Goodbye, Hazard

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“Hazard,” I whisper, staring at the eagle on the women’s shoulder. The bird looks at me, flies to me and sits on my shoulder just like he always did.

“Where have you been, boy?” I coo as he nuzzles against me.

Thomas and the women share a look.

“What?” I question them, looking at Thomas then the women.

Thomas sighs. “You do know that your father – Nicholas – used to be the Director before me?”

“Yes, what about it?” I ask cautiously.

“That eagle that is sitting on your shoulder was your father’s guardian animal.”

I stare at him for a moment. A memory creeps into my head.

“Daddy! Nate stole my colouring book!” Eight-year-old me pouted as I hug my father’s legs.

Dad chuckles. “Nate! Where is your sister’s colouring book?”

“I did not take it, dad,” Nate lied as he tried to walk away from the situation.

“He did!” I accused, pointing my finger at him.

“Did not!”

“Did to!”

“Did not!”

“Settle down, children,” dad said, putting a hand on my shoulder and squeezing it a little. “Nate, give your sister back her colouring book or I’ll tell mummy.”

Nate turned pale instantly. Nate was mummy’s boy after all. He quickly ran off upstairs to retrieve my colouring book and gave it to me.

“I’m sorry for taking your colouring book, Mel,” he apologized, giving me his famous puppy eyes.

“Now that’s settled, let’s go to the kitchen to see what your mother is cooking,” dad said with a smile.

Once dad left, I smirked evilly at Nate.

“I’m going to tell mummy what you did, Natey,” I sang as I ran to the kitchen.

“No! Melanie! Please don’t!” he yelled behind me.

“Melanie?” Thomas asks me, snapping me out of my daze.

I blink a few times before looking around to see Hazard, that is still sitting on my shoulder with a concern in its eyes. Now everything makes complete sense! Why Hazard was so fond of me when I first found him not long after Nate’s and my parents’ death. Why he’s so easily trained. Why he prefers me to Nate.

“Dad?” I say, looking at the eagle. Does this mean he’s still alive? So is mum?

“It doesn’t work that way, Melanie Meridian,” the woman says.

I frown at her. Who is she?

She seems to realize her mistake and say, “Forgive me for not introducing myself earlier. My name is Bibiana and I’m a Decider.”

“Your father is, unfortunately, dead, Melanie,” Thomas says softly. “You see most guardian animals die along with their owner if their time to die comes. Nicholas was the only person who managed to get his guardian animal to live without him. He told his guardian animal to watch out for you, Melanie. Your father loved you and protected you by sending his guardian animal to you even if he’s dead.”

When he said that, I burst out crying. Oh, dad. I love you so much too.

Hazard nuzzles me again.

“So what is his real name?” I ask softly, touching Hazard’s feathers.

“Predator,” Bibiana answers. “Now that Predator knows that you’re safe with us, it’s time for him to go.”

“What?” I ask in disbelief, looking at Thomas for confirmation.

He grimaces but nods in agreement.

“But – but,” I stammer with emotion. Less than five minutes ago, I found out that the eagle who has been watching my and Nate’s back is my father’s guardian animal and now it’s time for him to go?

“I know that you think that it’s unfair but you must think about Predator. He had been away from his master for years and he wants to reunite his master after knowing that he succeeded in his master’s dying wish,” Bibiana explains.

I nod, understanding. I look at Hazard – I mean Predator – with sadness flowing in me.

“Goodbye, Predator. Tell dad I said hi,” I mumble.

Predator bobs his head up and down as if he’s nodding and flies towards Bibiana. Bibiana chants in an unfamiliar language, making Predator squawks loudly.

I close my eyes when the sudden brightness blinds me.

Once I open my eyes, my father’s guardian animal is no longer in sight. 

Author's Note

Some of your comments from the last update really cracks me. You should know that I can't cook. (I'm afraid of fires) so I'm going to suck it up and tell them when I don't have the feeling of chickening out (which takes me a few more days to do so) So what do you think of the story so far? I'm listening to Coldplay's Atlas while writing this!

Comment.

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-M.

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