The Blind Kid Gets a Normal Life

Iggy's POV

I stood in the doorway of my new home – the home of my real birth parents. I listened as the footsteps of my Flock, my family for years, walked away from my new home, leaving me behind. I just stood there, not trying to follow for once. I had found my parents, and they wanted me, even though I was blind.

I was so happy to have found a real family, a place I could live in and know where everything was. To not be on the run finally, it was a miracle. I couldn't believe that me, the blind kid, had found his parents first and could finally live a normal life – or as normal as it could get for a mutant bird-kid.

Then I felt the pressure, the pain, in my chest. It was the pain of sorrow. I was feeling so sad, losing the Flock, my family. Leaving them had been hard, so hard, but I had done it and now I had a new family to live with. A family that didn't have to run, or hide, or steal, or dumpster dive for food, or anything that I had been doing the past few months of my life.

I listened as they unfurled their wings, not in view of the front door, and then turned away to walk inside as they took off. I couldn't face hearing my family leave as I stayed behind, and not just staying behind, but behind in a new home for me.

I walked back into the living room, my parents behind me, and sat back down on the same couch I'd been on before. My parents sat on either side of me, my mom hugging me close again. I heard both of them crying quietly and felt my mom's tears soak onto my shirt again.

"James," she said, "I can't believe we've found you, or you found us. I thought we'd never see you again, but here you are, in my arms. Please, tell me this isn't my imagination, a dream, or anything like that. I don't want to lose you again!"

"I'm real, and this is all real," I replied to my mom. "I'm really here and my friends and I really did find you. You've really got your lost son back, fourteen years later."

"James," my father started this time, "you're everything to us. We want you to feel like this is your home, the home that you should have always had."

My mom let go of me and I looked down, embarrassed by all of this. I think they realized it, or at least my dad did, because he suggested that we go out and buy me a bunch of clothes, a bed, and other things.

They led me to their car and helped me into the back seat before getting into the front and turning on the car. I listened as the car whirled to life and vibrated as we sat in place for a moment. When we backed out, it vibrated more and I felt myself moving. This was a new feeling for me because whenever the Flock was in a car, we were being transported so we were either tied up or in cages and always out cold for most if not all of it, though we were rarely transported anyway. The only other time was with Anne, and even then I had never gotten used to it. It was still new.

When we finally stopped, and the car stopped vibrating after my dad turned it off, my mom helped me out of the car and led me towards a building. It was a very loud place, I couldn't get my surroundings in it, and I could barely hear the footsteps of my parents. I was afraid to do the things I'd normally do with the Flock to not get lost in an noisy place like hold onto the belt loop; lightly touch a hand, arm, or something like that; or have one of them walk next to me, tugging on my hand slightly and pushing or pulling me in the correct direction.

For once, I was truly lost and had no bearings whatsoever. Then my mom pushed me in the small of my back forward a bit until we turned left. We walked that way for a bit until we turned right, and then we turned right almost immediately after that. Using the echoes of the voices and footsteps just behind us, I could tell that there were things to the right and left of me as well as in front of me sort of. We were in a store.

I went over towards one of the objects and felt it - it was fabric. We were clothes shopping first. My mom came over to me and lightly pushed me towards the men's section of the store so that we could find clothes to fit me.

I remembered from those times both Max and more recently, Anne took us shopping that my pants size was twenty-two, and I told my parents that. My mom seemed a bit surprised that I knew this, but asked me to stay where I was while they went to go find me some pants.

That thought about Max getting us clothes and all of the other necessities of life made me feel sad again. It felt as if my right arm was being torn off as well as both my legs and both of my wings. I had lost Max, Fang, Nudge, Angel, and my partner in crime, Gazzy, as well as Total of course, and it hurt. They were my family, my true family, for so long that the fact that they weren't there anymore hurt, and it hurt badly.

I heard footsteps and turned towards them. It were two people coming towards me from the same direction my parents had gone off in, so I thought it was them, and I was right. My mom handed me a pair of pants, which I could tell were jeans by the material, and told me to hold them to my waist for her. I did so and felt them go down to just under my ankles, exactly where they should be.

