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Birdwhistle Estate: BONUS Short Story

Yue & Feng are on a boat to the Americas...

How I picture the character Yue in Birdwhistle Estate. He was cursed by his almost-mother-in-law and is now sworn to protect the persons whom his magical feathers are shed before.
Photo Credit: lui-peng-2xr-RVESwKY-unsplash

Yue stood on the port end of the ship as they sailed over the smooth waters. His hands hung casually over the railing as he listened to the ruckus below deck that Feng was stirring up. The magician had found some alcohol and was insistent on sharing it.

“Stop hiding,” Feng said.

Turning, Yue smirked at the inebriated man before him. Feng’s smile was lopsided but goofy while his hair was sticking out at odd and ends. After a millennium together, Yue could have sworn it was the first time he’d ever seen Feng looking remotely disheveled.

“How much did you drink?” Yue asked.

“Not much,” he said.

“Clearly enough though.”

“Oh, come on,” Feng chuckled. “When was the last time you let loose? It’s not good to keep everything bottled up inside, good or bad.”

“Since when are you a therapist?”

“One drink,” he said.

“Fine,” Yue sighed.

“That didn’t take much convincing.”

Yue took the small jug and peered into its basin. It was a standard brew of ale, but it was the rat feces he was worried about. Determining it was clear, he took a long, heavy swig.

“So, what’s bothering you this time?” Feng asked.

“Nothing,” Yue said.

“Don’t lie to me.”

Yue took another gulp of the ale before turning away from Feng. He was right, there was something bothering him but neither of them could do anything to fix it.

“Tell me.”

Feng joined him at the railing and leaned over gently. Yue’s eyes shifted toward him sidelong and frowned. The ale sloshed with the sway of the boat as he held it under his lips, prepared to take another taste.

“The world is always changing,” Yue said, sipping another round. “At what point is it too dangerous? Will they chain us? Will they try to kill us? Will we be forced into pure isolation?”

“You’re thinking very far ahead,” Feng said. “Why is this troubling you now?”

“Just something your sister said.”

“Lei? Ugh. What did she tell you?”

“She was almost captured in Rome,” Yue said.

Shouting, Feng stood straight up, “What?”

Yue grabbed his mouth to clamp down on the next words and glanced around the deck. Convinced no one was nearby, he released Feng’s lips and stared blankly ahead at the ocean.

“How?” Feng asked.

“I guess she was trying to save someone’s life and a Catholic Priest saw her,” Yue said. “Called her a witch and started a manhunt for her. She told me things would get worse for people like us; we wouldn’t be able to hide forever.”

“And she accuses me of being tactless...”

“I don’t think she’s wrong.”

“I am not tactless.”

“Not about that,” Yue said.

How I picture the character Feng in Birdwhistle Estate. He is an immortal and a magician. His mother cursed Yue, but despite that they remain fast friends. Feng is non-binary, but generally uses the pronouns he/him.
Photo credit: yiran-ding-rQti4ZKWJQk-unsplash

“Yue, I’ve been around twice as long as you have,” Feng said. “The world has changed and not always for the better. She might be right, but she could very well be incorrect. I advise you not to live in that state of fear and panic. It will do you no go.”

“I am aware of that,” he said. “But I never imagined being immortal, or having wings, or being forced to watch over and over again as people I’m bound to protect die.”

Yue straightened up and tilted his head backwards. His eyes were on the sky now as he tried to release his fear. He had never considered himself a brave man, he had always been average, but now it was more than his own life to consider. He could be extraordinary if he tried, or he could simply remain the same as the centuries passed by him.

“If it makes you feel any better,” Feng began, “if ever we come to such a state, I will never leave your side.”

Yue laughed loudly, his head turning to his friend. Feng revealed another jug of the ale and Yue smirked again. He didn’t know where Feng had hidden it, or where he was finding all the alcohol, but he couldn’t help laughing.

“We can join the others below deck for a little while,” Yue said. “But I am not drinking more.”

“Oh, I’m sure I can change your mind,” Feng chuckled. “It’s a long way to the Americas.”


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