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A long time ago there was an unknown place. Then they came…. The humans built a nature park in the forest and then it all went down in flames when the Indians attacked so the people moved out and built somewhere else. The buildings were charred and pitch black by that time. The owls moved in after the smoke had cleared which took several hours. They all had separate territories. There were 6 types of owl’s barn owl, burrowing owl, great horned owl, screeching owl, snowy owl, and saw-whet owl. The barn owls lived in The Abandoned Park, the burrowing owls lived in The Fields, the great horned owl and the screeches both lived in The Forest, the snowy owls lived in The Mountains, the saw-whet owls lived in any space they could find, and The Hills were fought over by all of these flocks. The Hills were part of their hunting grounds and many owls died there in territorial battles. One day a barn owl named Spirit took dominance over all others. He united all of the flocks together as one. One day a great horned owl named Rick attempted to kill the great king but sadly they both died and after Rick died the king walked to The Deep Valley and died so all the other owls began to separate and nobody dared to go to The Deep Valley where the king died. Rick’s mate was pregnant at the time but nobody knew so she got a new mate, Sand, and their child was born and raised but nobody knew that that child was the daughter of Rick. As everybody was going back to their territories the barn owls were slowly adapting to the charred buildings that they lived in so eventually all of the barn owls were black, grey, a little white, or a mixture.
Chapter #1 Shadow
The rain poured down in heavy drops as I slept in the house. Fire, our leader, was sleeping beside me. I was his best friend and most trusted gatherer. Most of my flock was sleeping in here but the others were in the trees. My name is Shadow, I am an adult, a gatherer, and a barn owl. As we were sleeping that night I heard scratching at the window so I went to look. There a sudden flash of lightning lit up the sky when I saw an unfamiliar owl. I awoke the leader, Fire, and he let the stranger in. He was called Midnight, a male barn owl dripping wet with the rain but he didn’t seem to mind his wet feathers.
“Hi I’m Midnight and I’m looking for a flock to join.” Midnight said without even a hint of sadness.
“This is Shadow and I am Fire, leader of Night Flock. Where have you been living before?” Fire asked.
“In the woods but I was lost the whole time because I’m new!”Exclaimed Midnight.
“Very well, you will sleep with the night watchers by the window.” Fire said.
“But Fire!”I yelled
“We will see, Shadow, don’t you worry.” Dusk muttered
In the morning the strange owl was still asleep and everybody was spreading rumors of how he got there and they were all gossiping about the flock meeting tonight. After I pushed through the crowd of birds all surrounding Midnight I saw him sleeping on the floor undisturbed by all of the caws and hoots of others. After Midnight woke up it was midday and I came up to him and started talking so he rolled with it and he wasn’t that bad but he was still mysterious to me so I showed him around and he told me stories of his travels out of the realm. After we were friends I took him to the meeting place and then every bird started to gather one by one. My mate, Flame, stood to my right and Midnight stood to my left and then the meeting begun. Midnight got called up and we asked him as many questions as possible and then we all had a big vote to see if he would stay and where his position was going to be if he stayed. Most people didn’t trust Midnight enough so he was staying but he had to be a flyer. Midnight slept by the window again because everyone had a thought that he was going to murder them in their sleep. I slept pretty close to him but not too close for anyone to recognize that I purposely slept there. The next day was like any other gatherers day. I went out and was swooping to get a mouse when I look up and see Midnight in the back of a group of flyers followed by our fighters and then I feel the leaves gently rubbing my feet as my talons close on my mouse and I grip tightly and fly away back to The Abandoned Park. When I get back to the flock I drop my dead mouse in the food storage and go visit Charcoal, one of our healers.
“Ah Shadow, how are you this evening?” She said.
“Fine Charcoal but anyway how is Mist?”
“She’s doing just fine and she should be out in two days.”
“That’s great so do you need anything for anybody?”
“Yes actually I do. I need lilac for Mist, clover for Moon, and some oak leaves for Dusty.”
“Ok I’ll be back.” I said excitedly because it’s not like you get medicine every day.