"How did you know your pant size?" My mom gasped.

"My friends and I have gone shopping for clothes before, and they told me my size when I got curious enough to ask them." I forced myself to say without giving away that I missed my friends, my family, very much and wished I was with them right then and there.

I guess I succeeded because all she did was say ah, take the pants from me, put them into a cart my dad had just brought back, and then went off in the direction of what I guessed to be the T-shirt section. Feeling the racks around me, I knew I was right. This time I told her I was a large and she got me a bunch of large T-shirts and large polo shirts that when put against my torso, were proved to fit me. We got me a few jackets as well in this section.

Next we got me socks, boxers, and sneakers, but they were all very fast since I had asked Fang my sizes a month or so ago so that I'd know for myself. Then we went to the counter and my mom bought all the stuff, got the bags, and my dad led me out of the store towards another one.

By now I didn't need the hand on my back because I had learned their footsteps, but I didn't bother telling them this because then they'd ask questions. I also made sure that my wings were not in the small of my back, the only place they were putting their hands, so that they wouldn't feel them. My wings were very sore because of this and I wished it wasn't necessary.

We entered another store and this one was more crowded than the first. My mom got a cart right away, put the bags from before into it, and then started to move towards the back of the store. As we got closer to the back of the store, I heard TVs, music players, videogame systems, and other electronics. I realized we were headed towards the electronics section.

We entered and my mom led us towards where the music was coming from. She got to an area and both of them started to look at something, and I heard fingers touching glass, but neither was saying anything. I guess they had agreed on something because my dad left and came back a few minutes later with someone else.

"This one," My dad said.

"Of course, sir," Said the man who my dad had brought and I figured was a worker in the store.

A key was put into a lock and a door opened. Something was taken out and then we were led to the counter to buy it. After it was bought, my mom told me that this was a gift and a small, cold, metal object was placed into my hand. I also had earphones and that's when I realized that this was an iPod.

"Thank you."

"Anything for my son," My mom replied.

I felt myself flush in embarrassment and I put the iPod in my pocket, knowing that they'd help me get music onto it soon.

We went back to the car, put the clothes in the trunk, and headed back home, or so I thought. Instead we were headed to a restaurant to eat a late lunch. We went inside, got our seats, and I asked to be read the menu. After hearing the menu, I mentally chose a steak, a rack of ribs, two large milks, and a large sundae. Then I remembered that my parents had no idea about my eating habits, and now I have to eat very little compared to my normal amount.

The waiter came, asking about drinks, and I ordered a large milk and then I started to eat a bunch of the bread he had brought us. I ate at least half of it and my mom only said not to spoil my appetite, and I told her that I wouldn't. When the waiter came back with our drinks and asked what we wanted to eat, my parents were surprised when I ordered a full rack of ribs.

"Are you sure you can eat that much, James?"

"Mom, I'm sure I can. Don't worry about it."

"Son, your mother is right. That's a lot of meat."

"Dad, it'll all be gone before I'm done, don't worry."

They sighed and let me keep my order, and then ordered themselves. My dad got a steak and my mom a salmon. The waiter left us alone. My parents were talking about work for a bit, so I let my mind wander.

I thought about the last time I had been in a restaurant and how much of a failure it had been. We had been in New York at a fancy restaurant and been called out because of how much we'd ordered, even though we would have finished it all, given the chance. The stupid manager had called the police, though they could have been the School, we'd never waited to find out.

"James," I looked up at my parents, though I couldn't see them, so that they knew I was listening. "We've been wondering… where you lived before you found us."

"Uh… well… my friends and I moved around… a lot. We've had adults taking care of us, different ones at different times. We never really knew where we were, being taught in our home all the time."

I heard my mom gasp and then it was stifled slightly, telling me that she had put her hand over her mouth in shock and surprise. I could understand why; it's a hard thing to hear from a fourteen-year-old that he and his friends had never had one home but had to move around a lot without a real parental figure. I wasn't going to tell them about Jeb and the E-shaped house in the mountains for obvious reasons.

