“Sing” Eclipse harshly tapped on the cage standing between a rare singing bird and its freedom in the blue sky above. She had not bothered to know its name since she had not bothered to read the sign pasted neatly on a board placed to the side. It was in a level that kids could easily find and since that was more advantageous to her than anything, and because it would make her look like a kid as well, she had completely ignored the sign, acting like she had known what the little black and white bird was.
The bird chirped in return, twisting its head left and right in a curious fashion. Eclipse was almost reflected in its dark beady eyes but the attention only lasted for a second before it looked up with longing. The sky was right there and it had enough space to fly around in but even that little existence knew of its limit. Past all those trees and a field, there is still only a wall that it can’t pass. It towered over the little bird and stopped it from enjoying the wind of another place and scent of other flowers.
What a pitiful existence, Valerie thought as the bird chirped in longing again. A few years ago she had known the same feeling. The feeling of a wall standing between her and her freedom was so high that until she gained the strength to tear it down with her own hands, it controlled her like a puppet. It played games with her mind when hope and despair struck at her consecutively. But in the end, she did manage to break it. Maybe this bird will break out too....soon.
Turning away from the still saddened bird, Eclipse’s eyes landed on two of her seniors. One was a nun and the other; she wasn’t sure what he was other than being their Guild Master’s boyfriend. Anyhow, they both seemed to be off in their own worlds, glancing at the animals and Eclipse made no move to draw their attention. Instead, with a soft tune playing at her lips, she changed her course and went deeper into the zoo.
When she woke up that morning, it was unusually quiet in the guild hall. But since there were no screams of terror to be heard, she kept sleeping till was 10AM and someone came knocking at her doors. She had initially thought it was just Rai coming to bother her again but the girl who was actually knocking grew so impatient that she almost broke the locks Eclipse had installed only a couple of days ago. “What time do you think it is?” she shouted over the closed door and knocked loudly again. This time, Valerie actually got up, walked over, opened the door and walked back to bed again. “Look, a new zoo opened up in Clover Town,” she began, walking over to the closet. “My friends and I will be going and I think almost everyone in ST went too,” she paused to pick up a rather flashy looking top from the back of the closet, indirectly giving Valerie her answer on why everything was quiet. “You should get up, too. Instead of lazing around all day, why not get someone from the guild to take you?”
And it was that conversation that lead to her accompanying the other two on a sunny afternoon, Valerie sighed as she reached the place where they kept the monkeys. A bunch of them ooohed and ahhed, jumping from one branch to the other, and doing what was their own gymnastics on the way. Even louder noises came from the kid standing next to her. Could have been his first time seeing the monkeys because he was playing along with them by jumping all over the place. His mother only laughed and encouraged her son which Eclipse found a bit annoying. Besides, her son was starting to jump on Eclipse’s toes with a wicked grin too until after carefully timing, Val took her foot away and used it to the trip the kid instead. When the not so loud thud of his body falling on the concrete floor was heard, Valerie was already moving to the next cage.
Pink hair softly bounced when she effortlessly jumped up a step to reach the cages where they kept the turtles. Their shells’ obfuscate colors had hidden them between all those pebbles and clear water but the movement was there and that’s what she followed until something white caught her eyes from the other side. On a closer look, it was a human and he was wearing a lab coat. ‘A scientist?’ She hit the first mark on her stream of thoughts. No, but that couldn’t be since when did scientists have time to visit a zoo? ‘Then, a doctor?’ Well, it was more logical explanation than the first one since the zoo must have some veterinarians to take care of the animals but...why was he walking like that with his head down, almost hidden behind his coat? His bands were completely down too and he carried what looked like an injection in his right hand.
With her eyes still following the man, Valerie moved around the turtles’ cage. The man was walking away from the gorilla’s cage and just as she was about to see where he was going next, a group of students caught in her line of sight and by the time they moved, that doctor person was nowhere to be seen.
“Strange,” she muttered to herself, doubt crossing her mind. But seeing as things were going quite normally so far, Eclipse just dropped the idea and moved on. This time, she went in search for her seniors. It wouldn’t do very good on their impression of her if she just abandoned them the day they were supposed to hang out together. The figure of a nun soon came into her vision as well and another blonde that was with her. “Sorry about leaving you two like that”.