Ronan’s Revenge

Introduction

I don’t read, write, or critique Fantasy, I’m just not that smart! But when a writing bestie was selected as a guest judge for a fantasy writing competition, I had to try! I had no idea of a plot. But one scene from a movie kept coming to my mind. (I won’t say what it is in case you want to guess) So I started with that and the story grew from there. I revised a little and off she went. Here’s the catch, I forgot the competition was for young adult! Yep! Totally over looked that minor detail! Regardless, it was a fun learning experience. I will probably never write Fantasy again, but I encourage everyone to try writing a low stakes short story out of your genre. It’s always from to try something new and you’ll probably learn a thing or two! So, below, I hope you enjoy or LOL at my lack of Fantasy skills, as you read Ronan’s Revenge! 🙂

CHAPTER 1

Group Therapy

When he burst through the double doors, Ronan didn’t bother folding in his wings. He was too pissed to care about losing a few feathers.

“Nice of you to join us.” Marlena sat with legs crossed in a folding chair at the front of the cathedral.

“I’m gonna fucking kill him.” Instead of filling a chair alongside the other Avians, Ronan stormed straight to Marlena. “This is all your fault.” He pressed a talon at her chest.

She used a wing to brush it away. “I suggest you take a few breaths and have a seat. If you kill me first, you’ll be caged long before you can deal with Lucas.”

Every beady eye in the cathedral bore into him.

“What the fuck are you staring at?” He challenged the room.

Marlena pointed to a chair. “Sit. Now.”

Ronan inhaled deeply, folded his wings, and groaned as he plopped into the chair.

“Calm down, my friend,” Bark said.

“Calm down?” Ronan rebutted. “She has no idea what she’s getting into with this human. None of us do.”

“I think we need a little summary of last week’s Advanced Relaxation.” Marlena interrupted, overly cheerful. “Everybody up and spread out.” She stared Ronan down.

Ronan, Bark, and the rest of the Avians followed Marlena’s orders.

“Close your eyes, expand your wings wide, then take a deep inhale.” She demonstrated. “Now, on the exhale, fold your wings tightly. One. Two. Three. Now, eyes open and wings lose.”

Ronan grew even more irritated that his body was relaxing. He wanted to stay pissed much longer. To let that rage fester so he could permanently deal with Lucas. But Opal.

Marlena instructed the Avians to return to their seats. For the rest of the session, Ronan faded in and out. He heard bits and pieces of the repetitive language on what this group is founded on. And most importantly, how we should stop slaying humans.

Ronan didn’t want to slay all of them. Just one—the one damning his daughter’s life.

CHAPTER 2

Daddy’s Little Birdie

The feathers on the back of Ronan’s neck vibrated. “Shit. I fucked up.” He muttered.

He closed his eyes and searched for Opal. She pinged a few miles away. He invoked a message to her. “Please come over. Let me explain.”

She responded immediately. “WE are coming over, and yes, you can explain.”

Minutes later, Opal’s familiar wing flutter closed in, then a thud on his balcony. He opened the thick wooden door before she had a chance to knock.

Opal folded her wings across her chest and marched in. Lucas followed closely behind.

She wasted no time. “Dad, you had no business going to Lucas’ firm. He’s about to get partner. Or was? What the hell were you thinking?”

 “Honey, listen. Let me explain. Lucas, I have nothing against you personally.”

 “Dad!” Opal interjected. “You literally told him yesterday, when he politely asked for your blessing, that you didn’t want me to marry a human. So, yeah, it’s personal.”

“Sir, I don’t want to upset you. I love your daughter. Very much. We’re having a baby. The first one. My family is so excited. I want you to be.” Lucas placed his hand on Opal’s abdomen.

Ronan sensed a look of concern on Opal’s face. The same look he saw the night her mother didn’t come home. “I am excited. Of course. But I also worry. This has never been done before. My first concern is for my daughter’s health. If anything happened to you…”

“Dad, Lucas’ father is the best doctor on the other side. I’m in good hands.”

The other side. That was Ronan’s biggest fear. Losing her permanently. He couldn’t bear to lose someone else he loved.

He wrapped his wings around her. Nuzzled his beak atop her head. “I love you, baby girl. I’m sorry.”

“I love you, too, Dad.”

Ronan shot a cold glare at Lucas. He wouldn’t lose Opal. No matter what happened or to whom.

CHAPTER 3

The Scheme

Ronan didn’t usually visit the pub on a random Tuesday, but he had to talk to someone besides Marlena. Her advice had been to back off. It would probably end on its own. No Avian/Human relationship made it very far. The Avian’s temper usually had something to do with it.

