Flight…

1 May

Another release from Author of the Week: Cody Stanford.

Flight by Cody L. Stanford

Young Ogaleesha Masterson is trapped in a summer of hell on his grandparents’ ranch when he meets a boy who can fly. Ogaleesha is intrigued, and finds himself drawn to the boy in way he hadn’t thought possible. Ciqalat’tal has wings and wants to be friends, but keeps quiet about his past until disaster strikes. The bird-boy finally forces Ogaleesha to face a terrifying fact about his grandparents’ past and an inescapable personal truth.

Excerpt:

I stomped up the hills through the woods, sick of stupid chores and mad as hell that I’d been dumped with my stupid grandparents by my stupid mom for the whole freaking stupid summer. That’s when I first saw the bird-kid.

He stood under the trees in a little clearing and stared at me. I stared back. Then he pointed at my clothes and said, “Why do you wear those?”

Guess he was curious, since bird-kid himself was totally bare-ass naked.

* * *
Grandpa Errol and Grandma Blanche held horses, cows, chickens, and me hostage on a ranch stuck out in the middle of nowhere freaking Wyoming. I’d been there a month, and I’d fallen off so many horses that me and the horses pretty much agreed we all around hated each other. Mom dumped me here so she could run off and find herself one more time with whatever guy she was in love with at the moment. I didn’t keep track because she’d probably end the summer with a different guy than she started out with, when she’d come and rescue me from bountiful nature hell and take me back home to Chicago. All my friends were in Chicago. Mom didn’t think I could look out for myself, but she was wrong, even if I was only twelve. That fire in the apartment kitchen happened way back when I was ten! I knew better now. Crap. Parents don’t let you forget, do they?

It was just me and the gramps on Rancho El Dullsville. Like my mom, the rest of the Masterson kids flew the coop when they grew up. Blanche and Errol hollered me awake at four freaking a.m. so I could help with chores. On my summer vacation! I worked wearing some uncle-of-mine’s old jeans, saved from when he was a kid. And a t-shirt; guess whose? If I didn’t get back into my city clothes by noon, I’d wind up with a farmer tan. My Chicago friends would never stop laughing at that.

The day I met the bird-kid I started out mad and I only got madder, and by the time Blanche wanted me to kill two chickens for dinner, I’d had just about enough of sneezy hay bales and small animal carnage. I changed clothes out behind the barn since when I disappeared I knew the first place the gramps would look would be my “room,” filled with some dumpy old kid’s crap that probably belonged to the same uncle whose butt-worn jeans I had to wear. My clothes: grey cargo pants; long-sleeved black t-shirt; coupla dog collar chains on the pants, which really bothered the gramps. I ran for the hills and stomped up the path in my black leather boots. City boots, I thought, until Errol told me they were perfect boots for hiking in the hills and mountains surrounding the Bar-Fun Ranch. Goddamn him. At least the boots were mine and not Uncle Fashion Disaster’s kiddie cowboy boots. Which were freaking blue.

I hiked out my anger under the trees, where it was at least shady and private. A bit of a breeze blew, and ahead of me the woods grew denser. I headed for a small clearing I saw. It looked like a place where I could sit down and bitch about stupid plants and animals.

Then I heard something rustle in the trees above me.

I stopped and looked up. “Might be a cougar,” Errol would have said. Cougars hide in trees, which makes no sense at all because I thought cats got stuck up in trees and couldn’t get down. I heard the noise again, and saw something gold that might have been a cougar. I hissed and hollered, “Go ‘way, cat!”

Then he flew to the ground.

I’m totally serious; this kid sailed out of the trees on wings of bright blue and purple feathers edged in greyish-white. Wings. 

Totally not kidding; they grew out of his back, stuck on with some pretty serious muscles. Each wing was bigger’n he was. He looked my age. His skin was nut-brown, and he had really long dark-brown-almost-black hair with gold streaks in it. Besides the wings he had more feathers, mostly of that grey-white color, that ran down the outside of his legs and arms, and down his spine. More long feathers fanned out from his lower calves and ankles. He was completely naked, and I would have snickered at him if I hadn’t been so surprised.

His eyes were gold, and he folded in his wings and stared at me.

I stared back, and stepped a little closer to the clearing, where he stood.

Finally the bird-kid spoke to me. “Why do you wear those?”

“Wear what?”

“Those.” Bird-kid pointed at the dog collar chains on my pants. “Who owns you?”

“Owns me?”

“Yes. You’re a slave?”

“Nobody owns me, feather-butt,” I said. “Who are you, anyway?”

He said his name, and half of it came from the back of his throat and the other half ticked from off his front teeth. “Ciqalat’tal.”

“What?”

“Ciqalat’tal.”

“Sick-a-lottle?”

“Ciqalat’tal.” He spat the last syllable at me, but not in a mean way. “I’ll teach you our language.”

“Whose language?”

“Mak’kyaq’qont’n.”

Jesus Christ, they wanted us to learn Spanish in middle school next year and I wasn’t even ready for that, much less this uk-uk-uk-TICK crap.

 

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/CodyStanford.html#FlightExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Cody-L-Stanford-ebook/dp/B008083BJ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398968529&sr=8-1&keywords=flight+cody+stanford

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