Birth of The Free Bird

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“Let me talk to my son, first.” Spoke Sybil. Her eyes, which now became fiery, looked at Angus fiercely.

“And prolong my son’s staying in the forest? Don’t you have any sympathy?” Angus bellowed.

The guest at the Mayor’s house was too busy exploding his anger to the lady of the house. He did not even notice that the Mayor himself had gone out of the room and come back in with a few tall and muscular men tailing behind him.

“Get him out of here!” Gilbert ordered the men.

The men did not wait for another other, they immediately dragged Angus out of the house.

Angus was struggling to get himself off of the men’s grips. But he was out numbered and they were way too strong for him. He was screaming and swearing as they dragged him out of the house, throwing him into the mud right after they passed the tall wooden fence of the Mayor’s house.

“I swear, I will make your whole family pay if something happen to my son!” He roared as he stood up from the ground. He saw one of the men who dragged him out, locking the fence from the inside. The man looked back at Angus. A flash of pity was shown through his black eyes. But the man did not linger, he turned his back and joined the other men, going back to the Mayor’s house.

“Fucking dickheads!” Angus grumbled.

There were several people walking and carriages passing by the road in front of the Mayor’s house. They were curiously looking at Angus whose clothes were covered by the dirt. Almost all of them knew who Angus was. Most of them were his customers at the market anyway. Few of them thought to approach him and asked him if he was alright. But the glare that Angus shot to each and every one of them, made them change their mind and walked pass him as if they did not know him. Seeing that Angus was thrown out by the Mayor’s guards, people knew too well to not be on the poor man’s side.

Angus’s plan to get the boy to show him direction towards the girl’s house in the forest, was absolutely shattered. Yet somehow, he was glad that he knew where to look for his son. As big as the forest was, he, at least, had known where Edmond was. Angus himself had never been into the forest. He never went that far to set his foot in the place that he knew held nothing but dangerous.

The sky had turned pitch dark but Angus could not wait for another day to look for his youngest son. He would not be able to rest until he found Edmond. Without any delay, he made a journey into the forest, walking as fast as he could to get to where his son was.

It took him almost half an hour to get to the river across the forest. He faced difficulty in crossing the river, as he could not see where he was going due to the darkness of the night. He cursed under his breath for not bringing the lantern with him.

As Angus successfully managed to cross the river, he started to pick up his pace again, walking boldly and bravely into the dark forest. The chill in the air caused him to shiver amidst dark and foggy night. He looked at his surrounding which started to look hazy. If it was not for his son, Angus would have turned around and left the forest. He would never ever be coming back here.

He looked up at the sky which was starless and moonless. A typical of night sky above Easton land. His eyes then caught something that sit on the top branch of a tree, not far from him. Angus narrowed his eyes, trying to concentrate on the thing that looked almost glowing in the dark, illuminating the night by its presence.

A loud hooting call caught Angus by surprise, making him nearly had a heart attack. His eyes then started to recognise the thing on the branch as an owl, which had feathers as white as snow and eyes as white as pearls. It was the only source of light that Angus could find. He sighed loudly and continued to walk deeper into the forest.

The owl continued to hoot. Its noise accompanied the man who walked around the forest, looking lost as he did not know where to go. There was no exact direction where he should go to find his son. Everything inside the forest looked similar to him, making him thinking that he was just going round and round in the same circle.

He was getting exhausted. He was sweating cold as his body began to chill. His head started to get dizzy and his legs became weak. A wave of nausea engulfed him, causing him discomfort in his stomach. His vision began to blur slowly.

“Edmond.” He said. His voice was barely just a whisper. Angus forced himself to keep going, to find the son that he loved. The son whom his wife wanted to save as she sacrificed herself. He had to find him. Otherwise, his hard work for the last eight years would be in vain.

As his mind struggled to drag his feet further into the place he knew nothing about, his body betrayed him bitterly. He was so weak that he collapsed onto the ground. His eyes lids heavily closed and he succumbed to darkness. From the back of his mind, he called his son’s name as loud as he could, hoping that he could reach to his son.

The hooting call of the white owl, that had been watching Angus from the moment he stepped into the forest, was getting louder and louder. It flew down from the branch, landing elegantly next to Angus’s unconscious body.

The loud hoot of the owl was replaced by a low sinister laugh of a woman, kneeling on the ground as her white eyes looked down at the man sternly.

“Don’t tell me that I have to recover you as well, after I did the same to your son.” She sighed.

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