.
Jewel was sent off the edge and screamed in terror as she fell towards her doom. Blu began hyperventilating in panic, and made a decision. He closed his eyes, and dropped off. This triggered a vivid memory of him falling as a chick.
He regained his senses, and panicked as he realised what he had just done. He cried out in fear, before colliding with Jewel and grabbed a hold of her.
''Blu, you're crazy! What are you doing?!'', she yelled at him in a mix of emotions and feelings. Blu didn't care though,
''I'm not going to let you go! We're chained-to-each-other birds, remember?'', his words figuratively touched Jewel's heart. She paused for a moment, looking directly at him. Without hesitation, she pulled him into an embrace and kissed him. Blu's eyes shot wide open, but his eyes soon rolled back and closed, as he returned the kiss.
Blu was practically in a state of euphoria; Being so close to such a beautiful woman, being kissed and accepted for the bird he was excited Blu and warmed his heart. They parted beaks, as Blu smiled. One by one, he spread his wings out. Her kiss had figuratively awoken his heart, and with that he had the ability he had always wanted, flight! He opened his eyes, and just in the nick of time (they literally skimmed the water) he pulled up, preventing them from being sent to a watery grave. He was awestruck,
''Blu, you're flying!'', Jewel cried out in excitement.
''Yeah! Woohoo, I'm flying! You're right, I'm not an ostrich! I'm not an ostrich!'', he responded victoriously, letting out his excitement as he flew for the very first time. It was an unbeatable experience, and a sensation he was glad to feel, and one he would definitely be able to feel again. But he wasn't going to go sightseeing. He had a task at hand: To get Jewel back to the airport, and get her wing checked out.
He flew around Sugarloaf Mountain, encountering a climber. In their distraction, they missed two cable cars. But Blu had quick reflexes and was surprisingly acrobatic. A trait he acquired from climbing hoops and bars Linda got for him. He dodged both cars, and they both looked at each other for a moment. Blu chuckled in relief, which helped calm the nerves he had just a moment before.
Back at the airport, Linda, Tulio and Fernando sat on an old plane's wing. Tulio sat next to Linda, as she was distraught by the loss of Blu. Fernando spotted Blu and Jewel in the distance.
''Hey look!'', he said as he pointed in the direction of the birds. Linda and Tulio looked in the direction he was pointing, as Tulio adjusted his glasses so he could see better. Linda gasped when she saw them,
''Hey, its Blu! Look Tulio, its Blu… And he's flying… My Blu is flying! He's flying!'', she ran towards them as Blu descended towards the ground. He gently laid Jewel down on the tarmac to prevent further injury and pain. All three humans ran towards them, as Linda knelt down. Jewel glared at her, and shifted back a bit, taking comfort in Blu. Blu hugged her a bit with one wing, telling her that she can trust them, without using words. Jewel was comforted slightly, but as Tulio knelt down, her expression changed to that of fear.
Blu placed his wing over hers, as she looked back in fear. Again, Blu told her that she could trust them without using words. Jewel let herself be gently picked up by Tulio, as she maintained eye contact with Blu.
With a broken wing, Jewel needed medical attention, and so, they were taken back to the aviary.
(At this point I'll follow the story this is based on, just with extra details, and changes with dialogue and some extended and cut things)
Tulio and three other colleagues rushed into the clinic with Jewel, intending to operate on her. He began to order several doctors who were chatting in the lobby before he had barged in to get into the operating room. Jewel was clearly terrified, and Tulio saw this, he bent his head down a bit,
''Don't worry, everything is going to be okay.'', he said in a comforting manner, which worked a little. Blu wanted to be alongside Jewel to comfort her and answer any questions she had about the weird things and gadgets they had. But he couldn't be in there, so he had to just wait and hope Jewel would be okay.
He took Jewel inside the dark room with several other doctors, and shut the door. Her fate would be left for time to tell.
Blu was incredibly anxious, and Linda saw this,
''Blu, she's going to be alright. Tulio and his colleagues know what they're doing.'', Linda said as she attempted to calm Blu down. It worked somewhat, but it was clear as day he needed some alone time. His nerves were sky high, and hopefully solitude would ground his woes.
