Stay away from me.
Hey look, it's that off-worlder.
Get away from me.
You're different from us.
The insults echoed in Drake's head.
"Maybe Mom was right. Maybe I shouldn't have gone to military school. Maybe I should have just stayed where I was. Where I was a lot happier...
Laughter came from behind. "Look, it's that weirdo!" A young duck and his group laughed as Canard, Wing and Drake walked through the corridor. The human showed no signs of anger or emotions at all.
"Don't mind them, Drake. They're only jealous cause you're better than them and all the girls seem to be attracted to you." Canard said as he patted Drake on the back.
"Thanks for tutoring me last night, Drake! The lesson you gave me yesterday helped me a lot." A duck thanked him giving him a genuine smile.
"That guy is so cute." The voice somewhat caught Drake's attention and Nosedive jabbed him teasingly in the ribs. "For an off-worlder." A female duck and her friends smiled at Drake as he passed.
"See what I mean, Drake." The human smiled at his friend...
Drake remembered that time in school as he lay on his bed. He had only been there for a week and he already felt like escaping from the prison. Better get some sleep. Got to get up bright and early tomorrow morning. Drake thought and went to sleep after he set his alarm clock.
Drake woke up and immediately did his exercises.
Maybe school here won't be that bad. He thought as he did a few push-ups. I wanted to go here and I better make the best of it. Drake finished the last of his exercises and got ready for class. When he was changed he left his room and found a letter on his doorstep.
'We'll see you later. Looking forward to seeing your show.' Was written on the white slip.
Drake smiled and headed for class. He had no company on the way. He had friends but he didn't hang around with them that much.
The day went fine except for the times when someone shot spitballs at him or when someone vandalized his property. Pretty much, it was what he was used to.
"Hey freak." Someone called him. He froze in his tracks. Not again, he thought in a mental wince. Don't they ever get enough? "What is it?" He asked, his voice low.
"Tell me," the duck smirked massaging a hand, "was your mama ugly? Or was she and your father freaks like you?"
Drake turned around, head slightly hung, eyes narrowed, but still standing tall.
"Whoooo! Is Mr. Freak angry at me for insulting his parents?" Another teased and shared a high-five with one of his partners.
A red-haired female had just turned the corner and stared at the sight before her. Drake noticed but gave no indication that he knew she was there.
"You're mama must have been so ugly that she got thrown out of every job." Drake clenched his fists and his jaw stiffened. Jeanna's sad eyes came to mind and her voice echoed in his ears. Drake... be careful there honey.
"Whooo. He's angry all right!" A cruel laugh, "whacha gonna do about it?"
Drake just sighed and relaxed his hand, shutting his eyes and exhaling.
"He's got nothing. He's just a freak and a chicken."
At that Drake turned around and headed for his dorm, the young ducks taunting him all the way. Entering the door he sank to the floor, trying to forget everything he'd heard.
"The guy's a freak *and* a chicken." The group of young ducks laughed out loud.
"Shut up!" The red-haired Mallory McMallard snapped from behind, sending the three to turn and face her. The tallest put on his best smile and placed an arm around her shoulder.
"Mally-girl, doll, what's say you an' me go out tonight? I hear the beer's fab there!"
Mallory swatted his hand away, "I'd rather date a snake," and sent a hard slap across his beak. "And," she pointed a hard warning finger between his eyes, "don't call me doll." And strutted off, head held high.
Drake glanced at his watch as it began beeping softly. 10:59... 11:00. One hour after curfew. He smirked. It's time. He stood and put on his all black get-up and grabbed the v-shaped guitar he kept locked in the closet behind his shelving. I would never risk getting you vandalized. He smiled softly and took one last quick glance at the mirror and snatching the gold locket which held the only thing he had left of his brother... and his real parents.
Mallory was just coming back from a talk with her father when she caught sight of a figure sneaking away from the dorms. Raven black hair... no beak... definitely that guy. She thought for a while, debating with her common sense and her curiosity to follow him or not.
I'm going. "Sorry dad." She shook her head and followed him into the shadows.
She watched him enter an old abandoned brick building in the 'ghost' side of town. It was one of those buildings the city never bothered to tear down. "Can tear them down later huh," she smiled dryly, "later never comes."
