My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Phoenix: Chapter 55 (Phoebe)

When I woke up, it was dawn—the next morning. Had I slept through one day or two? Either was believable.

I was lying on my bed in the tower room. I rolled over, facing the wall now. Something gave a pliff sound.

I sat up and saw that the coconut cannonball had landed on the floor. Under me laid the remains of a dozen magical flowers—all the ones Dr. Wynne had given me. I stared at the crumpled orange lily that had comforted me enough to get the numbers out of my head when I needed it.

Then I realized that the floor of the room—every inch—was covered in thousands of orange lilies. They were piled on top of each other, a foot or more deep. The same magical calming flower. On the back of my wooden desk chair perched the phoenix, looking rather pleased with itself.

I took a deep breath and felt a shiver down my spine. Sighing, I turned over and buried my face in the pillow again. I was starving. I knew that one of the fruits lying next to me would probably remedy that, but I didn’t remember which and didn’t exactly want to chance it.

My muddy, sandy tennis shoes were just outside the sliding door, which was still cracked from the tussle with the lab people and dragons.

I stepped out of bed, crunching a few stems under my slippers, when I noticed what I was wearing. Somehow, I was clothed in a clean, white, cotton long-sleeve shirt and some gray sweat pants now—not to mention the blue cotton slippers. None of my clothes were bloody or dirty or sandy, which they had been when I’d arrived, although I myself still needed a bath desperately.

A giant plate of sandwiches was sitting on the desk, one of the few places in the room that wasn’t covered in lilies. I flew over, not wanting to crush too many lilies, and returned to the bed with the plate piled high with sandwiches.

I swept the other flowers off the bed and started to eat. I couldn’t remember tasting anything better than that messy peanut-butter-and-jelly ensemble, and when I’d gotten through the stack to the cold turkey and Danish havarti cheese sandwiches at the bottom, I was feeling positively gleeful.

Looking back, it seemed pretty crazy how a decent night’s sleep and a plateful of sandwiches turned me almost optimistic and content. Well, the level of calming-flower pollen in the room probably helped, too, but still.

The phoenix looked content, too. It hopped to the floor, burying itself neck-deep in orange lilies.

“I have to give you a name,” I said. “I can’t keep calling you ‘the phoenix’ in my head. Are you… a girl?”

The phoenix looked at me blankly. I had to assume this meant no.

“You’re a boy, then?”

He cooed.

“So… what name do you like? Steve?” The silliness of the situation caught up with me, and I started laughing. The phoenix hopped onto my bed.

“Not Steve, then,” I said. “Not a very good name for a phoenix. How about Felix? I read somewhere it means ‘fortunate’ or something. After what’s happened, I think we’re both fortunate.”

He cooed. Felix it was, then.

“Well, come on,” I said. “I’m sure there are a lot of people who would very much like to yell at me. How about you?”

Felix dipped his beak sadly.

“Don’t worry,” I said, flying out the door with Felix on my tail. “You’re the hero.”

This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 12:38 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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