“Bye” She shouted as I spread my long wings and took off. Moments later I was in the woods searching for the medicine. I found the oak leaves first then the clover but lilac is extremely hard to find so I took the oak leaves and the clover back to Charcoal and I said that I would be right back with the lilac so I went back into the hills and the forest and as I was looking around an owl came out of nowhere and hit my side fiercely, with a powerful flap of my wings I just missed hitting the ground and I flew up into the sky wondering what that was when I see a great horned owl darting at me as fast as it can and another quick flap of my wings and I darted to the left dodging the mysterious owls attack. I quickly fly back home but on the way I notice some lilac so I swoop to grab it when the same owl tries to attack me. I caught a good look at the owl this time and I could tell that it was a young owl so I assumed that it just wanted a rough, tough fight so I dodge him again and I picked up the lilac and swooped back to my territory and I knew that if that young owl ever came into my territory he would die. I brought the lilac back to Charcoal and she was pleased and then I told her about the young owl that attacked me. Charcoal always loved to hear my stories and she was always fascinated and amused at almost everything everybody said. I remembered about Midnight and the fighters so I went to find Fire. I found him in the house talking to some young owls of ours that must have gotten into trouble. After he was done he turned to me.
“What’s up?” Fire said
“Is there a battle going on somewhere?” I asked.
“No but we are testing the flyers and fighters for their ranks today.”
“Ok see you later.” I said
“Bye” Said Fire
As I was leaving the house I saw the young great horned owl and 10 other owls dart across our border and start attacking the people.
Chapter #2 This Means War
I flew back inside in a hurry. Fire looked surprised when he saw my worried face.
“What what is it Shadow?” Asked Fire.
“The great horned owls are attacking!” I shouted frantically.
“Let’s go find our fighters!” Fire commented. So without thought, we flew out of the house and into the field. We found them flying on the border of the mountains so we told them the news and we all flew back as fast as possible and Midnight led the pack because he was the fastest. We all arrived and started “surprise attacking” the great horned owls. The great horned owls finally retreated and we brought the wounded to the healers. Later that day we all watched in fear as the escorters escorted the blind to the North East side of the park. The NE side was where all the blind and permanently wounded were. After the day had fallen and the night had risen, we all never spoke a word after the attack. We went to sleep, got up in the morning, went to our positions, then went back to sleep. Two days after the attack the leader held a meeting with only his most trusted position leaders.
“It is time that we all stop avoiding the truth! Start living in today. If the great horned owls want war then we will give them war!” Fire Shouted.
“Yeah” We all said together.
“We will put reporters all over on night watch tonight.” Said Charcoal.
“Yes we will, and we will make the fighters and flyers fully prepared for tomorrow’s battle which we will start!” Dusk said inspirationally.
“Yeah!” We all said.
“The great horned owls are in large numbers though.” Said Charcoal.
“We will have the element of surprise and our owls are much more skilled and quicker than theirs.” I said feeling smart.
“We will attack tomorrow at high noon!” Fire shouted. The next day our flyers were getting ready to fly the whole day and the fighters were getting ready to watch the faces of the owls when they suddenly hit them. Since I was a gatherer I didn’t go to the battle so I stayed home with Charcoal worrying about all my friends that went to the war. Later that evening we retrieved the dead and wounded. We won the battle and told the owls whose boss that day. When we went to sleep, we all slept heavily because all of the suspense had been taking away our energy. The next few days were glorious. Midnight and I became good friends. Fire was very happy with the way his flock was and mist had healed and she was better than ever before. The only people who weren’t happy were the ones who lost their family in the battle.
“Shadow?” Flame said.
“Yes?” I replied.
“Do you think that we should have kids?” She asked.
“Sure. Do you want them?”