Wonder what he could want there? And what's that he's bringing along with him?
Well Mallory gal, why don't you follow and find out.
She walked out from her hiding place and approached the building. Strange. I hear music.
"Stop right there missy." A tall, tan feathered duck with a deep blue bandanna stepped out and stopped her. "Who are you? How'd ya know of this place? And what's the deal, why ya wanna come in?"
"Mallory. I followed a schoolmate of mine, and I'm curious of what he would want with this place."
His serious expression immediately changed to a surprised one. "Ya know Wind?!"
"Uh... Wind?" What did I get myself into? "Uh.. yeah... I live in the same dorm... actually," she felt heat creeping onto her face, "I live right across the hallway."
"Okay then," he smiled and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, "Name's Noble, c'mon, better get in before we miss *his* show."
He looked at her incredulously, "You don't know?"
"Wind's the man! He's so good with that guitar... his music's like... well..."
"The wind?" A third voice entered the conversation. Noble turned and cocked an eyebrow. "That's it Choly." A tall female duck with short blue-black hair stepped into view and motioned for them to come in. "Let's go gal, the wind is blowing." And they entered through a secret door.***
"... yes you and me...." Mallory felt her heart skip a beat. She blushed, realizing she was gripping onto her seat .This guy is... deep.
Drake stood and took a bow. "That's it for this set. Now please a hand for Miss Constance Silverwind." He smiled introducing a pretty blonde with silver feathers and deep green eyes.
As he stepped down from the stage he stopped and then glanced in Mallory's direction. She looked away, but he'd already noticed her fixed gaze. He smiled and walked over. "This seat taken?"
"No, you can sit." She smiled back and offered her hand to take his guitar.
"Nice show Wind!" Noble smiled as he walked over.
"Yeah, thanks Noble-one." He turned his gaze to the redhead beside him, "Uhm... what's your name again? You're new here right?"
"Waw-waw-waw-waw-waw.... Wait a sec!" Noble cut in and glanced from the off-worlder to the female duck. "You don't know each other?" He glanced to Mallory and eyed her strangely, "I thought ya said you were dorm mates... I mean, buddy-buddy. I mean, I wouldn't have let you in if you hadn't told me that."
Drake glanced sharply in Mal's direction. She dropped her gaze. "Wait Nobe. She is my dorm mate. You live across the hall right?"
"Look, Nobe, don't be too hard on the gal,"
"Uh-uh-uh. Remember the policy? Wick'll have our necks... yours too, even if you are the *Wind*."
"'Kay! I dunno her, she's new. But I don't think she'll tell."
"You're right. I won't." she inserted.
"Call Wick, Nobe. I'll explain."
"No need Wind. Heard everythin'." Mal raised her eyebrows. Wick was a female Raptrin... she recognized her, she was a former high rank student at the academy, her father knew her. Wick was infamous for her sharp retorts at the professors she didn't like. But... she was a terrific student... just so unforgivably *herself*.
"Hey..." Wick pointed a finger in Mallory's direction, "ain't you Mason's kid?"
"Uh... Mason?" Mal clamped her beak.
"Mason? As in... McMallard?" Drake glanced from Wick to Mal. "You're Mallory McMallard?! The general's one and only hot-tempered, don't-ya-mess-with-me daughter?!"
"Uh... caught in the act of a bank robbery." She smiled weakly.
"Hey!" Wick smiled and slipped into the booth, "How's the Gen? Ya know, he used to be my counselor. He also handed me the responsibility of the secrecy of this club. This was around even during his time... he and his gang ran it."
"Waitaminute." Three pairs of eyes turned to Noble. "So... she ain't getting it bad?"
"No way!" Wick shook her head. "'Bout time the Gen's only daughter got into the swing of things here at Underground."
"Well you're in luck kid. Not many people get to see the good side of Wick." Melancholy smiled at Mal. Constance jumped down and nudged Drake.
"I know." Drake stood up and got his guitar.
"Let's give it one more time for the *Wind*," the DJ said.
"I'm up." Drake said and walked up the stage.
To be continued...