My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Phoenix: Chapter 53 (Phoebe)

I landed in the Agency, the phoenix still hanging onto my hoodie. I found myself alone and the grounds oddly quiet. I’d usually known the Agency base to be crazy with activity, mages running around asking for the nymphs to come help put out a fire or for the dragons to light one. Fires were very important here.

I wasn’t sure where to go, so I went to the lunch room in hopes of finding someone who would know where Mark was. I knew he was here. He had to be. I didn’t know how he’d have gotten here, but I knew he was. If not, someone could help me find him.

The lunchroom exploded the second I walked in. People everywhere stopped their conversations to stare at me, then turned back around and started talking much more excitedly. Nobody got up, though, or told me where Mark was, so I was going to walk back to talk to the mage assistants serving the food.

But the phoenix beat me to it. It took flight, leaving my hoodie to soar through the high ceilings of the glass room. Most people stopped to watch it glide smoothly around the room.

I was surprised when the phoenix landed at a lunch table instead of flying to the people serving food. Then I heard somebody calling me.

“Phoebe!”

It was Xavier’s voice, but I couldn’t see his head. Instead, the phoenix managed to hover a little over the table so I could see where it was. I followed it in a hurry.

“Xavier! Whoa. What’s wrong?”

“Fractured shin bone,” Xavier said, smiling. “I did something pretty stupid.”

“Trying to save my feathery butt wasn’t something stupid,” I said.

He laughed. “I guess you’re right.”

“Where’s Mark?”

Xavier hesitated. “He’s kind of crazy right now.”

“That’s nothing new.”

Xavier laughed again, and this time the grin stayed. “Nah, I mean Hannah used magic to patch him up. He was shot in the shoulder. Nothing serious, though. He’s in the infirmary, probably making intricate modern art on the floor with some applesauce again. That’s nothing unusual. So what’s up with the phoenix? I didn’t think they liked cold climates.”

“Doesn’t seem to want to leave me.”

“Well, they are rare,” Xavier said. “Must be lonely.”

“Not too lonely,” I said.

“I said phoenixes, not charming phoenix Epselans,” Xavier said, still grinning. “You should see Key. She’s in a frenzy. I think she’s been given a calming potion or something once or twice already.”

“Did they give her that flower that calms people down?” I asked.

Xavier looked surprised. “No! That’s a great idea!” He looked like he was about to get up, but once again the phoenix was faster. It was out the open door before we realized what it was doing.

“Well, then,” I said. “I haven’t eaten in ages!”

“Here,” Xavier said, shoving a small tub of pink goop labeled “strawberry applesauce” and a spoon at me.

“Thanks.” It was exactly the same pink goop that I had been forced to eat in middle school, but I didn’t care. Ripping off the foil cover, I ignored the spoon and chugged it straight. Xavier laughed until Pepsi came out his nose. He, who had better manners than I did, mopped himself up with a napkin and kept laughing unnaturally long. I had the feeling that he’d been more worried about me than he was letting on.

“So everybody’s all right?” I asked, once the applesauce carton was empty.

“Yeah,” Xavier said, still laughing. “Are you?”

“…Mostly.”

This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 12:24 pm and is filed under Phoenix. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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