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HYBRID 165

By Evelyn Lupton


To all the readers, and young writers that someday wish to become authors and bless the world with their words.



Chapter 3

After a long night of thinking, I decide to build a shelter. I need to be protected if I’m making a plan. I start digging with my bare hands into the moist dirt, flicking bits of soil and leaves. I sigh loudly, realising just how long this is going to take. Dirt is pushed into my nails, making it uncomfortable to dig anymore. But I know that I must keep on going, no matter how tired, or how uncomfortable I am. I need shelter, and I need to make a plan.


I’m so tired, it’s hard to keep my eyes open. The hole is large enough for me to stand up inside it with about ten centimetres above me, so I begin to dig sideways and actually make a roof. The chilling breeze can’t reach me down here.  I look at the basket of food as my stomach rumbles. I resist the urge to take one of the delicious baked goods. I wonder if they’re still warm. I shake my head and focus only on digging the hole. It feels like the sun will never rise, I think, looking up to the moon. It glows brightly against the dark night, surrounded by stars almost glistening. I smile for the first time in months, appreciating the beauty of this world. Humans can never ruin the blessed elegance of our planet. At least for now.


My mind becomes a mind map, thinking of all the opportunities that could be possible. Step one, what’s step one? I wish I only had a piece of paper so I could organise my thoughts. Filled with curiosity, I rummage through the basket, looking for something in there. Knowing my mother, there had to be an entity of some sort.

Once I had gotten to the bottom, I realised how predictable my mother was. There it was, a note with crumbs of all different pastries. Next to it is a pen. I smile. Maybe I was the predictable one.


Swiftly, I pick up the paper and pen, and begin to plan. “Step… one…” I say to myself, whilst writing it down. I smile. I spend what feels like hours on this plan, making it flawless so nothing could possibly go wrong. The last thing I need right now is a failed mission. I could get caught if something goes wrong, and I don’t want to know what happens if you get caught breaking into the headquarters.


  1. Sneak in through the back entrance, low security.

  2. Break the wiring, opening the doors.

  3. Follow the left passage, low security there.

  4. Go up the stairs and knock out one of the guards, steal uniform.

  5. Blend in until you see a split in the path.

  6. Follow the right path until you find the lab.

  7. Find out what is happening and take it down.


Finally, after the sun has risen, I’m finished. My plan is complete, but I still need rest. I’ll go to headquarters at nightfall, but for now I can relax. I lie down on the ground, trying to get a good sleep before the mission but my mind spirals in endless directions. What could go wrong? What happens if they catch me? Will I ever see my family again? I shiver and roll onto my other side. Little twigs dig into my back and my wings sweep the leaves away from me.


I can’t seem to close my eyes. Whenever I try, they blink back open. “Let me sleep!” I scream in frustration, birds fluttering from the trees and the branches shake violently. I turn onto my back graciously, watching the birds frantically flying away. I count the trees, something I always used to do at home on restless nights. I remember whispering quietly, so as to not wake my sleeping parents. I would get startled by a small snore or movement. The night skies were beautiful then, stars shining brightly. I was just a child then, hardly even eight years old.


Slowly, my vision begins to fade and my eyes go black. Suddenly, colours fill my sight and I am surrounded by vivid lights. Those lights turn into a movie, playing in my mind. Soon, I am on a cliff, with people around me. They all speak at once, their voices muffled. Voices become clearer and I can hear what they are saying. “Stay away, you are not welcome.”


“Mum?” I say loudly, wondering if that was really her. I push through people, while they look at me, disgusted. ‘What’s going on?” I yell. She won’t even look at me. Please, just get me out of here. The crowd keeps on pushing me back. No, I need to get to Mum. I need to, I have to. Just let me.


“Push her off the cliff!” they begin to chant. What? No! I try to scream, but nothing comes out. Please, don’t let me fall, Mum. Please. She’s not looking. She’s walking away. No! Mum! Save me. You must. I’m your daughter. Mum turns around.


She mouths something, then says it louder. “You are not my daughter. I don’t know you.” She turns around again, and continues walking away.


