Hello everyone! (waves happily) I just wanted to put up this work of masterpiece. (Sniffles)
I don't think there are a lot of fans for To Kill A Mockingbird, however, I wrote this story for a final project in English and I got an A-. WOOT! Oh, yeah!
I just fell inspired after I wrote this chapter sequel of the book. I have to comment that it was an interesting story. I was more than happy to write it.
Review to comment how you like it. (smiles)
Disclaimer: I do not own To Kill a Mockingbird. But that doesn't mean I do not call my little brother Kael as my own. (cries) He's such a pure kid. I also don't own the song 'So it is,' QED does.
Sequel to TKM: To Free a Caged Bird
Freedom means choosing your burden. Hephzibah Menuhin
Two years have passed and Maycomb has finally followed its normal pace. Tom Robinson's case and his shocking death are no more but a vague memory. I still can't get around to believing it wasn't a dream. Mr. Ewell's heinous act has been forgotten, but not forgiven and his insignificant life no longer lingers. The Finch family and everyone else can no longer be concerned of his presence for his threat is gone. The rumors of Boo Radley have died down after the town, somehow, learned of the events playing that night when Jem and I were almost killed by Mr. Ewell. As far as I know, Mr. Heck Tate has done his job as the sheriff, sparing Arthur the unwanted attention. I was glad I got to see him, if only once.
School has been rocking along day by day. Jem fortunately joined the football team on the field. And ever since then, he's been getting stronger and swifter, which disappoints me. Now I can't fight him much for risk of receiving a blotchy bruise that would never heal.
Basically, everyone and everything in Maycomb has been flowing normally. And as for Dill… Let's just say that one day, he came yonder our house and invited both Jem and I for a walk in the park at the naturally genuine day of April. I happily obliged and had already inserted my outside shoes when Jem absentmindedly declined. He was too busy exercising fifty push-ups in all the hopes of increasing his stamina. We both let him be as both Dill and I strolled leisurely to the park. It was such a normal routine, yet I was never fascinated even less.
We took our time picking luscious blackberries from the bushes, being careful that they were ripe. While I was savoring the sweet flavor of the fruit's juice, I heard someone humming. I listened attentively and I distinguished it further as singing. Following the voice, I found not too far away a young boy seated under the shade of an oak tree, picking at the grass while his lips formed the words that escaped his mouth conscientiously.
"Birds of a feather flock in a pack; you can't fight the government or paint the cloud black."
The boy's lyrics drew me in as I tuned out Dill's calls.
"So it is written, so it is done the writing's on the wall, but the hands got a gun."
I felt Dill grip my arm as he tried to pull me back to Reality. However, as more as I tried to resist, my mind was caught on a line with this melodic song. My will was pretty weak at the moment.
"So it is—."
The second he stopped, my brain snapped back into orbit. I vigorously shook my head to get rid of the slickly nauseating feeling at the pit of my stomach. "Scout! Scout!" His voice sounded roughly alert and I knew something was happening. The next thing I knew, my eyes gazed at the sight of the boy being chased around by a steel-built man. I would've been laughing if it weren't for the fact that the situation looked grim. The man was practically snarling like an animal while his arms flung out to try and catch the boy.
However, before he got the chance to, the boy swiftly ducked under the opening of his long legs. It surely caught him by slight surprise and the boy hurriedly scampered to his feet. Then, he leapt into the air as high as his short legs could take him. And it was a lot considering the fact that the man was four times his size. The kick he delivered at his neck was unyielding enough for the man to slump sloppily on the grass, burring his face in the dirt. I could've sworn I heard a sickening snap resounding in the apparently oblivious park.
Both Dill and I gazed aghast at the small boy who merely brushed off his shoulders as if he just went out for a walk. As the boy was calmly collecting himself, I suddenly grew nervous when his almond eyes traveled in our direction. It was strange. A guiltless look was plastered on his face and his eyes held no vibrant emotion. Atticus once said that the eyes were the open windows to one's soul. I couldn't see anything. I might as well be peering though glass.
