The Bird

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You've heard the story a thousand times. There's songs about it, there's statues and carvings, there's even a festival annually to celebrate this guy.

It's been centuries since anybody's claimed to have seen this creature, but still they celebrate him like he was just here yesterday. The magical bird man that protects children. Supposedly he'd rescued most of the town or something from a wildfire forever ago.

You sigh and glance at your phone; there was no signal. It was always minimal in this area of town, but it'd never just cut out before. You glance up at your friends and family, all intent on the goings-on around them. The festival was in full swing for the first day, but you were already tired of it.

Sighing again, you slip your phone back into your pocket and try to put on a happy face. It seemed like the proper thing to do, even if you weren't actually enjoying yourself.

One hour passes, and you are more than done and ready to scream. How on earth does this dinky little town have the largest festival in history? It never seems to end.
At the first opportunity, you slip away from the crowd, grateful for the quiet.
Let the family have their fun in all the noise and chaos. You need some time to yourself.

You remember there being a path to the beach nearby, and slip past the brightly decorated barricade and onto the sandy, rocky hill. It briefly crosses your mind that it's odd to have this place blocked off; it's open normally. Shrugging, you dismiss it. Probably to keep little kids away from the water.

As you wander down the hill, you look out to the water; the sun briefly glinting off the water before hiding behind a large bank of clouds. Even though you were technically only a few dozen yards away from the main festival thoroughfare, it was nearly silent but for the hushed whisper of the waves. Perfect.

Stepping out onto the sand, you sigh in happiness. So much better. It was a bit breezy on the beach, and you pull your jacket closed. Weirdly enough, the temperature seems way too chilly here. Glancing back up the hill, you realize that you've descended about thirty feet vertically. 

Huh.

You wander out toward the water, feeling the breeze on your face, the sharp scent of salt in it. You glance up and down the beach, wondering which way to head. You spot some interesting rock formations further up the beach, and choose those as your target.

Crunching along on the coarse grey sand, you feel excited about your little adventure. It's hard to get away from your family most days; they're always pushing something on you. You glance back and watch as a wave washes over your steps, completely erasing them. You shiver as an indescribable feeling crawls up your spine. You look back toward the ramp, considering returning to the festival. Shaking yourself and cursing yourself for thinking too hard, you turn and march determinedly toward the rocky outcrop in the distance.

Time passes, as it does, and you find yourself staring up at much more than you were expecting to find. What had just looked like a interestingly-shaped rock turned out to be a large arch carved into the cliff side. It was hundreds of feet high, and deeper than your house. Huge boulders, tall as trees, lay half-buried in the sand nearby. It was a beautiful location, but somewhat unnerving.
The dark rock, the black sand; it all seemed like an alien landscape. You climb to the top of the pile of boulders and look out over the water. It might be unusual, but it's beautiful.

You pull your phone from your pocket, and glance at the time. Oh, hell. It's been hours. Your parents are going to murder you. You quickly try to shove it into your pocket, but it slips from your hand.

Shit-!

It clatters onto the stone and slides down into a crevice in the pile. Aw, man! Mom is going to kill you if you lose another phone. They're not cheap. You look down into the crack, hoping it hasn't fallen too far. You're surprised when the hole in the stone is actually large enough for you to fit through, and that there's a space beyond. You think for about three seconds before scrambling into the hole. You needed that stupid phone.

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