"At least you've found us now. I'm just so happy we have you back. We won't let anything happen to you again. You have a home now, and you won't lose it." I smiled at my mom's words and then my dad spoke.

"Not only do you have a home, you have us, your parents. We're going to look after you. We love you and you don't have to worry about anything you may have used to worry about while you didn't have a true home because you have a true home now, and people to help you. Your blindness means nothing to us; you're perfect to us anyway."

I smiled happily as I blushed at their words. The only other time I had felt like this was when we lived in the E-shaped house and we had either Max or Jeb to look after us and help us and not have to be on the run. Even after that though, when we were on the run, Max made all of us feel like this. My whole family did.

Thinking about the Flock made me feel sad. They had been my family, my life line, and I left them for my real birth parents. I had left my family, for two adults that I didn't even know because they felt like my parents and they gave facts like my birthmark to make me think that they were my parents.

I pushed those emotions and thoughts away, not wanting to think about it anymore. I had made my choice and I was going to stand by it.

The rest of lunch went by quickly and easily. I ate all of my meal, much to my parents' surprise. It was very good food, though it didn't fill me up because I need more food than that even. Otherwise, it was perfect.

After we were done, my parents helped me to the car and then drove us home after asking me if I cared what type of bed I was going to have. I told them that I didn't care as long as it was large enough for me, so they agreed to let me go to the house while they went out and got the bed.

When we got to the house, all of us gathered the bags of clothes and my dad led the way into the house and up to my room where we put the bags down. They told me to just do whatever I wanted to in the house while they were gone, but I knew that they weren't thinking about the fact that I might know how to build bombs so I decided not to do that. I heard them go downstairs, out to the car, and drive away.

I sighed in relief after I couldn't hear the car anymore and sat down on the floor. After a moment, I let my wings out and let them extend as far as they could go in the room. After opening them sideways for a bit, I let them go all the way out, but behind me so they could stretch. I shook them out and smiled at the relief of having my wings out.

I thought about how Max would always tell us that we could only stretch our wings out if we were completely sure that there was enough room in the room we were in and that no one was in the way of our wings.

I remembered how Fang would always annoy Max by being so silent. He'd get out of bed and then suddenly walk into the room so quietly that even I couldn't hear him at times. Then the complete opposite would be Nudge, the chatterbox that would almost never be silenced except by sleep and when I put my hand over her mouth, and the rare times she didn't have anything to say or Max's looks made her be quiet (or so Gazzy told me).

I thought about how much fun Gazzy and I had making bombs and torturing Max. I picked the lock on her closet or he mimicked voices when she couldn't see him. We built bombs so much that she had to search us almost every day just to make sure we didn't have any on us, even though she never found all of them.

I remembered those times that Angel would send me pictures of what was going on so I wouldn't be lost, or she comforted me after I had told Max the truth about how I felt about being the blind kid. She had been the kind one as well as being the youngest.

These thoughts brought tears to my eyes without me even knowing it and when I blinked I was surprised to feel them fall down my face. I wiped them away before laying down on my side to rest after a long night the night before and then a long day after it. Before I knew it, I was sleeping.

I woke up to the sound of my parents coming up the stairs. I sat up quickly and tried to pull my wings in before they saw them, but it was too late. The door had flown open and my parents both stood there, not moving. I knew that they were staring at me, even though I couldn't see their faces. We stayed there, frozen to our spots, for at least five minutes before anyone spoke.

"James?" I could hear the fear and amazement in my mom's voice. "What – what is this?"

"I – I have wings… I was born with avian - bird - DNA in me and so I grew wings… My body's different too…"

I could tell they were still in shock. I heard them leave the room, closing the door behind them as they left. I could tell they had to go downstairs to think about this and talk it out between them. I let them go and just went back to lying down and tried to fall asleep again. Eventually, I fell asleep and I stayed that way until morning…

When I woke up, I tried to remember why my mind told me to be worried. Suddenly, all of last night came back to me and I got very worried about seeing my parents again. I didn't want to know what they thought of me now they knew my secret.

