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Chapter 2

–Earth–
Was I going crazy? I was sane last time I checked. But if that was true, then why was a fiery-looking, human-sized bird talking to me?
“Wh-what?” I said, my voice wavering. The bird did not reply. “What did you say?” I asked, a little more steadily.
The bird’s radiant feathers actually looked like they had come from the sky, the sun itself. It replied, in a slightly hoarse, squawky voice,
“I am here, to take you to Ravenwood.”
“Raven-what?” I said, perplexed. I had never heard of Ravenwood, whatever that was, in my entire life.
“We have been watching you. You have proved yourself to be worthy. We are expecting you.” said the sunbird.
“What? Who’s we? And what exactly is this Ravenwood?
“You shall find out when we arrive. Please, hop onto my back.”
In awe, I gently climbed aboard the majestic sunbird. I looked down at the ground, which for some reason, looked much smaller than usual. And it was getting smaller still…
We were airborne. The sunbird spiraled ever higher, and I clung to its blood red neck feathers to prevent from falling.
“Where are we going?” I managed to ask.
“I told you, to Ravenwood. A place where you will be welcomed as a person you never knew existed inside of you.”
“Ooo-kay? Hey, do you have a name? You are a very pretty bird, you know.”
The sunbird laughed. “All creatures have a name,” he– I got a feeling it was a he– said. “I am known as Flay.”
“Flay…” I whispered. We flew a few minutes longer before Flay said,
“Hold on…” I grasped his feathers tighter, and he suddenly thrust us forward. It was an exhilarating feeling to be completely free, flying effortlessly through the sky. Suddenly a thought crossed my mind: What about Jordan? I would miss her. Wherever I was going, I had a feeling that I was not coming back. And Emily! I missed them already. I had the strangest feeling that I would see them both again, however…
I glanced down at the clouds (the ground was long gone) below us, at Flay’s golden wing tips, at the sky flying past us. It was all so relaxing… I wrapped my arms around Flay’s neck and fell asleep.

Where was I? It took me a moment to remember the crazy truth: I was riding a giant talking sunbird.
“We are almost there, Elizabeth.”
“You mean that Ravenwood place, right?” Flay did not reply, which I took to mean “Yes”. Suddenly something came into focus: the silhouette of a floating chunk of land, and on it what looked like the vague outline of an enormous tree, as old as time itself. As we swooped closer and closer, building up speed, I knew with a sudden and revealing certainty that this was Ravenwood.

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