By Brooke Kaluzienski
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but you didn’t have wings yesterday, did you?” Green eyes pierced blue with an interrogatory gaze, before flickering briefly to a pair of brilliant white wings sprouting from the young girl’s back. The eyes returned to the child’s face, interrogatory once more.
“N-no, Miss,” the child stuttered.
“Do you know when they appeared?” The green-eyed ‘Miss’ was trying to be gentle with the little girl, asking only one question at a time.
The small girl shook her head. “Miss, they weren’t there when I went t’bed, but when I ‘woke, I saw ’em!”
“Can I touch them?” The small girl shook her head, so Miss tried again, gentler. “Aleta, may I touch your wings?”
The girl, Aleta, started to shake her head, sticking out her bottom lip. After a raised eyebrow from Miss, however, she caved. “Fine, Miss. Bu’ be gentle!”
Miss softly touched the tip of one of Aleta’s wings, asking, “Did you feel that, Aleta?”
Aleta shook her head. “No, Miss. Well, yes, Miss. But no, Miss.”
“Is it yes or no, Aleta? It can’t be both,” Miss prompted.
Aleta shrugged. “I don’ know, Miss! I can sorta, I dunno, sense it, but it’s not the same as if you were to touch my hand.” Miss frowned, then, without warning, she plucked a feather. Aleta yelped. “Ouch, Miss!”
“Your pain receptors seem to be firing properly … so why can’t you feel this?” Miss poked one of Aleta’s wings.
Aleta seemed to not notice the poke, possibly because she did not feel it, but possibly because she was otherwise occupied. “Miss?” she asked, her blue eyes wide and shining.
“Are they gonna do exper’ments on me?” Aleta asked worriedly, her bottom lip trembling.
“Who are they?” Miss asked.
“Princ’pal Harris? I know you wouldn’t, Miss, but…”
“No, Principal Harris won’t do any experiments. Remember, he doesn’t know how. He needs me to, and I’ll protect you,” Miss reassured Aleta.
“Thank you, Miss.” And with that, Aleta gave Miss a hug. She could only reach her teacher’s waist, but it was a hug nonetheless.
Miss chuckled lightly, patting Aleta on the back between the newly-sprouted wings. “I will keep you safe,” she whispered fiercely, knowing that she would be unable to keep the promise if anyone from The Organization tried to harm or experiment on Aleta.
And Miss herself worked for The Organization.