Instead of going downstairs, I stayed in my room, only getting changed into fresh clothes. It was only when I changed that I realized my iPod was missing. I felt around, thinking that it might have fallen out of my pocket while I was sleeping.

I finally found it by where I was sleeping, but it was put there neatly and I felt a piece of paper on it. Feeling the paper carefully I realized that it was written on in a way so that I could feel the words on it because of the pressure put on the back making the letters stand out. I ran my fingers over it and realized it was a letter from my parents.

James,

We put a bunch of music that we think teens your age would like on your iPod. All you have to do is press the bottom part of the circle on the iPod and you can listen. We hope you enjoy it.

We'll be out for most of the day. We had plans as we had not been expecting you to come home to us yesterday. Your mother left food in the fridge, which we showed you, so help yourself.

Take care,

Mom and Dad

I smiled slightly at this and put the note and iPod in my pocket before getting up and going down to the kitchen to find the food. I got some juice and made a big batch of scrambled eggs for myself. My mom had only left me lunch and dinner, though I was hoping they'd be back for dinner.

After I finished eating, and I felt full, I went into the living room and relaxed on the couch after grabbing the remote for the TV. I turned the TV on and started listening to the channels as I flicked through them until I found MythBusters. Then I just lay there on the couch and listened to it until it was over and another episode came on.

After three episodes of a marathon of MythBusters, I turned off the TV and put the earphones of my iPod into my ears before turning it on. I spent hours trying to figure out the artists and by the time I was hungry for lunch I had listened to 3 Days Grace, Nickelback, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, All-American Rejects, and Simple Plan.

After a lunch of soup and bread, I went up to my room and, listening to my iPod again, put the new clothes I had gotten yesterday away in the closet. After I was done I went back to listening to TV; this time the third Harry Potter movie was on ABC Family. I listened to the entire movie and my parents still weren't home yet.

After another half an hour or so of boredom, I put my iPod back on and started to think about bomb building and all of the bombs that Gazzy and I had ever made. I thought about that bomb that almost caused an avalanche because we were making a trail through the woods. I remembered Big Boy, which we used to blow up those Erasers in the old cabin by our old E-shaped house. I also recalled all of those bombs that we had used in fights with Erasers that would make the fight easier for everyone.

Then I went on to think about all of the fights the Flock have fought and how we always would win, even if it meant getting hurt. When we lost, we went back and won afterwards like when they took Angel and we went and got her back. They won and then lost for sure.

The falcons we had met while going to the School to rescue Angel came to my mind after that. We had learned so much from them including new ways to fly, though that didn't help me as much as the others; how to maneuver in ways so that they understood what we wanted; and even how it feels to have someone taking care of you, and not in the way Max did it, but as a parent. They also helped us kick Eraser butt.

I sighed and stopped thinking about the Flock and the past, it hurt too much. Eventually all thoughts left my mind except for the words of the songs I listened to. I didn't even try to figure out what songs they were or the artists that sung them. I just let the music take over me and before I knew it, I was asleep.

I woke up to the sound of a car driving up the driveway. I sat up quickly, realizing that I had fallen asleep on the couch. I had no idea what time it was or how long I'd been asleep, but I did know that I was hungry and now I couldn't eat a large meal because it would look very weird to my parents.

Sighing, I got up off the couch and went towards the front door to meet my parents when they came in. They saw me and stopped walking before my mom came over and hugged me. I felt her face in my hair as she hugged me and then my dad came around us and hugged me from behind, making it a family hug.

Of course, this sort of thing reminded me of the Flock so much that I had to bite my lip so that I wouldn't make any sort of noise in despair or sadness. I knew that my parents loved me, but thinking about the Flock was so hard that it not only caused me emotional pain, but make me cause myself physical pain.

"James," my mom said into my hair, "I'm so sorry about how I reacted last night. I was just amazed – amazed and surprised. We had heard about the "famous bird-kids" but just never believed the rumors…. Until you came back to us."

"Mom, it's fine. I knew you would react in some way. Truthfully, I was expecting a larger reaction."

