(Or My Life as a Bird)
By Oliver McDonald
Chapter 2 - Discovery.
I pulled on the sweat pants Mom had brought me, but had to get her to tie the halter behind my back. Not only is tying things up behind your back hard (try it some time), but my wings kept twitching and pulling the string out of my hands.
“We’ll have to go shopping soon,” mom said. “You can’t really live your life in sweats, and you are going to need a bra.”
“Can we just eat Mom?” I complained. “I feel like I could eat a horse.”
The next problem was learning how to go through doors, I still didn’t have the proper reflexes to control my wings. If I ignored them, they tended to just fold over my back, the problem was that they rose up over my head. I had to bring them down to get through the door, learning to do was almost comical. Fortunately most of everything in the room was unbreakable, as it all ended on the floor. Each set of doors we went through were easier, so by the time we were out of the
At least in the atrium I didn’t have to worry, since it extended all the way to the roof of the hospital, 10 floors up. I found a table at the edge, I could just picture the chaos my wings could cause if they twitched with tables and other diners all around me.
“What would you like dear?” Mom asked.
“Anything, just lots of it.”
While I was waiting for her to return I thought back to the hug Jessica had given me. It had felt so nice, and I wanted to see her again.
“How can they let animals in here, its unsanitary.” A loud voice behind me said, obviously pitched for me to hear.
Having had to deal with other people’s reactions all my life, I just ignored it.
“Yeah, get the beast out before we all get sick,” another person said. I continued to ignore them. Hopefully they would tire of it and go away.
But it was not to be, a hand pushed me in the back, almost off my chair. “Yeah, get that filthy thing out” the first person jeered.
I’d had enough, I stood up and turned around, spread my wings, took a deep breath and snarled. “I am not an animal.”
They backed up, fear evident in their eyes. I looked around, they weren’t the only people who looked scared, and with my wings spread wide I’m sure I looked much larger, add bared teeth and the ripping snarl, I was probably a pretty scary sight
I sat down, and tried to make myself small. As everyone went back to what they were doing, I just sat there, ashamed.
Mom came back with a tray of food, not saying anything about my outburst. As she put it down I said “Mom, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t let people like that get to you.” That taken care of I dove into my food, she’d brought me chicken breast with green beans and a salad. The fries and salad didn’t taste right, but the chicken was heavenly. Hungry as I was I finished it all though.
As I attacked my food Mom told me that once I was finished we needed to see Dr. Perry for my post MORFs check-up, find out what had changed. I snorted a bit when she said that. It seemed pretty obvious to me. But I knew my mom, once she decided on something, she was like an unstoppable force, and the last thing I was, was an immovable object, so I gave in and agreed.
Leaving the atrium, I again had to rein in my wings to navigate the doorways. “Dr. Perry had better have a big room to examine me in,” I joked.
“I am sure he has thought of that.” Mom replied as we went down the hall.
As we continued, I began to feel more and more unwell, until finally I nearly collapsed, my stomach cramping painfully. Mom bent over, asking if I was ok, and feeling my forehead. At her touch I was explosively sick, throwing up my lunch all over the floor. Once I had finished throwing up, other than the foul taste in my mouth I felt much better.
Fortunately, because of my bent over posture, I was able to avoid getting any on myself, and even more fortunately there was a nearby water fountain so I could get the taste out.
“Must have been something I ate,” I joked to the janitor who came to clean up the mess. I don’t think he was amused, not that I could really blame him.
Dr. Perry examination room was huge, a 16 foot ceiling and the walls a good 50 feet long. They were however bare concrete, and everything had the air of being hastily assembled. The first thing he did was measure and weigh me. Not counting my wings I was 6’2”, possibly the tallest 13 year old ever. I weighed 190 lbs, and my wingspan was apparently about ten feet.
Then he did the more medical examinations, first he set up an eye-chart, and asked me to read the bottom line so I read out “Copyright Mitchum Labs. Standard Snell Chart.”
Dr . Perry looked at me oddly, and hauled the chart to the far end of the room, and asked me if I could still read the bottom line. When I said I could, he tested me by covering one of the words with his hand and asked which word he had covered. When I answered correctly, he muttered something, I think it was “Amazing,” but I am not too sure.
He made a call and then continued with his tests. He listened to my heart, then shifted the stethoscope to my right side, and listened again, then back again. “Amazing.” He said again. He said the same thing after he took my blood pressure. He also asked if I felt dizzy at all, repeating “Amazing,” when I told him I didn’t. About then an orderly came in with another eye-chart, with much smaller letters. Again he set it up at the far end of the room. I couldn’t quite read the bottom row, but the next one up was easy. Again he repeated his by now familiar refrain.
He then listened to my back, and asked me to take a deep breath. He then had me inhale and exhale into a tube.
The other tests, I don’t want to talk about, they were embarrassing and invasive. Except for the last one. That was rather interesting. Dr. Perry had me face the wall, and walked down to the far end of the room and turned out the lights.
“Now, without turning around, tell me how many fingers I am holding up.” He asked.
When he turned out the lights, I could still see things, just a little more blurred, and so I turned my head around and answered, “Three.”
He then put his hand behind his back and asked again.
“I can’t tell, your hand is behind your back.” I responded.
He turned on the light, and his eyes widened as he saw me looking at him. “Amazing.”
“Hey, you never said I couldn’t turn my head.”
My mother asked him if he had any ideas about why I had puked so soon after eating.
“Looking at my teeth,” Dr. Perry answered, “I would say MORFs has changed her into a carnivore. Try her on just meat, and see if that helps. If it doesn’t we will have to run allergy tests.”
The talk of food was making me hungry again.
“Well, Mrs. Sanchez,” Dr. Perry said as he filled out some forms, “Your son, is fully functional as a male and a female. His vision is simply amazing, so far as I can tell it is 2000/1 and he can see in infrared. His lung volume is amazing, easily 4 times normal. “Looking at your wings, and chest muscles, it would not surprise me if you could fly,” he addressed me. “But take it easy, make sure you can before you go jumping off any roofs.”
“Will do doctor. Besides, I am still learning how to make them do what I want.” I answered. “Now, can we go eat? Please?”
“When we get home.” Mom answered. “Your dad‘s cooking up a welcome home supper.”
“Oh, I almost forgot, don’t forget to register her,” Dr Perry called out to mom as we left.
Getting into the car was an exercise in frustration, I really need to learn to how to control my wings.
To be continued….
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/