“Ok then let’s have some.” I said trying not to sound too excited. After the news was spread of me and Flame having kids everyone was excited but not as much as I was. I always wanted a son. I dreamt that night about teaching my son how to fly. My son fell out of the tree and with one flap he lifted himself up and flew all the way to the border and I looked so pleased that he did it on his first try. 1 out of 10 birds flew smoothly on their first try. My son loved flying so much that he flew everywhere but then I had a nightmare about him trying to fly but falling and falling until he hit the hard ground with a splat! In that nightmare as soon as he hit the ground I awoke to see my mate smiling at me. I looked down by her tail feathers to see two little fuzzy heads pop out. I flew in a circle around our tree joyfully and I forgot the horrible nightmare that I just had and we were so excited we checked their gender and we had a boy and a girl. We named the boy Thunder and the girl Lilac. They were too young to determine their colors so we all went back to sleep and I had the same dream of my son flying everywhere on his first try.
Chapter #3 Days of Forever
When I awoke that morning, Flame was still asleep so I went out and told everybody the news about Thunder and Lilac. The town was buzzing with excitement. I was so excited to hear what the leaders had to say. The days seemed like forever. Each day felt like a month to me but the day finally came when my children were ready to be placed. Dusk came up, followed by Charcoal. Charcoal and Dusk were the two most important owls in the whole flock.
“We are here to celebrate the comings of Lilac and Thunder. Let us begin the examination and the deciding.” Fire held up Thunder and Charcoal held up Lilac. They both closed their eyes and thought. They switched owls and did the same thing. Moments later they put each chick down and went in the house and started deciding on where they should go. I was outside and I wasn’t allowed to hear them so we waited in silence. As we waited I had the funniest feeling that Thunder was going to be a flyer. Out came Fire and Charcoal and they stood high above us in a tree.
“Dear birds of the flock, we have reached a decision.” Said Fire.
“Lilac is possibly a medicine bird.” Charcoal chirped happily.
“And Thunder is to be a” He waited a moment and then said
“Flyer.” I was so shocked that my feeling was right that I didn’t breathe till Flame started talking to me about how excited she was. I was excited too until my nightmare came back to me the night after the ceremony. Soon our children started talking and they were almost ready to fly and that’s when I started getting worried.
“Daddy, daddy will you teach us to fly?” Asked Thunder
“Yea.” Said Lilac
“No not now.” I said with fear in my eyes.
“Shadow, can I speak with you?” Asked Flame. I went with Flame to the top of the house.
“What?” I said.
“Shadow what is troubling you?” Flame whispered making sure that no one had heard. I always hated the way she could look straight through you and read you mind.
“Oh Flame, its teaching the kids to fly. I had a nightmare about them falling and not making it.” I said sadly.
“It’s ok everybody worries about that and besides it has never happened to any young healthy kids. It’s just your mind playing tricks on you so chill out and relax. I will teach Lilac if you want me too.” She stated.
“No it’s ok, I will teach both and I guess your right my mind does do that sometimes.”
“See you just need a little encouragement.” She said. We went back to our tree and I told the kids that they would be flying tomorrow. I talked to Dusk about my strange feeling at the ceremony and my dreams. The only comment was yah, so I just assumed that he thought I was nuts or something. The next day came and it was time to teach them to fly. All day they’ve been asking, when can we fly but it took all day to build up my courage to actually say ok. When the time came and I actually said ok we went out on a branch and in front of them, I demonstrated how to fly properly and how to catch the wind currents beneath your wings and how to land at the right angle. I told Lilac to go first because I was worried about Thunder falling so I said go ahead and Lilac jumped in the air and spread her beautiful wings. She was starting to look like her mother. At that moment I was day dreaming and watching her at the same time and as her wings guided her up higher I snapped back into reality and went up high in the sky to get her and as we were coming down I could see a little black dot jump from our tree and I noticed that it was Thunder who jumped from the tree.
Chapter #4 Paranoia
“No” I screamed as I flew past the branch that Thunder jumped off of. I quickly slowed down so I wouldn’t hit the ground and I saw Thunder nearing the ground with his wings still closed. I quickly slowed to a stop right before I hit the ground. Lilac was far behind me.