I would have gone on except for the fact that my stomach chose that moment to get loud and was growling for dinner. My parents laughed lightly at the noise and led me into the kitchen so that we could find some food for the three of us.

After we had all eaten the chicken that my mom made for all of us, it was late so I went up to bed. I changed into a pair of comfortable sweats and a shirt. I left my room to go down the hall to use the bathroom when I heard my parents talking and after a quick pause, I realized the conversation was about me.

"-James can't know. Haven't you heard how they always react to the idea? He'd run away! I can't lose him again."

"I agree with you, Hun, but we have to be careful about this. We'll have to tell him only when they're here what's going on and not before. That way he won't have a reason to run. We'll tell him that they're friends because they are friends of ours. Otherwise, we'd never let them near our long lost son!"

"You're right, I'm overreacting."

"It's fine. No one can blame you in this situation. Come on, let's get ready for bed."

Before they were even standing properly, I was already in my room, lying on the bed, trying to figure out this conversation. The topic was obviously stated while I was changing and after that they didn't need to say it specifically, but I still didn't like the tone of the conversation.

Eventually, I just sighed, put my iPod on, and tried to get the conversation out of my head so that I could sleep. Unfortunately, my mind went to other ideas that were even harder to think about: The Flock.

I was reminded of the days before Jeb disappeared when, if one of us couldn't sleep, he'd hold us until we were asleep. The days we didn't want to be held, he just read to us or was in the room, making us remember that we would always have someone to look after us. Whenever we had nightmares about the School, he'd be in our room moments after we woke up to comfort us.

When Jeb left, Max did the same sort of thing, but only for the younger ones. Fang and I? No, we were her age and so we could take care of ourselves. Of course, we did take care of ourselves, but it was hard. Fang had always been emotionless and quiet, so it was easy for him to just keep to himself. But for me, it was hard as I was the blind kid and I had to concentrate on those sorts of things. I might have made it seem as if I wasn't blind, but I still had problems at times, and it was tougher without Jeb. Don't get me wrong, Max was great, but, like Fang told me he thought, she was only fourteen and didn't need all of this yet.

I sighed quietly and slowly tuned out the thoughts and memories of the Flock. Eventually I just got sucked into the music and I let it put me to sleep where my dreams were full of more memories of my favorite times like the first time we all flew. Instead of waking up from sadness, I stayed asleep until eleven in the morning.

When I woke up, I felt a bit better because of the dreams, but I also felt worse emotionally because the memories had reminded me of what I had left behind. Then I felt something go down my face slowly and realized that I had been crying. I wiped away the tears and got out of bed to go wash my face in the bathroom with my clean clothes for the day in my arms.

This time, I was too upset when I went to the bathroom to realize that my parents were talking downstairs again until I had washed my face so that I wouldn't; brushed my teeth; gone to the bathroom; showered, even though I had washed my face before; changed my clothes; and left the bathroom to go back to my room. I was calm enough that I heard the voices and stopped almost immediately, remembering last night's conversation and thinking this might have to do with it.

"-call them. We have to!"

"Okay, but you're calling them. I don't really want to deal with them again."

My mom didn't reply, but instead I heard a phone being lifted off its cradle and buttons being pushed. The next time my mom speaks, it's to the phone.

"Hello. May I speak to Regina Collins, please? This is Mrs. Griffiths." There was a pause. "Yes, I can hold for a moment."

I heard my dad sigh and go into the kitchen, but I stayed where I was, frozen. I wanted to know who this Regina Collins was and why my mom wanted to talk to her.

"Yes, hello again Regina. I know it hasn't been very long, but we have some very excellent news. Our son, James, came back to us Friday! He's upstairs right now and we'd love it if you could come over tomorrow to-"

I had heard enough and went back into my room, thinking about how it had been over half a day since I had last eaten. I was going to need food soon; my body was losing energy fast, even after such a good night's sleep. I sighed and decided I'd give my mom five more minutes on the phone before I went downstairs.

