Chapter One: Emotionless

I sat quietly, watching the intense reflection of the moon ripple on one of Rio's famous ponds. My long, dull white feathers ruffled in a gentle breeze, causing me to snap out of my daze and leap into the air, hovering safely from the ground, my hardened heart pounding. In my anguish I pulled myself together, ashamed that such a small thing had spooked me so much.

Why must I react so thoroughly now, why must I just begin to feel emotions after all these years of violance and crime? Why now, why at all? I certainly didn't ask for it. But that wasn't the worst part. Memories flashed before my narrowed eyes. The sight of Blu and his companion trapped in the cage filled me with such rage I almost screeched out loud.

My bones shook and vibrated. This was what anger was, what true anger was, not some false, irrational feeling that appeared on my ugly face. The thought of other helpless-flightless- birds like them made me want to attack the one who put them there. Me. But that, that was what made me so sure I wanted nothing more but to live life to extent, to feel what is supposed to be in my heart. True emotions, so I could never be lost on my path. To never make the same mistake.

I was glad I left my parent's nest so long ago, and never saw them again. That way they would not see what I have become.

Like a gentle wave rolling on sand, the anger was washed away, replaced with something else I could not recognize. It felt strange, like silence, but at the same time it felt like some sort of commotion was coming... It roared furiously in my head, and with that, my feathers ruffled again with unease. That's what it was! Unease, fear. I felt fear when I was replaced with a parakeet. What would happen to me then? Well, I'm sure you all saw what happened.

Found by the thugs, then stole pretty birds and helped sell them. But after that, why was I just beginning to feel what's right and what's wrong? It was so strange, so abnormal! Or was it? Maybe... it was supposed to come after. Maybe before, I was blocking out the guilt and pain, and the only emotion I could ever express were irrational. Was it all because of the thugs? Or something more, far back? Perhaps it was when I was fired?

My thinking led me to one new discovery-or rather, a new emotion, when you come to think of it-content. Sitting here alone, in the dark of night, made me feel comfortable, warm and delighted at the sight of stars. They shone in the night but ran into the blinding dawn, disappearing from sight. Though they left a trail of stardust. I hadn't felt such wonder in ages- literally. Can stars like these cause miracles? I close my eyes and breathe deeply.

Of course. But they can't take away the pain that's left. The guilt, the caterwauling or the Burden. The Burden is what I have for the worst of me. It was basically this feeling of being watched all the time, with no rest or peace. It was what drove me insane, and I think it started when I first killed birds... I let go of my breath and released it to the wind; my feathers had begun to prickle again, and the Burden started.

Huddling close with my head tucked into my wings for comfort, I shut my brown eyes and rocked back and forth. I was scared again, and then it dawned on me that when I was emotionless before, the anguish and unease built up and somehow attacked me tonight. I should have really just stuck with my old home instead of taking out my anger on the brazillian birds, you know? Revenge can only lead to more revenge. While I sat shivering with the feeling of a million pairs of eyes staring at me, I spoke to the Burden.

Please, I pleaded inwardly. Tell me what you want! This question would usually go unanswered, but today is by far the strangest of days.

It did answer, and when it did, I flinched violently.


I'm trying to! Why point out the obvious? I spat back. No response, just an eerie silence left. I sighed wearily, blinking my brown eyes in sleepiness. Ignore them, I told myself. I guess our clue has been given. I drew a quick breath. I knew what I needed to do. But I was going to need some help. To whom could I go to? Certainly not Blu, nor Jewel, not Nico or Pedro either. They definitely wouldn't forgive me, nor will other birds.

But who was forgiving, gentle, helpful and knows to handle emotions? Who was wise and understanding, peaceful and intelligent? I didn't know if anyone can be all those at the same time. If there was anyone-anyone- out there, in Rio or Ontario, I would travel far and wide, if that was what it would take. I'll undergo a wave of different emotions, that's for sure. But I had never felt so determined in my life.

With that said, I stretched open my wings and took off, flying to reach a nearby tropical tree. I needed to rest tonight. Tomorrow, I would go looking.

Tomorrow, I would experience hope.

I know it's in Nigel's POV, gbut in the rest of the chapters it will be narrator POV. Please review and tell me what you think of it!