Stink Bug – Chapter 39

The floor was hard, but the chair was no longer an option. It had been mangled by W’x’tl’s aggression. It would take some doing to make it a serviceable piece of furniture again. Probably easier to just toss it out and start over.

V’x cooed and stroked my hair, clicking her beak slightly and worrying over the scratches on my arms and shoulders. I didn’t want to move. Everything hurt. It felt as if every part of W’x’tl had been sharp, and she had never missed her mark.

W’x’tl squawked and slammed herself against the cage bars, making me jump. V’x sighed.

“What happened, Vix?” I muttered.

V’x clicked, looking over her shoulder at W’x’tl who was then biting at the bars.

“What did they do to her?”

“I don’t know, Nate. They tried to touch her, I guess. She’s terrified.”

“So you’re able to talk to her?”

“A little. She’s not making a lot of sense. I think she thinks you’re one of them.”

“I’m not one of them.”

V’x fluffed. “I know that. But she doesn’t.”

“Maybe I can talk to her?”

“She doesn’t know your words.”

“Well, I…” I cringed. “Maybe I could try to say something in your language?”

V’x chortled a flute like giggle.

“It’s that bad, is it?”

V’x leaned close to me, examining a particularly deep cut on my forearm. “I don’t have much hope that it would work.”

“Is it worth trying?”

V’x paused in her examination, slicking down the feathers on her head. “Say my name.”

“Vix.”

“Now say it right. It’s V’x.”

“Vix. Vix. Vex. Victs.”

V’x clicked her beak. “V’x.”

“How do you even make that sound? Vix. Vits. Vik.”

V’x trilled softly. “Stop. Oh, stop!”

“Why? It doesn’t seem so wrong to me.”

“Oh, it’s terrible,” whistled V’x.

“Oh, come on! What? You know what I’m saying!”

“Only because I know you, Nate.” V’x turned her attention back to my wounds, cooing softly.

I lay in silence for a while. “Waxtel is quiet.”

V’x fluffed her feathers and looked back at W’x’tl’s cage. W’x’tl was watching us, her head cocked slightly to the side. V’x spoke melodiously to her. W’x’tl raised her feathers, and responded with some light trills and chirps.

“Say my name again, Nate.”

“Vix?”

W’x’tl fluffed. V’x spoke in soft whistles. I heard her say my name. W’x’tl peeped softly and looked away. V’x cooed. W’x’tl slicked her feathers down and tucked her beak beneath her wing.

V’x turned back to me, cocking her head slightly. “She says she’s sorry she hurt you.”

 

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