Foreign Birds: a short story

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The house was dark. Quiet too except for the foreign birds chirping from outside. My parents wouldn't let me have a bird.

"Too much of a bird-en" they said.

God I hate their puns.

I stepped out of bed, and switched on the light. It was 6:30 am. I took a deep breath and stepped out of my room. The halls were still as dark as before. I tip-toed through the hall and down the two flights of stairs to the kitchen.

It's just another morning

I gravitated toward cereal but it was too high up, so I grabbed an apple and I headed to our living room.

The front door was glass.

The only thing glass in this house.

The only thing that let me see the outside world.

Most days, when my parents were out "lawyer-ing," I sat there staring out. There I could see the foreign birds and squirrels. Trees that grew as high as the stars and the sky. Day or night, it was as beautiful as I could ever imagine.

So I sat there apple in hand, staring out into the rising sun. Staring at the momma bird bringing her babies a digested worm, and staring at the tulips mid-bloom. The sky was covered in what looked like cotton candy, and the grass was filled with water drops.

This was my heaven.

Time passed like a blink of an eye. My apple gone, and the unusual outside became ordinary. I glanced at the clock. 7:04 am. One minute till Dad comes in. Over the years I've been able to track their movements.

7:05, Dad comes in. As he always does.

"Good morning my little ray of sunshine! Aren't you just so glad to be alive on this glorious morning?"

I paused. "I would if I could see it."

"Oh, don't have such a bad attitude, sweetie."

"We're just trying to keep you safe," Mom joined in.

"Safe from what?" I said as I always do.

They looked at me with concern.

"You know why sweetie, just go upstairs and work on your project," she said

"I don't know why, Mom! Why can't you just tell me?"

They looked at each other again.

In a rage, I stormed back up to my room.

The only place I could truly be safe and alone.

I sat on a grey fuzzy bean bag as I thought. I've been through that conversation oh-so-many times. Why can't I have a change for once in a while?

Thoughts drifted through my mind, as my rats Mars and Pepper started to squeak.

They must have been hungry.

I walked over to their coop. They are both like me. They stare into the outside world, pondering what life could be out there. But at least they get what they want every once in awhile.

I picked Pepper up first. She crawled around my arm squeaking with excitement.

I always loved that sound. Her speckled fur rubbed against my pale skin, and her onyx eyes shined.

Mars was next. He wasn't as hyper as Pepper, but still seemed excited. He was completely black except for a strip of white around his eyes.

I let them down on the floor; their claws clicked on the tile. I gave them the apple core from earlier, as I continued on my project.

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