In those five minutes, all of the times Gazzy had tricked Max into thinking he was Fang or me came back to me and started to drive me crazy. When I couldn't take any more of the memories, I went downstairs, and was relieved to find my mom off the phone and in the kitchen cooking lunch.

She turned towards me when I walked in and then turned back to the stove where I smelled grilled cheese cooking. I sighed slightly and decided to take a chance as I walked over to the stove so I was next to my mom.

"Hey, mom?"

"Yes James?"

"Can you make me more than just two sandwiches? I… eat more than you do. I need to eat a lot because of well… you know."

"Oh my. Of course I can make you more than just two if you need the food because of how you were born."

I smiled slightly and helped her make the sandwiches to be grilled by getting out the bread, cheese slices, butter, and then making the sandwiches. I made four more, and if she was surprised by the number, she didn't make a noise so that I'd know. All she did was take them and start to grill them up. When my dad came into the room, he stopped for a moment or two, but then he walked over to the fridge and got out a soda before going back into the living room and turning on the TV. I was guessing that my mom just nodded her head or something like that at me so that he would understand.

When the sandwiches were ready, we all sat at the dining room table and started to eat. After a minute or two of the only sounds being the three of us eating, I was already done with three sandwiches and onto my fourth, and then my mom started to talk.

"So, James, what did you do yesterday while we were gone?" I swallowed and then answered.

"Watched TV, listened to my iPod, and slept mainly."

"Son, how is it that you can eat so much?" I turned my head to face my dad a bit better as I swallowed the last bite of my fourth sandwich.

"I don't know really. All I know is that I need a few thousand calories a day to be on full energy, and that's usually a stretch. I normally get about fifteen hundred calories on a good day."

"Why do you need so much food?"

"Because I use it up very fast. My body needs it to work well."

I continued to eat my fifth sandwich as my parents took this in. By the time I had started my sixth, my dad had just finished his first and my mom was just behind him. I realized that I needed more than just six because of how hungry I was.

"Mom? Can I go make a few more sandwiches please?"

"James, I think I'd better make them. We don't want you hurting yourself."

"Mom, it's fine. I'll be fast and careful. Stay here and eat."

It took a few more minutes before she relented and I went into the kitchen and started to make myself more lunch. While I was cooking, I heard them start to talk again. They probably thought the noise of the grilled cheese cooking would cover it up.

"He needs that much food, he can cook, he has wings, and he's blind… I don't know what else I can take. This is already too much."

"Honey, don't worry. He's our son. Besides, you have Regina Collins and the others coming over tomorrow, right?"

"Well, yes. They're all looking forward to it. I can't believe that many reporter friends are willing to come over to brunch to talk to us again. I thought that when we lost James, it would be the last time we had that many over to eat with us, but now he's back and we're going to have fun again with them."

"Yes. They've always been fun to talk with. I'll give them that. They know so much about what's going on that they make the conversation very interesting."

I sucked in my breath at the idea of having reporters here at the house. They'd want to talk to me… Unless, and I was hoping that this was true, they didn't know that I was one of the "famous bird-kids". They had never gotten good pictures of us and so we were still a mystery when it came to what we looked like up close.

When I got back to the table with four more sandwiches, they were done talking and were just eating. The rest of lunch went by without a word. When I was done and I had asked if I could be excused, I went up to my room and went to where my shirts were and took out a bunch of the ones I liked the most. Then I pulled out the pocketknife I never went anywhere without and cut large slits into the back of the shirts for my wings. After I was done, I put them on the top of my shirts in the drawer.

I then went to the closet and pull out the jackets and this time I got inventive. I went downstairs and asked my mom if she had a sewing kit I could use, and with that I went back into my room and was going to get started on the slits when I remembered I didn't know the colors, so I asked my mom to find thread the same color, or as close as she could get, to the color of each jacket. When she was done I thanked her, and told her I was just changing them around a little.

Back in my room fully prepared this time I cut the slits, but very carefully so that they were smooth. Then I used the thread and needle to sew the edges of the slits so that the rips looked intentional and were very well hidden. I was sort of copying the jackets that Anne had gotten us so that I could have the slits hidden but there.