Before I knew it, he was eagerly rushing toward us. "Hello. How are you?" he asked politely. His accent was so foreign, pretty slow and droll as if making sure he understood what he said. He's not from Maycomb. I've never seen him before and I doubt I would understand him. He looked so comfortably clothed, mahogany shirt and khaki pants reaching longer than his ankles.
"Um… hi. I'm fine," Dill said uncertainly from beside me.
"What's your name?" he inquired quickly then and I could've sworn he sounded like a high-pitched girl.
"Well, I'm Scout and this is Dill." I introduced.
"Well, glad to meet ya!" He snatched our hands and shook them heartily. Well, his first impression was that he was exuberant. Although, something was off about his wide smile and I couldn't put my finger on it.
"How old are ya, boy?"
"Me? I'm seven and glad to be! Seven's a lucky number and it's my lucky number!" He practically shouted as he pumped his fists in the air. This kid was pretty short and I reckon he was a head smaller than me. "Hey, I'm alone, by myself. Can you take me to your house?"
"Because, I'm hungry." Disarming smile.
"What about your parents? Your family?" I asked curiously. I couldn't grasp his meaning of being alone. He said it a little too frankly as if it was a casual reason. He didn't look sad at all.
"So? What about them?"
"Well… Do they know where you are?"
"Why, of course not!"
"But you were being attacked."
"Well, not really. He couldn't attack me if he couldn't catch me." He had said it so matter-of-factly; it made us feel that he was the teacher explaining a lesson to us, his students. "But forget about that. Aren't you going to take me to your house?"
"Who said we were goin' to?" Dill was pretty irked from the interview he gave the kid. I guess he didn't like how arrogant the boy was. Well, to me, he seems innocent.
"Don't get strung up, Dill. There's no harm for the boy to come with." And that was that. At the end, he was walking between us down the sidewalk toward my home, thus ending our trek in the park. Earlier, I took no notice of the unmoving man sprawled on the grass. He looked so still, he might as well be having a long, deep sleep.
I stole a glance at the boy. He was childishly skipping while humming tunelessly, his eyes closed shut in merriment. He's such an oddity, he was. His chestelnut hair messy and cropped and he had a complimentary small ponytail. He looked white, but he makes up a good fraud for being an American.
"So, boy, what are you doin' in a small town like this?" Dill began his second interview.
"I just ended up here. I really have no sense of direction. How about you?"
"I live here—."
"Well, that's nice to know!" I chuckled at his enthusiasm.
"How'd you get here?"
"I traveled. No big deal."
"What's your plan for sticking around?"
"How am I supposed to know?" By this time, I knew Dill would grow impatient and annoyed. "Hey, girlie." He was actually referring to me. "What do you do here for a living?" Such an odd question from such an odd boy.
"That's easy. I live being a kid!" I guess if there was anyway to communicate with this child, it was by speaking his language.
"Yeah, that's the spirit! Life is about living in freedom. That's my dream!" Before I could ask what he meant, his attention was diverted at the house that rested in front of us. The Radley Place. From where we were coming from, we had to pass this house to my home. The boy held a glazed look in his eyes as if entranced. He did not budge from his spot for a mere few minutes before Dill started to drag him off.
"Let's not stick around. I don't want this boy to be superstitious of Boo Radley's house," Dill grumbled as we trudged off.
As soon as we came back, he darted inside and started to scan the house skeptically. In my perspective, he was intricately curious. Curious as a cat. Or a mouse. Either one. Both Dill and I followed the boy into Jem's room. I was careless at the moment to let him search through everything of Jem's stuff. I had no idea what he was doing until he crouched under the bed, pushing aside junk until I heard a scraping of metal.
"Hmm… Wow! This is cool!" My face grew pale as I finally noticed he found our guns. That's where Jem had hid them. If Jem would to find out we let a kid inside like him mess with the guns—
"Hey, Scout. Dill? You're back so soon?" Speak of the devil. He soon found us and he threw his sudden spiteful glare toward the kid. The boy was awkwardly silent, fingering the sheen of the metal and peering at the shape as if he knew how to handle it.
"Put that down! What're you doing?" Ignoring Jem's outburst, he brushed passed us and onto our backyard. All three of us rushed after him as he checked if there were any bullets intact. Foolish Jem. He forgot to unload it.
