One [The Bird]

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Year 2178
A very dense, overpopulated city
Approaching the Winter Solstice

Day 3,621

The way the glaring sun reflects from the windows of the towering landscape of buildings is supremely inconvenient. Every few seconds a glint of light will flash from a rectangle of glass and bore into Harry's eyes, provoking a moment of blindness that forces him to redirect his route abruptly. His tiny heart speeds up with anxiety until he feels steady and able to pull a full breath into his lungs to calm his racing mind, his eyes refocusing on his route and his body steadying as he soars through the air with his wings spread on either side of his figure.

The city is really breathtaking from this view; far away from the chaos and brutality of the streets, the hurried bodies packed like sardines on the sidewalks and schooling like barracuda as commuters board buses and monorails, the shrill beep of a scooter or car horn, the constant bustle of people talking, shouting or whistling at taxi cabs. Up here there is only peace, the brush of wind, perhaps a distant airplane and the stray introspection of how serene the hush of thin air feels.

There are very few trees in which one would notice the change of seasons below, aside from the scattering of groves that were planted by city workers within park limits. They are well into taking on the burden of fall, with their oranges and reds shimmering brilliantly against the rays of sun that greet them in the afternoon light, most of their foliage dropped to the earth below in heaps that beg to be scampered through.

Harry closes his eyes and draws in a breath, allowing himself to relax as he glides and swoops in an attempt to enjoy this tranquility while it lasts, knowing from experience that something inevitably tragic is in the midst but he's practiced enough to know that there is next to nothing he can do to predict what it will be or how to prevent it. He supposes there isn't much else to expect since he chose to give in and fall asleep last night, plus he hasn't had a dream in color for several weeks now so he knew he was due for one sooner rather than later. 

The buildings are quite massive; city planners having decided decades ago to build up rather than out as transients flocked to this area from all over the world for its modern architecture, the hip and young populous and the varying range of entertainment it has to offer. From restaurants and upscale shopping to underground club scenes and art museums to dive bars and quirky hole-in-the-walls, there was no lack of ways to enjoy yourself, people to meet or alleyways to hide in. Harry personally was mostly interested in hiding.

He glances at his wings again to determine exactly what type of creature he's become this time and by the color of his golden and ebony feathers, he guesses he's most likely a sparrow or a song thrush. He can't tell exactly how large he is, but considering just how cumbersome the skyscrapers seem, he assumes he's pretty small and agile. He glances upwards and considers for a moment how close he is to the heavens; closer than he can ever recall being since he's only flown in an airplane once before and he sets his corporeal logic aside for a moment to revel in his proximity to his one true love: the cosmos, interstellar space, the universe far away from the turf he's bound to.

Harry angles his nose down and bombs several stories just to experience the sensation of his stomach flipping. The sunshine echoes another head-splitting slice of light directly into his eyes that causes him to curse internally and veer off his course with a snap, suddenly wishing the sun would disappear all together and hide behind the comfort of the rain clouds as it typically does during these months.

When he rights himself again and recalibrates his surroundings, he becomes conscious of his speed and the proximity of the approaching window much too late. He holds his breath and braces himself for impact, his little heart whizzing in his chest so quickly it feels like it'll burst before he even makes contact. His eyes pinch shut at the exact moment that he slams head first into the glass, his neck snapping and bending unnaturally upon collision, his entire body seizing in pain before the world around him bleaches black and then there is nothingness.

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