He lapped up a huge sip of the amber ale and willed it to calm his nerves. It didn’t.

“What’s up?”

Ronan jumped when Bark patted him on the back.

“Dude, what the hell? You didn’t sense me near?” Bark asked.

“Too much on my mind. Thanks for coming. Talance, can you get one for him, too?”

“No problem.” The nearly featherless bartender put a large mug in front of Bark.

Bark held up the mug. “Cheers.”

Ronan didn’t lift his. “I’ve got nothing to cheers about. Nothing but problems.”

“That’s why I’m here—shoot.”

“You’re gonna think I’m crazy. But hear me out. Ever since they built that damn bridge, the Humans have been nothing but problems. A few of us eat one here and one there, and they get all political and shit. Don’t come over then. Stay on your side. I’m just over it. We aren’t a freakshow to be studied.”

Bark folded his wings in front of him on the bar. “Man, listen. That bridge being opened has been a good thing. Not one Avian has died from the flu since. We’ve got real homes to protect us from the weather instead of open nests. Heck, we got this place. It’s a good thing. Humans have been good to us. And yes, we shouldn’t eat them for it. Marlena is working miracles with that.”

“I despise them. Every one of them. Especially Lucas and Lorne. Impregnating Opal is just one big science experiment for them. They’re playing us. It’s not long before it’s your daughters they come after.”

Bark took another long sip. “Alright, so what’re we supposed to do?”

“I’ve got a plan,” Ronan whispered.

“What?”

“I can’t tell you yet. But just be ready when the time comes.”

CHAPTER 4

Marlena Digs

Ronan placed a plate of his latest cuisine in front of Marlena—a mystery concoction of fish, twigs, and leaves.

“Hon, we need to talk.”

“About what?” Ronan ripped a piece of fish to shreds.

“You’re going to push her away. Is that what you want?”

He spat a bone onto his plate. “I’m trying to protect her.”

“From what? This merge is bound to happen. It’s a good thing. Good for them and good for us.”

“Why pray-tell is this good for them? Have you ever really thought about that? What are they getting out of it? They come here and perform miracles, and everyone worships them. But if you really ask yourself what are they are getting out of it?”

Marlena brushed a wing down Ronan’s back. “They’re good people. And what are they getting? Our first responders have saved countless lives. Our delivery team has given any truck they’ve had a run for their money. It’s mutually beneficial. And it was only a matter of time before our species blended. It’s what should happen. It’s the circle of life. It’s a celebration. Your daughter will be forever the first to bring this new wonderful species to life.”

Ronan shoved in his chair and dropped his plate in the sink. “Things were much simpler before. Easier. Less complicated.”

“Our species was dying. I lost Charles. You lost Janette. The humans saved us. We should be grateful.”

“I’m done talking about this.”

“Okay. Just think about it. And, please, don’t do anything stupid. And don’t miss another therapy session.”

CHAPTER 5

Nesting

Ronan received a message from Opal. “Hey, Dad. Wanna come over for breakfast?” Lucas is back in Earthania.”

“Sure,” Ronan responded. “I’ll head over now.” The argument with Marlena the night before was still lingering. But Ronan needed to make amends with Opal.

As Ronan soared over Aviana, the wind whipped against his massive wings. He glided atop a green canopy. The place where they all used to call home. It felt amazing living high in the trees. But it was also dangerous. He and Janette lost Opal’s only sibling when he fell before he could fly. And the bad weather pummeled families.

Ronan landed on Opal’s deck. The humans recommended that all the homes have landing pads. “But I’m thanking them for nothing.” He mumbled to himself.

“Daddy!” The door burst open, and Opal fell into her father’s open wings.

“How’s my girl?”

“Okay, I think. I can tell it’s getting closer. Look.” She pointed to a small nest in the corner.

Ronan laughed. “Just like your mother.”

“I mean, I know she’ll have a human crib, but I just couldn’t resist the urge.” She rubbed her swelling belly.

“When do you travel back to see Lorne?”

“I don’t know. I hope soon. I sometimes feel, I don’t know—off? Probably just normal pregnancy stuff.”

“Hon, nothing about this pregnancy is normal. You should see Dr. Arthur. He’s taken care of all of the females with the lay.”
“Dad, I don’t want to start on this. I won’t be laying. I’ll be giving birth. I need Lorne.” Opal pushed away from the table. “Woah.” Then quickly sat back down.

“Are you okay?” Ronan jumped up to help her back into her chair.

“Yeah. Just a little dizzy. I’m gonna go lay down. Can you let yourself out?”

He kissed her on top of the head. “Of course. You’re gonna be just fine.”