''I think Blu needs some alone time.'', Linda commented. Soon a nurse entered the room, and saw Blu's behaviour. He was pacing up and down on a desk, and Linda repeated the words she said earlier. Blu was let in the fake jungle, and he flew off into a hollow. The confined and quiet space reminded him of his cage, which is his safe space, so he took comfort in the cozy hollow.
''Jewel's going to be okay… It'll be alright… Everything is going to be okay…'', Blu repeated to himself in an attempt to ease his nerves. However, his nerves wouldn't go away. As if his mind was trying to make him ever more anxious, he came to the realisation that Jewel had not once moved her wing. Sure, it was hurt, but she had to have moved it at least once. But, as far as Blu had seen, she hadn't. This was a sign her wing was broken… Badly.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't shake his nerves off. So, in an attempt to take his mind off of the situation, he decided to at least try to get some sleep.
He laid down, and was surprised by how comfortable it was. Blu sighed, as he tossed and turned in order to find a comfortable position. Once he found one, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep...
He slowly opened his eyes. He had been asleep for a few hours, and was well rested. He groggily sat up, stretched, and rubbed his eyes. Smacking his beak, he peered out of the hollow. He saw two humans, and eavesdropped,
''We did all we could…'', he heard a sad male voice, whom he correctly guessed was Tulio. The other human who accompanied him, was Linda. He could tell by her unusually red hair which stood out like a skyscraper in a suburban neighbourhood… Okay, maybe not that much, but it still stood out.
''There wasn't anything you could do…'', Linda reassured Tulio. Blu's nerves were skyrocketing.
''The operation lasted hours, only for us to find out many nerve endings in her wing were severely damaged or severed completely, and her bones were completely pulverised…'', Tulio sighed, and his words struck fear into the heart of Blu.
''What's important is that she's still alive.'', Linda placed her hand on Tulio's shoulder, letting him look on the bright side. Tulio merely nodded. While the news that Jewel was still alive comforted Blu slightly, he was dreading finding out the extent of Jewel's injuries, or what has happened to her.
''Blu should be around somewhere…'', Linda said as she placed Jewel down on the concrete floor of what was a pleasant garden. It would most definitely look excellent in someone's backyard. Linda and Tulio exited the room, leaving Jewel there. Blu correctly figured that Jewel was there, and felt a wave of excitement. He flew down,
''Jewel, Jewel!'', he cried out as he landed near her. However, his excitement dropped faster than gravity (9.81m/s^2) once he realised something was seriously wrong.
''…Jewel?'', he spoke softly in a concerned voice. His worries were confirmed by her inaudible answer and the sight of her tears and the sound of her soft weeping, which grew more visible and audible the closer he got.
''Is everything alright?'', he asked her as he continued to get closer. Jewel answered by her crying getting louder and more intense.
''My life is over… I'm alone, and I can't fly…'', Jewel bitterly wailed. Blu got closer, and his heart sank when he realised something he should have earlier…
Her left wing was missing…
''Wha-? Why?'', Blu spat out in confusion and concern. Jewel looked up and was slightly surprised to see that Blu was still there.
''My wing was too damaged… They amputated it…'', Jewel answered in a snivelling voice. Blu's heart sank further,
''The wing… Oh Jewel, its all my fault… I'm so, so terribly sorry…'', Blu's voice was soft and loaded with remorse. His eyes even grew watery, but not enough for tears to trickle down.
''No, Blu its not your fault, its Nigel's fault… Doesn't change the fact that I'm alone…'', Jewel assured him, and began to cry more. Blu approached her, and gently embraced her, holding her closer to his chest.
''You're not alone, you have me…'', Blu tried to comfort her. Jewel was surprised by the fact that he still wanted to be with her.
''How can you love this? How can anyone love this? I can't fly… I'm just a one-winged freak!'', she wept. Blu flinched, as her words stung Blu in a way he had never felt before. Blu was distraught to see a bird as spirited and independent as her deprecate herself like that.