“No!” I shrieked as I looked around expecting to find Thunders lifeless body but instead I found nothing but regular old ground. I looked around puzzled and then had a day dream of Thunder hitting the ground but going right through it and into heaven. I thought that that was silly so I continued looking until I heard a boys shrieks coming from The Forest of the great horned owls. Quickly I helped Lilac land and told her to go get Flame. I flew into horned owl territory and I followed the screams. Soon I found my son but he was flying back to The Abandoned Park.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Look behind us.” He stuttered. I looked behind and saw an army of Great Horned owls flying so fast that I knew my son couldn’t be fast enough. We were nearing the territory and I could barely see through my tears when I saw a black spec in front of me and I thought it was a great horned owl so I tried to go around it but it never got closer it just got further away and it took me two minutes to figure out who it was. It was Thunder! I was so surprised that he could fly faster than me already so I made it into the territory and before any of the barn owls could see them the army retreated back into the forest. I woke up that night and I had a dream of seeing the army attack us and my children being killed before my eyes but I didn’t want to believe this but it seemed do real so I told Fire about the dream and the army and I could see a little hint of worry in his eyes but Dusk is the best emotion hider that I have ever met so it got me concerned. My kid’s colors were starting to show and I could tell that Lilac would have black and red swirls and Thunder would be all black except he would be yellow on his head, chest, and the tips of his wings. I was so worried and concerned about the army that I couldn’t sleep at all and when I did I had nightmares of the army attacking. Nobody in the whole town new except for me, Fire, Thunder, and anybody Thunder told. One night I was so aggravated and stupid I went into The Forest to spy on the great horned owl army. It was very dark so they couldn’t see me. I found a spot where the leaders slept but they were up and awake and talking. I thought to myself how lucky I was to hear some information. There were two owls talking so I figured they were the leader and the medicine bird so I listened to the rest of their conversation.
“Now we will attack for sure but when?” Said the owl on the right
“I don’t know.” Replied the owl on the left
“Well you should because this was all your idea.”
“Fine, is the army ready?”
“No, still will be a few weeks before it’s complete.”
“How many weeks?”
“Minimum?” Whispered the owl on the left
Chapter 5 Stupidity Is the Answer
After the two mysterious owls were finished talking, they walked towards the door which I was standing close by! I quickly dashed back to my territory and I was expecting Fire or Flame to be waiting for me but all of the flock was sound asleep, as if nothing ever happened I went to sleep. I woke up midday and quickly Fire caught notice. Nobody wakes up midday unless they didn’t get enough sleep at night.
“What is troubling you Shadow?” Asked Fire
“Fire it’s just.” I stopped and noticed others that were listening to our conversation. I didn’t want to scare the other owls.
“Fire, can I speak with you in private?”
“Yes.” Fire replied. We both flew into the house.
“Ok, I know I shouldn’t of but I spied on the great horned owls last night.” I whispered. I was shaking all over because I was afraid of Fire yelling at me and I was still shocked from the last few weeks.
“Well, go on.” Fire demanded. I was so surprised at him for not yelling at me that it took me a minute to say something.
“Well I went to the leader’s house and two owls were talking there.” I muttered
“Yes.” Fire said.
“They were talking about some kind of army and when they should attack.”
“Did you get any details on anything?”
“Yes, they are going to attack in about three weeks.”
“Good, anything else?”
“No” I answered.
“Shadow, it’s important that I tell you this.” He stopped. “The great horned owls have been our enemy for years and what you heard was the leader and someone else right?”
“Yes, probably the medicine owl.”
“No, there medicine owl got sick remember.”
“Oh yah, so who was it?”
“Maybe some other great horned owl.” I replied
“No, I must be a trader from here.”
“How do you know?”
“Shadow, I am the leader here and leaders know more than you can imagine.”
“Ok then” I said feeling confused about Fires last comment.
“So what should we do?” I asked.
“Shadow, I can’t believe I’m saying this but, get a group of spies to watch the place night and day but put the experts in the day shift.” Fire said in a grumpy tone.
“Fine.” I said. Then I flew away and I got Midnight, Flame, myself, and some others that went to flying school. I got the ones that went to flying school just in case we got in a sticky situation and then they could skillfully fly us out. The next night I went to my spy shift and luckily I didn’t hear anyone. The next few nights made no progress whatsoever. Then during my shift, of course, I found the two same owls talking again. This time I heard that the second one was a barn owl and the first one was definitely the leader. I listened to the rest of the conversation when I realized it was only one more week till there army was complete!