Ronan left and flew directly to Dr. Arthur’s.

CHAPTER 6

Dr. Arthur

“Ronan, I’ve told you before. This is uncharted territory for me. She needs Lorne to handle this delivery. I’m going to assist. But live births are something I’ve never participated in. I’d feel much better if she delivers in Earthania.”

“I trust you enough to figure it out—here at her home.”

“Listen, your daughter and grandaughter’s lives aren’t something I’m going to attempt to figure out.

“So, you believe it too, then. This pregnancy is dangerous.”

“No, I believe with Lorne’s experience, they’re both gonna be fine. One day this will be common. Our species and theirs falling in love, having kids. It’s evolution. But for this first time, she needs a medical professional with live birth experience.”

“Fine. Thanks for nothing.” Ronan slammed Dr. Arthur’s door.

He flew to the Earthania Aviana Bridge. It was a work of art, engineering, and wonder. It stretched for miles. Years of humans and birds working together. But back then, the leaders had one rule. No cross-species procreation. This was a working relationship. We help you. You help us. But that’s where the relationship ended. Once Lucas and Opal got together, a few angry birds ate a few humans. Marlena had to beef up her anger management program. Calm the Avians. Convince the humans they were safe again.

Ronan knew the risks. But he wasn’t willing to lose his daughter.

He flew away from the bridge, more determined than ever to hatch his plan before his daughter hatched his grandchild.

CHAPTER 7

Bark’s Protest

“Talance, two brews for the bros.”

The old bird shuffled. “Gotcha.”

“Ronan, have you thought this through? Things are good. Do you really want to do this?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? I thought you were my friend.” Ronan pounded his IPA.

“Of course. I’m here. I just. I feel some reservations.”

“Stop. You promised.” Ronan wouldn’t let Bark off the hook.

“I did. And I would follow you to the end of Aviana. But is this the right move for us as a whole? For our community?”

“You chickening out on me?”

“No man. Not at all. I got your back. If you say, this is it. I go with you.”

“Bark, this is it.”

“Fine, done.”

Ronan didn’t want Lucas crossing that bridge one more time.

CHAPTER 8

Lucas’ Last Try

A knock jarred Ronan from his irrational thoughts.

He flung open the door. “Well, hello, Lucas. Welcome to the end of the world as we know it.”

“Sir, I just want to tell you. I get it. Sort of. I love your daughter. I don’t know what I have to do to prove that. I thought I already had. The bridge is built. And you fly. So, when she moves to Earthania, it’s not a big deal for you to get there. I’m begging you, sir. Please give us your blessing. It’s time.”

Ronan puffed his chest. “Lucas, this isn’t about you. It’s about the whole human species. We appreciate the help with the flu and the homes and all. But co-producing. It’s not healthy. You’ve put my daughter in a dangerous position.”

“Sir, I beg to disagree. My father says that with his assistance, she’ll be fine. This is how our species should evolve—the natural progression of things.”

“It’s natural to wipe out both our species for a third?”

“Sir, yes, it is. That’s evolution. And your daughter will be the genesis, the first mother.”

CHAPTER 9

Ronan Won’t Regret

“Ronan, I’d like to speak with you after therapy,” Marlena stated.

He fanned his wide wings. “Fine. But Bark and I have plans. I don’t have much time.”

“I only need a few minutes.”

Marlena’s session felt like a direct attack. Tolerance. Acceptance of Human/Avian relationships. Evolution. Stop eating our friends. Blah. Blah.

He and Bark shared several eye rolls.

By the time the session ended, Marlena’s message had all but backfired. Ronan was more determined than ever to end the blending of Humans and Avians.

“Man, you better at least go talk to her. Don’t just duck. Not a cool move.”

“Fine, but she’s not talking me out of it.” Ronan said.

“She can’t talk you out of what she doesn’t know you’re up to,” Bark winked.

Marlena was gathering papers when Ronan approached.

“Hey, you said don’t leave before we talk. Here I am.”

She stopped. “You’re up to something sinister. You haven’t invited me in to know what you’re thinking. But I can sense it. I beg you. Please don’t damage the relationships we’ve built with the Humans for your own pride. It’s not fair to the rest of the Avian population.”

Ronan’s chest flared. “My daughter is not their toy.”

“No one is suggesting that. She loves Lucas, and he loves her. Are you too stubborn to see that? This isn’t about you, Ronan. Both sides are ecstatic about this. You’re being pretty damn selfish.”

“Selfish. Last I checked, it was you being selfish. Trying to indoctrinate every Avian into your beliefs that we should just bow down to Humans and accept them into our world while they study and experiment on us. I guess we don’t see eye to eye.” Ronan stormed off.