''No, no, don't say that! You're not a one-winged freak… You're a one-winged-angel!'', Blu didn't really think much before he blurted out the last part. Well he did, as he paused briefly as he tried to find a word to say, but he didn't think about how cheesy and somewhat insensitive it was. Blu quickly realised that it sounded bad.
''…R-really?'', Jewel's tone lightened up a bit. The way she took his cheesy line surprised Blu, and he thought that 'one-winged angel' may become a nickname he'd use for her.
''Yes, Jewel. Even with one wing, you're still as beautiful and wonderful as the day I met you. It wouldn't matter if you had two wings, one wing or no wings at all… You're still the most wonderful bird I have ever met…'', Blu said with every bit of sincerity he could ever have. His words figuratively touched Jewel's heart, as her tears softened as she embraced Blu as tight as she could. She rested her head into his soft feathery chest.
''Thank you…'', she softly muttered. Blu smiled as he instinctively stroked her head feathers, which helped calm Jewel down. A thought crept into Blu's mind, and he felt it might be a good time to mention it, considering how tender the situation is.
''Jewel, I've been meaning to tell you something…'', he began. Jewel was still tight in an embrace, refusing to pull away from the soft feathery comfort.
''Yeah?'', she answered softly. Blu took in a breath, as he readied himself,
''I…I-I love you…'', he managed to say. Jewel looked up, with a smile forming on her beak.
''I love you too…'', Blu didn't have much time to react before Jewel pulled him into their second kiss, which Blu gladly accepted and returned to her.
They soon parted beaks, and Blu decided to add some humour into the situation, albeit insensitive humour.
''Hey, welcome to the ground club.'', Blu said in a tongue-in-beak manner. Jewel simply sighed, which was different from what one would expect from someone like her.
''Why don't we get some rest? I'll fly you up there.'', Blu suggested, ''My one-winged angel.'', he added. Jewel laid down, allowing Blu to climb on top. He grabbed a hold of her with his talons and flew up to the hollow he slept in earlier. He noted earlier that it was big enough to comfortably fit him and Jewel inside.
He landed just outside the hollow entrance, and dismounted. Jewel sat up and walked in. Turning back she invited him inside in a tongue-in-beak manner.
''C'mon lovehawk, I won't bite.'', Blu nodded as he entered. Jewel had already sat down.
''I kind of wish I didn't sleep in here earlier.'', Blu confessed, to which Jewel chuckled. Her mood was far, far better than it was before. Blu sat down as well, and tucked his beak behind his wing. While it looks quite uncomfortable to non-avians, but for a bird it was like lying down and snuggling up against a pillow in terms of comfort.
''Come on and snuggle with me, Blu!'', Jewel urged Blu. Blu popped his head up, and blushed slightly as he shuffled closer to Jewel until he was right next to her.
''Much better…'', she cooed as she rested her head on his shoulder, and wrapped her wing around Blu. Blu liked the sensation a lot, and hugged her back. Neither really worried about how they haven't had dinner… or lunch, or breakfast, or really any meal for the past two days. But they were lost in the moment. Even though Blu had woken up from a nap that lasted several hours less than 10 minutes ago, he still found himself dozing off in Jewel's comfortable embrace…
Well that wraps up chapter one, and my-my was it long! In fact, this is the second longest chapter I have ever done, (3,605 words) and is arguably the best chapter I have written so far.
I'm very proud of how it turned out, because this is easily the best piece of writing I have ever done. It may even be called over-detailed in the first part in the plane. But many stories are like that. It sets the scene and hooks the reader with your story… Unless they don't like that much detail.
Again, credit to bluJewel stories for the idea. I did follow certain parts closely, but I did change up bits of dialogue, added extra details or changed the wording, and removed certain parts. (Notably the dream sequence) I also added an entire section at the beginning and the end.
I do apologise for the somewhat inconsistent level of detail, but even the less detailed bits still have a fair amount of detail. I mentioned detail a lot.
I don't know when the next chapter will be out, or if it'll be as detailed as this, but hopefully it'll be out soon.
Until next time, goodbye.