A seven year old Rosemary Evergreen and her mother, Mint, stood in an opening deep in the forest at the back of a long line. For as far as they could see the two saw mothers and fathers with a child around Rosemary's ages, all the children were wearing white robes with their family lineage embroidered in two large circles. At the front of the line stood a towering temple carved from a single massive block of marble that stood out from the forest that surrounded it.

Rosemary was bored of the slow process the line was taking, the energetic girl giving a sigh of relief every time a step forward was taken.

The child peered ahead, and noticed nearly every child was accompanied by two adults.

The girl tugged on her mothers dress, and stared up with inquisitive eyes as she asked “Hey mama, everyone else is here with two parents. Why isn’t daddy with us?”

Mint bent down to reach her daughter's eye level. “Rosey, honey. Right now there is a war going on. A lot of bad people want to hurt everyone here and your daddy was sent to go fight them. It's very important that he stay away.”

Rosemary looked away for a second, then back to her mother. “Mo-more important than being here with me?” Her golden eyes watering ever so slightly as she stared back into her mothers eyes which shared their rich color with Rosemary.

“Well… If your daddy had a choice he would be here, but he isn't allowed to come back for a long time. Right now he's far away from us.”

Rosemary's eyes only became more watery as he voice began to break. “But I miss him, I want him here with me.”

Mint hugged her daughter. “I know sweetie, but uh…”

Mint stood up and swiveled her head, scanning the crowd of people, and stopping as her eyes landed on someone. She picked up her sniveling daughter, and pointed to a lone girl 3 spots behind them.

“See that girl there?” She asked.

Rosemary followed her mom's finger, and paused on an adorable girl her age. The girl was a bit shorter than Rosemary. Her robes were filthy, as was the girl. She looked like she had not seen food in days. Most surprising to Rosemary however was the many abnormal Features the child had.

Her hair was a large mess of rainbow colored feathers. Her arms were bird wings, though there were three fingers that looked akin to claws present on the wings. The girl had no shoes, her feet being bird-like with two forward facing talons, and one facing backwards, and lastly was her eyes. The entire eye was pure black save for her golden irises.

While Rosemary was soaking in the appearance of the girl, Mint had already begun explaining. “That girl is here by herself, she doesn't have anyone with her. See how the circle of names on her robes are all purple? That means she's all by herself. She has no mommy or daddy or anyone.”

Rosemary thought for a moment before asking “Can she come stand with us? She looks lonely.”

Mint looked at the girl again, then back to her daughter, and bit her lip in thought. “Well...adults aren't allowed to stand with someone other than their kid… but the rules don't say a kid can't stand with another kid.” Mint nodded as if to compliment her own cleverness in finding the loophole. “Why don't you go talk to her Rosey? Maybe she’ll be your friend.”

“Okay!” Rosemary said as she jumped from her mothers arms, and ran over to the girl.

As she approached she simply looked at the child, wanting to say hi, but her nerves getting the better of her. Rosemary had only now realised this was the first time she’d be speaking to someone from outside her village.

However, Rosemary didn't need to since the girl spoke first. “Can I… help you?” The girl asked as she placed one arm across herself as if to block the outside world.

Rosemary had so many things to say and ask the girl, her mind hopped from topic to topic as she finally landed on how she’d introduce herself and get to know this girl. “Hi, I'm Rosemary. I was wondering... why do you look like a birdy?”

The girl's eyes pulled away from Rosemary. “I've always looked like this.”

Rosemary cocked her head. “Is it because you don't have a mommy or daddy?”

The bird girl took a step back, and in a null tone and glazy eyes she said “" You're like all the rest, aren't you? I knew I shouldn't have come here." and then turned tail, barreling through the family behind her as she ran off and flapped her wings, taking flight.

Mint watched the child fly away with worry. As she looked to the sky she had not noticed her daughter had left the line, chasing after the runaway. "Wait birdy, I didn't mean to be mean!" She yelled.

"Rosey, no!" Mint yelled as her child ran into the woods, too distracted to hear her mothers voice.

Mint looked to the line, it would take at least an hour or more before it was their turn. She then turned back and chased off after her daughter.

As Rosemary chased the shadow of the flying girl she screamed at her. "Wait! I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to hurt your feelings."

These pleas fell of deaf ears as the bird girl simply yelled down below "Leave me alone! You just want to hurt me!"

As she looked up, she noticed a tree had blocked her path, and the young girl slammed into its trunk at full speed. Losing her strength she fell to the ground like a falling rock.

Rosemary let out a bloodcurdling scream of terror as she ran up to the fallen girl. Her arm was bent at a strange angel. Rosemary looked around quickly for an adult to help but realized for the first time she was lost.

"Um... Uh... Raise the head! Right"

Rosemary went to the girl, and sat down, picking up the girls head and laying it in her lap.

The injured child stirred as she opened her eyes with a drowsy look to her. Her broken arm felt all too familiar as she placed a bracing hand on it, a steady stream of tears going down her face.

"Why did you chase after me?" She asked.

Rosemary gave a simple answer. "I just... Didn't want you to be alone."

The girl in her lap turned her head, cutting off eye contact. "I've always been alone. No one is ever there for me. I'm used to it."

Rosemary frowned a bit, and in a tender voice she said. "I might know how you feel. Daddy is never home. Mama never leaves the house with me, the outside scares her. The kids in my village, they don't like me. Um... I'm always alone too. Maybe not as bad as you but... If you run away you'll always be alone."

The bird girl's eyes reconnected to the foolish girl who chased her into the woods. "what was your name again?"

"Rosemary. Rosemary evergreen... You?"

She smiled as she spoke. "Petunia."

There was a silence between them before Petunia spoke again. "I'm sorry I ran. I thought you were a bully. I don't want to be alone but no one ever wanted to be my friend. They're scared of my wings, and they hurt me because of them, and because I have no family."

Rosemary smiled. "I like your wings, Petunia, and your feathers too. They make you look so pretty!" She paused for a moment before, trying to form the perfect sentence that would make them friends. "Maybe... If you want... When you're feeling alone… and I'm feeling alone… We can be Alone, together?"

Petunia smiled, and laughed softly so as not to upset her broken bones. " I'd like that Evergreen."

Soon after, Rosemary's mother found them, and healed the young petunia with a golden magic, scolding the both of them for their reckless behavior, returning to the line. Rosemary and Petunia stood together that day until it was time to enter the holy sanctum.


About the author


Bio: Hi im Zelda. I'm 23 and transgender (She/Her).
I'm just here to write my rough draft of the bell flower Malady, seeing how people react to it. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
Judging by the type of stories I see here I may be out of my element, but this website came highly recommended from a friend of mine so I hope it works out for the both of us. :)

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