However, I must say that he was pretty crafty; since he just shot a hawk he aimed for. "What's your name?" Jem inquired. It never occurred to me that I didn't know his name. That's strange. I never forget to ask for names from anybody. Well, first time for everything.
"Mmmm…" He hummed forbiddingly when he shot five more birds.
"Kael." Kachak. He was reloading bullets.
"Yes?" Shoot. He shot a bird.
"What about your last name?"
"What?" Shoot, shoot, shoot.
"A last name."
"Didn't know one would need it." He aimed…
"You don't have one—." Shoot.
"Nope." A bird dropped.
I sighed and gazed at the bleak, clear sky. There might as well be a few birds on our doorstep and other neighboring places. He might even be better than Atticus. In my train of thought, I shivered. It wasn't just the memory of an unsanitary, sick dog being sparred to suffer coming to mind. My intuition came as something foreboding was gonna happen.
And I was right.
He was aiming for a mockingbird. A mockingbird that's harmlessly singing an unfamiliar tune I could not identify. Jem had reacted before me, shoving Kael to the ground before he could pull the trigger. It wasn't too late. The released bullet ricocheted off the bark of the tree below where the mockingbird stood perched on a branch before it flew away. I let go of the breath I held throughout the steel-hard tension and silence.
Recollecting myself, I stomped toward the shameless Kael who rubbed the bump on his head he had received from a rock implanted in the ground.
"What the hell were you doing?!" I surprised myself from the utter use of that word. However, my reaction said otherwise.
"Huuuuuuuhhh…?" he inquired, dumbfounded. Kael squinted up at me since I was standing in front of his line of vision from the humid sun.
"Kael, you're not supposed to kill that kind of bird here," Jem said.
"Why not?" Ignoring my spiteful gaze, he stood up and brushed himself off, leaving the gun alone on the grass.
"It's a sin to kill a mockingbird." I observed his reaction, expecting him to look confused or ignorant. Heck, he was ignorant. And it rhymes perfectly with arrogant. However—
"A sin…" he inquired passively. Kael let that word linger and sink into his mind, as if trying to extract any interest for it. His eyes drifted to the sky, and no smile was gracing his young features. Just a bleak thoughtful mask.
"Mockingbirds… it's not that they bother us. They take the job of other birds, singing their songs as if it was its own. Sadly, that is the sole purpose of the mockingbird. And sometimes you wonder why they are beautiful in the first place..." His words… they echoed in my mind and it seemed like it had no emotion. However, the only thing I picked up was longing. Suddenly, my eyes were glued to his retreating back as he left our house. And as he left, Kael was murmuring more of his song's lyrics.
"So it is Destiny, so it is sealed, if a tree falls in the woods we're all left in a field."
Those words, were oddly familiar. He was such a short boy and young, too.
And that following night, many events were playing out as if Kael had called them all. I would never forget when Atticus came later and sooner found out about us bringing him as a guest. Which spelled bad news. Kael was not your everyday child. In many states, he was known as the infamous 'Hummingbird.' He was a prodigy assassin trained solely by his father, his mother having passed away giving birth to him. I never fully understood why he exited from the Radley's house and turned himself in for undecided punishment under the government. However, it looked as if he found what he was looking for since he smiled a true beam in the onlookers' vision. I guess he met a certain mockingbird that sung his same song.
I find it sensible that the boy never enjoyed his job. He wasn't raised up normally and unfortunately he had to suffer for it. In a way, his childhood was wasted. But, he came out with the confession that he aimed to kill Arthur because of Kael's father, who was a part of the gang with Arthur back when they were teenagers. He didn't do it. Whatever happened inside, stayed inside.
I couldn't help but feel that Kael was a caged bird who had nothing else to do other than listen to other people. A mockingbird that stayed inside with no authentic experience of true sunlight when he could've flew in freedom like the other birds. His song was sad, too. And I finally recognized the lullaby he hummed at the park. It was something I remembered from Atticus and I had nothing to stop me from chanting the rest.
"Oh why, do we kiss the dream goodnight when we know it will never see the light? And smile when we look into the eyes of a child and there's no where left to hide."