I need you to save me, I can’t die like this. All the hybrids will die. I need to save them. Don’t let me die.


I’m too close to the cliff. I’m about to fall. The crowd is pushing harder than ever and I can’t fight back. I don’t even try to anymore. I know she won’t save me. I know that she can’t. She doesn’t know me. Mum said it herself. I’ve accepted my fate.


Wait no! No, I haven’t! I stumble. A rock falls off the edge of the cliff. I take a minute to listen to how long it takes for it to fall. It’s so far down, I can barely hear it crash. And it took so long too. I’m screwed.


I love you, Mum. I fall. For a moment I am scared. But then I look around. The beautiful scenery distracts me from my inevitable death. Bright green trees surround the edge of the cliff. The water is aqua and I see the amazing wildlife in it. That’s when I realise. There’s no water beneath my fall. I can’t stop it. I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming, I must be dreaming.


I’m not dreaming. But how did I get here? I pinch myself. Ow. Oh no. I–


Chapter 4

I wake up. You’re kidding me. My heart is beating fast. It didn’t happen. It was a dream. I was dreaming.


I roll over, leaves sticking to my wings and clothes. My hands are shaky. It’s nighttime. I need to go now. I pick up the piece of paper with trembling hands and look over the plan. 


Step one: sneak in through the back entrance. Sounds easy, so it must be. All I have to do first is… find the headquarters. The headquarters is probably an hour-long walk from here, and I’m tired enough as it is. Also, doesn’t the headquarters have a closing time? It might be locked up by the time I get there! But I have to try. Just in case it isn’t.


I sigh, out of breath. I started off just walking, but eventually, I got too stressed out and began to run. Now my chest aches and my throat is dry. I shouldn't have run for that long. I must find another solution for transportation. Wait, I can fly! I’m so used to hiding away, but these wings might come in handy now.


I find a clearing in the forest roof, back up and run up. Once I have enough power, I lift off and fly up high through the trees. After a while, I’m above the trees and I can see everything. This will make everything so much easier.


For a second, I am grateful. I’m glad I have these wings. They’re beautiful and so helpful. But none of this would be happening if I didn’t have them. I would still be living with Mum and Dad. I would be happy, and I would never have gotten that stupid virus.


Except I wouldn’t be saving everyone. Maybe my wings have brought out a different side of me. Would I be this caring if I didn’t have them? Can a set of wings really change a person that much? I don’t know the answers to all these questions, but it is a nice thought.


Finally, I can see a big building up ahead through the leaves. It looks so dull and grey. They could've made it green to blend in with the trees and all the nature surrounding it. Where should I land? I know, I’ll land on the roof. It’s massive and no one will see me up there.


Then it hits me. What am I doing? I’m breaking into one of the most highly guarded buildings in the world and I’m doing it alone. What about the innocent people who work here, who have no idea how terrible the government really is.


The roof is soon directly below me. I slowly tilt my head downwards and the rest of my body follows. I land on the grey roof and look around. The trees look even more pretty next to the building.


I think back to what I was thinking before. I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn't hate my parents. They’re just trying to survive. I must go back to my house. I can’t let them go, not yet. Some weird things in the past shouldn’t define my entire future with them. I would hate for my latest encounter with my parents to be my last ever. I think back to that event for just a moment and almost instantly regret kicks in. I need to leave. I need to leave now.


I spot the pathway in a clearing of leaves once again, reminding myself to stay strong. You need to be brave. I begin flying down through the small clearing. It takes ultimate precision but I’ve been flying for long enough now that I can deal with that amount of pressure.


Once I land, I walk up to the door, my hands shaking as I knock it. After a while, no one answers. That’s weird. I knock again but still, no answer. I’m starting to get suspicious. You know what, there’s nothing to worry about. Maybe they’ve just headed out to the shops. Wait, the shops have been closed for years…


I run. Run around the house to my window. Still unlocked. As I open it, it makes a loud noise, like creaking. I climb through the door. Suddenly, as I am halfway in the window, I hear loud running footsteps down the hallway. The door opens and slams. I half leap, half run out of the window frame, my wings bending and scraping on the rusted sides. Before you know it, I’ve sprinted all the way to the back of the house, my parents’ room. I hear a scream.


