V.O.C. of the People

When Dreams are only Nightmares

between the party and the shore

After the party, both Farah and Avi had gone to bed, scolded by their captain for their actions that night. Avi had meant no harm by her actions. She trusted Kharrakh and believed he trusted her. She had wanted to show him a side of them that were not his captors. Everything had fallen apart, so quickly. He had smelled Farrah as soon as they were near the deck. And under Cullen and her own orders he had gone to Farrah, so that they would know who he was not to hurt. Farrah had reacted in a way Avi had never expected. Violence was so unlike the woman she idolized. Even so, Farrah had attacked Kharrakh and he in turn got ready for a fight, but not to protect himself. He had leapt in front of Avi, pulled bones from his own body, ready to protect her from Farrah.

She left Alan to tend to Kharrakh’s wounds while she went to speak with Captain Phillip. After he was done speaking with Farrah he turned on Avi. Though, circumstances had made her become an adult much faster than her age, she was still very much a child. It took all her strength not to cry in front of him. She had made such a mistake that he was threatening to kick her off the ship. She took in his words, harsher than she had ever heard from him. She spoke little, “Yes, Captain,” and “I understand, Captain” were almost the only words that slipped over her trembling lips.

As she moved to leave the room, her shoulders hunched, her head lowering, she spoke once more. “I am sorry,” her words so quiet, as she struggled to hold back a sob..

She hurried off to her cabin and locked the door, as soon as she was inside. She wanted to see no one else that night. She wanted no more kind voices to turn cold. She rested her brow against the wooden door and listened to the soft, sleeping chirps of her birds.


Day 1

Everything was slipping. She has not meant to lock herself away at first. When morning came, she did not budge. She knew the sun was up, she always knew when the sun was going to rise, something she associated with her bird-form. Her eyes, one blue, one yellow, stared off into the dark of her room. There were no windows in her room, and she had lit no candles. She had not slept the night before, every bone in her body ached with the gentle shaking of her body. She had, instead, cried all night. Breakfast would be served soon, but there was no hunger inside her. Her birds tweeted awake and Little Tip hopped over to her.

“Did you have a good time, last night, Avi?” he asked in his small voice.

She reached out her fingers, still so very strange to her, and stroked his head. She remained silent, which worried her birds.

“Why are you crying, Mistress?” he asked as he hopped closer to her face.

“Sh,” she whispered and finally let her eyelids close. “I am going to sleep.”


She was falling, so fast, and she could not get her wings to catch her. Her feathers were falling from her, slipping up passed her body as she continued towards the water. A gasp escaped her lungs as she felt cold fingers catch her hand. She looked up at a metal arm then into the face of her captain. Relief washed over her. Phillip would save her, he would not let her fall. But as she stared up at him, he did not pull her up. He was staring back at her, smiling at first, like he had been relieved to catch her, but then his smile was gone. His face was growing dark. Hate replaced the love in his eyes. His metal fingers tightened and he scoffed at her cries of pain. Tiny bones snapping in her fingers as he crushed them.

“Phillip, why are you doing this?” she asked through her sobs.

“You are one of them, Avi, we can not trust you. You have to be put down before you betray us,” his words echoed but his voice was not his own, she could hear the entire crew saying the same words.

“Please, please!” she begged. “I would never betray you. You are my family.”

“We do not want you in our family,” though this voice had the others with it, as well, the main sound was that of Farrah. She stepped up to Phillip’s side, looking down at Avi. She looked different, one had resting on a swollen belly, but her face was as dark as Phillip’s. “I can not have a monster like you near my child.”

Farrah reached down a hand, a small knife in hand, and slid it across the wrist that Phillip held.

Avi screamed in pain as the blood slipped down her arm.

“Goodbye, Avinnia,” they said as one voice.

She was falling again but this time she felt her body hit the cold water. A numbness washed over her. Death’s cold grasp now held her.


Day 2

She had slept through the most of the day and night, though the sleep had been filled with nightmares. She had not ate that first day, but she did not expect to be missed after only a day. She had slept through any meals that had been served. During the second day, she sat in a corner of her room, listening to the chirps of her birds as they tried to cheer her up.


Day 3

Avi looked over at the door, she was still not ready to go out, her nightmares had only grown worse. She was afraid. Afraid to step out of her locked cabin, afraid that the faces she would be greeted with would hold nothing but fear and hate. She had dreamed about her parents the previous night. About the day she first started growing feathers. Her mother’s screams of fear still pounded in her head. Her father’s words, calling her an abomination never left her ears. When she closed her eyes she could see their faces and the faces of her new family.

Fear. Hate. Disgust. These were the things people felt around her. What her presence seemed to evoke in them was even worse. Abuse. Violence. Towards her and anyone like her.

She wondered if her nightmares were what were to come of the future. Perhaps they were not just dreams of her fears but a warning. She would stay in her room longer. She was not ready to face her fate.

Death. Abandonment. Loss. She had been here before. Was she fated to repeat the cycle? Would she have to flee the people she thought had finally accepted her?

Though, near dry of tears, these thoughts once again brought on her sobs. Soon, someone would come looking for her. She needed to decide if they would find her like this, broken and alone, or as a strong, fearless woman, not showing the pain that she felt so deeply.

The third night was no different, nightmares rushed to her, every time she closed her eyes.

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