When that was done I put them away too. After that I was out of ideas of what I could do, so I went downstairs and sat down on the couch, my wings sticking out of one of the shirts I had made slits in so that I could relax the muscles. My mom came over and sat next to me. I could sense her moving her hand towards my wings and then away from them. I smiled lightly, took her hand in mine, and put it on my wing.

She gasped as she moved her hand down on my wings, feeling the softness of the feathers and how they seem to be perfectly aligned. She continued to do this for a few minutes, and I enjoyed it immensely because it felt so good on my wings to have someone rub them like that. I smiled and every time she rubbed her hand down my wings, I sighed happily.

After about half an hour or so of that, I moved my wings around because the muscles had started to hurt after holding them in place for so long. My mom must have realized that because she stopped feeling them and let me pull them in again. I thought about how she must have a look of disappointment on her face because I knew that when someone lost what they wanted, they got sad. I wouldn't know what the face looked like, but I knew she had one.

"James, those wings are amazing. I – I can't believe that they're real. They're so beautiful." I flushed at this. "Can… can you fly with them?" I guess she had forgotten the newspapers, news reports, and rumors when she asked that, but I still nodded in response. She stayed quiet and I knew she was thinking about my answer.

Eventually she let me go and I went upstairs to my room so that I could think. I spent a long time just thinking about how different my life would be with my parents. I also thought about the Flock and how they would be handling my leaving them. I thought about how the Flock would eat without me there since Max couldn't cook for her life. I also thought about how Max wouldn't be able to stay at Anne's house much longer; she had been pushing for us to leave for weeks. In the end, my thoughts turned to memories and I just let them overcome me as I lay on the floor, my wings out behind me slightly.

It took the sound of my dad's footsteps coming up the stairs and towards my room to pull me from my memories and I sat up, facing the direction of the door. The door opened and my dad came and sat on the floor with me, holding me close for a few minutes while feeling my wings, just as my mom had. I guess she had told him about it and he wanted to try for himself so I let him.

When he let go of me, he spoke. "Son, it's time for dinner. Come downstairs and join your mother and me when you're ready, but make it soon please." I just nodded in response and he smiled, putting my hand to his face so I'd know. I smiled in response to his smile and he left the room, leaving me with a memory of Max doing the same thing when she smiled at times.

I went down the hall to the bathroom before I went downstairs, where I sat at the table to eat dinner. This time my mom knew about me needing the food and so she had made a lot of food for me. We had chicken, rice, and corn for dinner and it was all delicious. I hadn't had something like this the entire time we'd been at Anne's house; only once before had I had food like this and it was at a restaurant.

After I had thirds and was full, we went into the living room where my dad turned on football and started to watch it. I listened to it and actually could picture it in my mind a bit, so it was more enjoyable than most TV I had to watch. When the game ended, my mom sent me up to my room to go to bed, but I went to the top of the stairs and used the bathroom door to make it seem like I was in my room. I waited at the top of the stairs until they started to talk, and I listened.

"Are they doing as we asked?" my dad asked.

"Yes, they're all cooperating perfectly. This could be perfect for us. Our lives will be so different after this." I heard the smile on her face.

"It will be different. Now let's go up to bed. We need the sleep."

I rushed into my room, closing the door silently to anyone without my ears. I then sat there on the floor, leaning against the door, as I thought about what my parents had said. I could tell they were up to something, but I had no idea what, and it was killing me. Who was cooperating and with what were they cooperating with? How were our lives going to be different? Were they going to be different for the better or worse? I sighed slightly and moved back to my normal sleeping spot, lying down to fall asleep.

I thought about the Flock and how they would be going to bed right now, Max tucking in the younger ones while I put myself to bed and Fang went to go talk with her in her room yet again. I thought about how Anne would be annoying the already emotionally spent Flock to find out where I had gone. I couldn't believe I knew that they'd be emotionally spent, but I also knew that if I was spent, they would be even worse. They had just lost one of the Flock, but I'd lost the entire Flock. The difference was that I'd gotten my parents to fill in the hole while they had no one.

