Hello, Sparky

When I catch my breath, I rush downstairs and out into the lot, completely ignoring Janice and the children.

Ryan is stroking the beast's neck.  I walk up slowly behind him.  The large violet eye of the beast looks at me, and I stop cold in my tracks.  It looks and looks, until finally letting out a low purr.  Ryan laughs, and I can't help but laugh with him.

He spins around fast, "Woah, didn't hear you coming!  Way to scare me, Felicia."

I give a small smile, "I'm sorry.  But you scared me even more!  What were you thinking, running out here to this animal we don't even know!"

"I'm sorry.  I don't know why I did it.  I just did."

I shake my head, "Oh, Ryan! I wonder about you!"

"Wanna know something that will make you wonder more?"  He chuckles.

I don't answer.

"Her name is Sparky!"  as soon as he says her name, the beast nudges his shoulder with her beak.  Ryan rubbs her chin, "Come pet her.  She's nice."

I come up slowly, reaching out.  Sparky doesn't move as I come near.  When my fingertips finally reach her neck, I'm shocked.  I had expected soft feathers, but her feathers are coarse.  I look closely as I stroke her.  Each feather is like a thousand bones strung upon a frozen string.  The tiny bones make a slight tinkling noise as they brush against each other.

"Hello, Sparky."  I'm breathless.

Sparky purrs again, in an almost laughing way.  She nudges me a little too hard with her beak, and I fall over in Ryan's arms.

"Hey," he says, quietly.

"Hi," It's barely audible.

And then, without warning, his lips touch mine.

The End

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