A Stormy Night
The rain started the next morning, softly at first but gaining strength. By the late evening, Ariana and her falcon took shelter in her wreckage to wait out the storm. Ariana lit her candle and wrote some more in her journal.
It’s raining. The wind is picking up and the sky looks angry. I would hate to be on the sea tonight. I am quite content to stay in my airplane wreckage with my bird and feast on berries and seaweed.
Ariana reached up and stroked her falcon’s spotted chest. The bird blinked sleepily and made a contented coo. Ariana took up her pen again to continue writing.
I wish I knew what kind of bird she is. All I know is that she is some type of bird of prey. My brother Eric would have known. He loved birds.
I named her Cochina. The pilot whose plane we rented said he had named his plane “Cochino” because it meant “master of the skies” in his language. So I named my bird Cochina, hoping it means the feminine version of the same. She is amazing in the air – it takes my breath away to watch her.
I found her half-grown and injured, and I nursed her back to health. She didn’t trust me at first. I still have a scar from her early panicked attempt at self-defense.
Ariana paused to look at the silver scar on her arm. It had healed well, but she didn’t think it would ever disappear entirely. “Some wounds are like that,” she murmured. Cochina cocked her head at Ariana’s voice, and Ariana smiled at her. “Don’t worry – you were worth it,” she assured the bird. Then she turned back to her journal.
Gradually, she learned to trust me. She is still fickle in her loyalties, though -- sometimes she is with me and sometimes she is not. On nights as stormy as this one, however, she prefers to be in here with me. She closes her eyes and makes this funny little contented noise in her throat when I stroke her. I wish Eric could see her.
Ariana paused again and then blew out her candle. She tucked her journal on a shelf and pulled her blanket up to her chin, listening to the storm raging outside.
Eric would have loved to see Cochina. Ariana could hear his voice in her head, reciting obscure facts about birds. Falcons were his passion. He would have known everything about Cochina.
Thunder boomed and Ariana turned over in her bed, pulling her blanket over her head. It was a good night to be in a dry shelter.