Marlena shouted, “Ronan, please, don’t do anything you’ll regret. Please.”

Ronan thought, The only thing I’ll regret is if I don’t do something.

CHAPTER 10

It’s Time

Ronan shot Bark a message. “It’s time. Meet me at the bridge in an hour.”

“I’m there. I got you.”

Ronan spent the next sixty minutes organizing. He flew the supplies to the entrance of the bridge. It was the perfect night because Lucas was back in Earthania prepping for work. Opal was in Aviana. Once the bridge was gone, it would be decades before the Humans could rebuild. Boats took weeks to reach Aviana, and the airports weren’t complete. His plan was solid.

The two met at the entrance. “What’s the plan?” Bark asked.

“We’re gonna blow this fucker to smithereens.”

Bark hesitated. “Man, I see your struggle. But so many families are so intertwined. Not just yours. Business. Medical. Friendships. What’s your end goal?”

“I lost her mother. I won’t lose Opal.”

“You can fly over anytime. It’s what a day or two at best?”

“You said you got me. But it sounds like you’re backpedaling. Can I count on you or not?”

“Yes, you can. I’ve always had your back. I always will. I don’t agree. But I’ll follow your lead.”

Ronan pushed a few sticks of dynamite he’d stolen from a human facility toward Bark. “On my call, you strike these and drop them. Got it?”

“Got it.”

The pair took out on a midnight flight. Ronan signaled to Bark to spark and drop. Against his better judgment, Bark honored his oath to his friend, and the bridge erupted into a fiery mass.

CHAPTER 11

The Climax

As Ronan and Bark encircled the red-hot plume, Opal messaged Ronan. “Dad, I think the baby’s coming now. I can’t get in touch with Lucas. What do I do?”

“I’m coming.” Ronan dived towards Opal’s treehouse and sent a message to Dr. Arthur. “It’s time.”

“On my way,” Dr. Arthur responded.

Opal was writhing in her bed when both Ronan and Dr. Arthur arrived.

“Ronan, I told you, I don’t feel comfortable delivering a live birth. I need Lorne.”

“You can do it. I have faith in you.”

The two Avians entered Opal’s home. Her screams led them to her bedroom. “Daddy, it hurts. Where’s Lucas?”

“Honey, I’m here. Dr. Arthur’s here. You’re gonna be fine.”

The doctor performed an exam. “Ronan, I implore you. Take her to Earthania. Please. I cannot do this. Your daughter and grandaughter’s lives are at risk. Take her. Go. Before it’s too late.”

Ronan looked at Opal, thrashing in pain. He thought about his granddaughter. “Okay.” He scooped Opal and headed toward the burning bridge, hopeful the heat hadn’t risen to the flight path.

On the way, he pinged Bark. “I messed up. Please. Get the flock to help put out the fire. I was wrong. Airlifting Opal to the other side.”

“Already on it. Safe flight.”

The flight to Earthania was farther than any Avian could make in one swoop. But with both his daughter’s and granddaughter’s life at risk, he knew he’d make it. He had no other choice.

CHAPTER 12

Laurel

“She’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Ronan rubbed the top of his granddaughter’s head. Instead of being covered in feathers or flesh, Laurel had an exterior of translucent feathers that sat flush. A perfect combination of both her parents.

“Dad, thank you.” Opal hugged her daughter close.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

“It’s okay. I’m glad you’re here now.”

“And I’ll be here every Saturday for the rest of time. I don’t want to miss a moment of my granddaughter’s life.”

About that time, Lucas entered Opal’s hospital room. Ronan stuck out a wing. “Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl.”

“Thank you, sir.” The young father then gushed over his new child.

“I’m gonna let you three have some quality family time.”

He looked back before he left. His daughter, surrounded by her small family, was a beautiful sight.

He took off in the afternoon and made the flight home back in record time. New grandparent adrenaline his fuel.

When he landed on his deck, Marlena was waiting with a bottle of champagne.

“Can we accept this gift from the Humans?” she asked.

He rushed toward her and wrapped his wings around her. “Thanks for not giving up on me. I don’t deserve you.”

“No, most of the time, you don’t. But I’m pretty stubborn. You aren’t getting rid of me that easily.”

She melted into his feather chest, and just like that, Ronan knew everything would be okay.

The End

2 responses to “Ronan’s Revenge”

  1. Great story with rich worldbuilding and well-drawn characters, nearly all of it achieved through sharp, natural-sounding dialogue and clever word use. Stellar post, Amy!

    Like

  2. […] shared a laugh with a few writing friends. Recanted my submission and you can read it here if you so […]

    Like

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