I slowly fell asleep with these thoughts on my mind and I dreamt about all of the trouble Gazzy and I had made back in the E-shaped house, the cooking I'd used to do, and all the other happy memories I had. That was how I slept that night, and I cried in the beginning, wiping my tears away in my sleep until my face looked so normal that no one, including me since I had been sleeping, would ever know I'd cried through the night.

I woke up and it was Monday morning. The Flock would be going to school today. I wondered if they were a mess from losing me because I knew that I was. I was hurting so much from losing them that it felt as if both my legs and wings had been ripped off of my body it hurt so much. I knew I couldn't handle this pain much longer- it was tearing me apart.

I went downstairs for breakfast and heard both of my parents talking before I went into their view so I paused to listen to them. They were sitting at the table eating and the conversation was about me.

"-coming to interview James later, at the brunch. They're all amazed that the amazing bird-kids finally came public, or at least one of them did. They're all trying to offer the most money to talk to him." I couldn't move after I heard my mom say that. They were trying to sell my life story?

"Is one higher than the others? I mean a lot higher."

"Right now it's National Geographic that's the highest because they're looking at him as the next generation of science. They want all the details of his life to try and figure out what happened to him. It'll be in their magazine if they're the highest."

I quickly and silently ran back upstairs and threw myself onto my bed. I shivered as this news took over me. I had known they had been talking to reporters yesterday and were planning to have a brunch with them, but this? I didn't know they wanted to sell me to the reporters basically - sell my life story and let them interview me – and make me very public. The whole world would know about me and that scientists were doing this to kids all over.

It wouldn't just be public, but it would give away where I was and make me wanted by every scientist in the world, including the School. The School has wanted me and the Flock back for four years and this would make it so easy! They'd know exactly where I was and they would come take me back to California within a week.

I shook in fear and rage at all that was happening around me. Finally I sat up and gathered my clothes together and put them into my backpack as well as the other necessities. I put the bag on and opened my window as far as it would go.

I took one last blind look around my room, knowing I'd never forget it but I'd also never be coming back, and threw myself out of the window before opening my wings and taking off to fly towards the school where my family was.

I flew for about twenty minutes and then I knew I was above the school. Listening closely I could hear all of the students and a lot of the teachers outside. The teachers were either trying to calm the students down or trying to find out what the heck had happened. It was complete chaos down there: students running around, teachers confused about what was happening, teachers trying to calm the students down, sirens and alarms going off, and the sounds of what could only be the stupid headmaster cursing his mouth off in front of the students as he got out of his car where the smell of smoke was coming from. I was guessing he crashed his car.

I smiled in the way I only do when I have an evil thought or idea. I knew what had caused this and it was very funny. I knew only one person who could cause this much chaos: Max. Max must have gotten tired of the school or something else had happened because only she and the Flock, but mainly Max, could cause this. I laughed silently as I flew towards Anne's house, knowing they'd have to stop there; even if Max had hidden their bags somewhere, the chances of Angel leaving Total were ten million to nothing.

I was there in minutes and I heard another commotion. It was obvious that Max must have been here or still was here because I could hear the Erasers down around the house as well as Jeb, Anne, and Ari fighting. I'm gathering Ari didn't do something like he was supposed to so Anne was yelling at him, though I have no idea why, and Jeb was trying to keep Ari from killing her. It confused me as to why this would be happening, but it was.

That's when I heard wings in the air, beating in the ways I had grown to know without even thinking about it. The air was being moved in such a way that I could tell they were all facing the other direction, or at least not towards where I was.

Then I heard Max talking. I had never thought I'd actually miss or enjoy hearing her voice as much as I realized I had missed it and enjoyed hearing it again. I quietly flew closer to them so that they'd hear me when I spoke up, showing them that I was here.

"Look, we just have to go," Max was saying when I spoke.

"Yo."


Did you love it? Hate it? Think it could have been better? Tell me in a review!

This was just my idea of what could of happened during those days while Iggy was with his parents in School's Out Forever and I thought I'd share it with you all. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!