“Ok the army is almost ready.” Said the leader.
“Ok I will warn Fire tonight.” Said the barn owl.
I thought for a while why would he tell Fire. Of course I had to be so stupid and fly back to my territory without hearing the end of their conversation and ditching the others.
“What?”Answered Fire. “Why aren’t you at your shift?”
“I’ll explain later.”
“So, what is it?”
“The trader is….” I stopped and started thinking about why the trader was going to tell him.
“Go on.” Said Fire.
“Oh, you don’t happen to know who the trader is do you?” I said very suspiciously.
“Shadow, are you suggesting that the trader is me!?!?”
“Maybe.” I said.
“Shadow, I would expect you to be smarter.”
“The trader said that he would tell you so, I assumed that you were part of this.” I said.
“No how can you ever even think of that!”I didn’t know what to say so I just sat there feeling really stupid.”
“Ha, ha, ha, I got you. Shadow, you were right to think that I am part of the army but I’m not. I’m so proud of you.”
“Why?” I asked in confusion.
“You would turn in your best friend just to save the flock!”
“Well, um yah I guess.” I stuttered. I was still confused about what he had said when suddenly I see a big barn owl fly through the h*** in the ceiling. He flew into the shadows before I had time to see him.
“The black one must go.” The mysterious owl said.
“Who are you?” Asked Fire.
“I am here to send you a message from the great horned owls.”
“Shadow, leave right now.” Fire said.
“What if….” I began but Fire cut me off as I said it.
“Go!” Fire screeched.
“Ok.” I quickly hurried out of the room before Fire got really angry. I flew on top of the house by the h*** and I listened to their conversation.
“_____ said that he will give you one week to give up your flock’s territory or he will attack full-force.”
“I refuse this offer. Who are you anyway?”
“That is a very good question Fire. You see while I watched you make your decisions, I got a craving to be powerful and known around the territories but, it’s so hard to do one great big good thing but it is very easy you see, to do one bad thing. So, this is why I will tell you who I am.”
“I am the all mighty and forever known Fog!”
“Fog! Why would you do this?”
“I told you.”
“Yeah but you were the nicest person in the flock.”
“Yeah, I know and that’s why no one will ever expect me to be a trader. Bye now. I will see you in a week.” As Fog flew away I went inside to find Fire with a surprised expression still on his face.
“You were listening I assume.”
“Yah but who is Fog?”
“He was one of us and he was the nicest. I was his best friend back then. He was going to be the leader till one day he disappeared. I was so devastated that I became more depressed and more focused on war.”As he said it I could see him holding back tears. The only problem was that Fire never got close to people even in his stories that he told us.
Chapter 6 Questions
“Fire is there something you’re not telling me?” I asked without thought.
“Well yes but I don’t want you to see me when I tell you.”
“Ok, go on.”
“He was my brother.”
“Oh ok then. I don’t get why that’s a big deal.”
“I never wanted to be the leader. He did. All of these years of wondering where he went and all of those search parties that we sent out, I just can’t believe that he told me all about wanting to be leader and then just disappear.” I was too ashamed of my question that I didn’t say a word to him. I silently flew out and into the sky. By that time it was midnight so I went for a night time fly. This time when I was flying I noticed all of the tiny things, like the wind slowly flowing through my feathers, the frogs in the forest, the trees slowly shifting in the wind. I realized that Flame would be worried about me if I stayed out too long so I headed back. I got to my tree when I found Flame waiting for me.
“Where have you been?”
“I was out on a night time fly. I got drama trauma from the whole day.” I replied
“Ok, well the kids have been occupied the whole day. They flew everywhere.”
“Awesome, don’t you think that Thunder is meant to be a flyer.”
“Sure, but what makes you say that.”
“He can fly faster than me.”
“Yep.” I answered
“Wow I suppose he is meant to be.”
“I’m so proud of them.” I said.
“Me too. Come to bed now.” She mumbled wearily.
“Ok.” I said. We both went to bed and fell asleep almost instantly. I had no dreams that night but I did think about the future. I was sad that Thunder and Lilac had to live in the time that the great horned owls were the strongest. The next day I did my duties as a gatherer then found Fire.
