New Bedtime Story! Lew's Missing Home
Lew takes a break from the hustle and bustle of the city to spend a day at the beach...
Welcome back for a new part in the story of a lost pigeon in New York City.
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Suddenly, everything had fallen apart.
Joan was gone; Ruby was with us but against us; and Francois was grouchier than ever.
Ruby and I spent the morning scouring the cinema roof for scraps while Francois paced back and forth, deep in thought. I could sense the pressure he was feeling. I could feel it too.
The mission to rob the mall didn’t feel like a shot at glory anymore. It felt desperate. The goal wasn’t riches now. The goal was simply making it through this whole mess and getting to the other side.
After some food, Francois gathered everyone together.
“We can’t do the heist today,” said Francois. “It’s too busy. We need to go on a day when the mall is quiet.”
“What do we do today then?” I asked.
“Nothing,” said Francois.
I thought it over and then I went for it.
“Is it ok if I go to the beach then?” I asked.
Francois looked at Ruby.
“The debt belongs to me,” Francois told Ruby. “He needs a break. Let him go.”
Ruby thought it over. “Fine. But please, Lew, come back before dark.”
“I will,” I said. “I promise.”
I hopped up onto the edge of the roof but hesitated.
“Which way is the water?” I asked.
Francois nodded in the ocean’s direction.
“Be careful,” he added.
I took off into the air and flew away, going up steeply towards the distant clouds. I passed the tops of the buildings and kept flying higher. I wanted a break from the noise and smell of the city. I wanted a break from the honking cars that stink up the air, the constant risk of getting hit by this or that, of getting yelled at or swiped at by humans or cats or other birds.
Up high, the air was cool and the sky was clear. I could see the coast in the distance.
Approaching the water, I started my descent back down to earth. Just like the city streets, the beach was packed as well. Of course, it was… Everywhere was…
Humans covered the sandy shore. As far as birds go, the beach was seagull territory. I could see little clusters of well-fed seagulls sprinkled here and there among the crowds. They ran the whole shoreline. They were flying around from food source to food source, scavenging for scraps and morsels from human beachgoers.
I flew along the shore for a while, taking everything in. In the distance, I saw a wooden dock that went from the shoreline way out into the water. Instantly, it reminded me of the fishing docks back home where my friends and family and I used to feast on fish, day in, day out.
I flew to the docks and found it covered with humans fishing all along it, with more seagulls loitering amongst them for scraps. I went out to the end of the dock and landed on one of its pillars.
Standing there, I looked out towards the horizon. It was like the water went on forever. Somewhere out there, way out of sight, was home.
I missed my brothers and sisters, my parents, all my friends. I pictured all of us together. I just wanted to be with them again. I thought about the old the fishing dock back home when life was full of nothing but playing and eating. Back before I was getting threatened by an owl into doing a mall heist…
Far out into the ocean, I saw the familiar sight of a giant ship sliding across the horizon. Maybe that ship could carry me home? Or maybe I would just end up more lost than ever… Who knows? It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to fly out there. I’d be free.
Suddenly, a seagull landed beside me on the pillar.
“Ever been on one of those before?” he asked, looking out at the ship on the horizon.
“Yeah, once,” I said. “It wasn’t an ideal situation.”
“They can be pretty handy if you know what you’re doing,” he said.
I could feel that he was going to try and sell me on something, but I was still curious.
“Those ships could be going anywhere,” I said. “How could you know where they’re going?”
“Patterns,” said the seagull. “Learn the patterns and learn which ships go where.”
“And where might that be?” I asked.
“Anywhere,” he said. “Hot climate, cold climate. Quiet place, loud place. Lots of humans, no humans at all. I can point you in the direction of wherever you want to go. I’ll fly you out there and set you up on the ship. Somewhere nice and cosy. Even leave you with some snacks.”
“What will it cost me?” I asked.
“Food,” he said. “Simple old food. A lot of it.”
“I’ll keep it in mind,” I said.
“You do that,” he said. “When you’re ready, you can always find me here at the end of the dock.”
With that, the seagull took off and left me alone on the pillar.
Standing there, I looked at the ship on the horizon one last time.
It was time to get back to the cinema. I turned my back on the ocean and took off towards the bright skyscrapers of the city.
Getting back to the cinema, the mood on the roof was much the same as when I had left. Francois and Ruby were split apart from each other, Francois resting as he watched contemplatively over the city, Ruby sleeping on some newspaper.
As I landed, Francois waved me over. I could tell it was going to be a conversation for quiet voices.
“You don’t have to do this,” he said. “I can get you out of here before the heist. Like I said to Ruby, the debt’s with me.”
“We’re in this together,” I said.
Thanks for reading and have a phenomenal weekend!
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