“Don’t do it! Please!” It sounds like Mum. I step inside. “Agnes! You must leave. Walk out now.”


“Mum! Dad!” I yell. “I heard them coming, I heard your scream! I knew I could save–” A loud squelch echoes throughout the room. “No!”


I look in awe for a few seconds at the sharp object lodged in Mum’s chest.


I run to the man and kick him towards the wall. He bashes against the wall then bounces back and smacks me across the face. He scratches my cheek and blood trickles down slowly. He didn’t pull out the knife from Mum, there’s still hope. Dad scurries across the bed to Mum, trying to calm her down. He then rushes out the door, probably getting something for her wound from the kitchen. 


I punch the strange man’s nose as hard as I can and he pulls his hands up to the blood almost instantly. Once he is fully distracted, I kick him in his stomach and he holds it with his other hand. I just need to get this guy to the ground, then Mum and I can escape. I lift off the ground flying hard enough to push him down but not too hard because then– my head hits against the ceiling. I drop to the ground. The world is blurry and I’m dizzy but I can’t stop now. Not until we’re safe.


Slowly, I crawl up and walk over to him. I kick and punch him a few more times but not too hard. Mainly because I can’t, physically and mentally, but also I don’t want to be responsible for someone to have serious injuries. That’s too much to handle. I drift over to Mum and pick her up gently, making sure I’m not hurting her any more. 

I speed walk towards the kitchen with Mum in my arms, my eyes still seeing double. Her feathered black wings tickle me. I want to be happy but instead, I begin to cry. Loud, ugly sobs come from my mouth as I lay Mum down on the kitchen bench. Dad doesn’t comfort me, and I don’t expect him to. Mum is his main priority right now. I pull out a seat and it creeks against the floorboards. With my head in my hands, I flop onto it and rest my elbows on the table. 


After a while of groaning from Mum, and apologising from Dad as he attempts to bandage her up, he leaves and goes into the bedroom. I move my seat over to Mum and try to calm her down. “We’re going to get you somewhere safe. It’s going to be okay.” Of course, I don’t really know if it’s all going to be okay, but I can’t say that to someone who was just stabbed. She looks at me and smiles. Tears fall from my eyes.


“I know it’s going to be okay. I’m with you,” she says, her voice croaking. Mum lifts her arm, just enough so that it doesn’t hurt, and pats my hair. “I’m so sorry we kicked you out–” she stops to cough. Her hands are splattered with red. “--We needed to be safe, but obviously, that choice was unsafe.”


Dad comes back into the room. “We need to go,” he says with a bit of urgency, but not enough to alarm Mum. He lifts her up with ease and gives her a kiss on the cheek, then forehead. “Are you okay to fly?”


“Yes,” I say, wiping tears from my eyes. 


“You sure?”


“I’ll be fine. It’s Mum we need to worry about,” I say, my voice cracking. “Who was the man anyway?” 


“Probably just some headquarters dude.”


Mum doesn’t say anything on the way there. She stays quiet the whole time, her eyes closed, breathing loudly. Every now and then she’ll cough. Each time she does, my concentration on flying falters and I drop a bit. 


“Mum, stay with us. Stay with me. Please,” I beg, blinking the stinging tears out of my eyes. “Just five more minutes, then it’ll all be over.”


<><><>


I drop to the top of the flat, grey roof and burst into tears. My hair falls over my face as I bend down. Dad lays her down to check on her. He inspects the bandages and takes them off. Then Dad replenishes them with fresh spare bandages he took just in case. He begins to lift her up again.


“No!” I screech. I look up to him with red, tired eyes. “Don’t take her away. Leave her here with me.”


“Honey, I need to get her inside. They can help her there, but there’s not much I can do here.”


He lifts her up and quickly darts down to the ground with ease. I see them walk into the hospital, but after that, they are out of sight.

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