“Hey Fire.” I squawked.
“Hey” He replied.
“Sorry about yesterday.”
“It’s ok” Fire said sadly.
“So, you’re really going to do nothing about the great horned owls?”
“No, when you told me about them I’ve been rounding up an army for myself.”
“Why haven’t you told anyone?”
“I’m holding a meeting tonight.”
“Oh, well still whose in the army so far?”
“The Snowy owls have agreed to fight.”
“How could you possibly find them?”
“I told you that I know more than you can imagine.”
“Ok then.” I said feeling a little creeped out.”Anyone else?”
“I got the burrowing owls and some of the saw-whet owls.” He said. “Also I got our army.”
“Alright is it enough?”
“Err” I growled.
“So when is the meeting?”
“Tonight, when the sun and moon are both visible.”
“Ok.”I replied. I flew off to find it was almost time for the meeting. I went to tell Flame that I was going to get home late.
“Hey Flame.” I said.
“Oh! Shadow it’s you.”
“Yeah.” I said.
“What do you need?”
“I want to tell you that I will come home late because there’s another meeting.”
“Oh. Well when don’t you have a meeting?” She replied.
“I hate your meetings. Every night it seems. There’s been so many, I’ve started to worry about you Shadow!”
“It’s cool sweetie. You will learn the truth later.”
“Yeah, well got to go!”
“Wait!” She screamed but I did not wait because I had said enough already. I flew to the meeting spot in the big oak tree. Some owls were already there but others weren’t. It was minutes later and I could see the sun and the moon. I knew the meeting would start soon. A couple minutes later Fire came out and sat on the tree.
“Birds of Night flock!” Said Fire. “We are here today to talk about a rising problem of the great horned owls.” As he said it everyone began whispering. “The great horned owls were creating an army for the last 3 weeks.”
“WHAT?” Asked someone in the crowd. “HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING THIS FROM US?” Asked the same owl.
“We found out 2 weeks ago. We didn’t want to tell you yet.”
“Yes Shadow spied on them and found out. If it weren’t for shadow then tomorrow we would be dead.”
“So? We will still be dead anyway.”
“No, I have come here to see if any one of you would like to join in our army, which I started 2 weeks ago. You must fight for the right of flight in Night flock. Now Shadow has made a poem to encourage you all to join.
In the night
You’re close to flight
To bite and scratch you enemies
You are in the battle
You must see
There is no need
To fear battle
Only fear fear itself
You are near to others
Through the sky
You are in the battle
Nearing the land
You need to follow the plan
Can you do it?
Yes you can
You surprise another
Then you had to smother
You are in the battle
You fight like the night against the day
You give a fright to the others
You will be rewarded and celebrated
Why not join the battle
You can make a difference”
Said Fire. The whole crowd cheered and I felt like crap.
“Who wants to join? Come up here if you want to join the battle.” So lots of people started going up to join the battle.
“Flame, I’m joining.” I said stubbornly.
“No!” She replied.
“Yes I have to. I need to do this.”
“Think about our children!”
“I am thinking about them!” So I flew up to the tree and we didn’t speak for the rest of the night. I was pretty upset about Flame being so stubborn. She usually isn’t that stubborn. The next few days were crazy. The owls were all scared and flying around. Some people fled and others joined in the fight. I went to Fire.
“Hey, I want to join the battle.”I said abruptly.
“Sure but what’s troubling you?” Fire said.
“Oh. Its Flame, she doesn’t want me to join.”
“Oh! Well, I’ll talk to her for you.”
“Really? Thanks!” I said more cheerfully. I flew away thinking that all of my troubles were gone. I saw Midnight looking at Amber with a certain gaze that I knew from somewhere. I just couldn’t think of where I saw that look. It was so close to me and I almost knew it what I realized that I was about to fly into a tree. I swiftly turned around and went home. That night Flame didn’t talk to me again. The kids didn’t notice but I knew that they would catch on soon. The silent night past and we all knew what was going to come. The battle and lots of deaths of loved ones was to come tomorrow. I almost cried.