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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2316304
An Avian spy finds Carter's secret out.

See you in the morning,” said Ursa as she waved from the pool, giving Carter one last view of her naked body. He shuddered a little inside as they directed him out the door.

They walked past the Princess’s room and up the hallway past a few more doors till they ended. The door was noticeably smaller than the Princess’s and had a lock on the outside to keep whatever was on the inside in. In other words, he was a prisoner.

“You must stay in your room all night until you are called for. Understand?” asked and commanded Cape. Cern shook her head up and down as if to push further to the point he shouldn’t flee.

“Yes, I understand,” said Carter, tilting his head down.

He entered the dimly lit room and heard the door lock behind him. He walked over to the balcony and looked down. It was at least forty feet. Prisoner or Guest? Does it matter now? He walked back over to the bed while noticing that it had gotten a little bit colder. His room had a desk with a magic light, a garderobe without soap, and a small balcony bench facing outside. He sat down on the bed and looked out into the darkness.

The noises of revelry were still echoing below him in deep contrast to his quiet room. He listened for a while, pretending to be involved, but grew rather sad as he started to think about his sisters.

He heard the flapping before he saw the bird. There was a large, orange-colored bird heading towards his balcony from out of the dark. Carter sat quietly, watching the bird as it landed on his balcony’s armrest. The bird was rather normal-looking, like a large orange crow. It had its beak in the air, sniffing around. The orange crow’s face was tilted towards the sky when it turned its head and faced Carter. It jumped down from the armrest, landed on his balcony, and walked right up to him. It took another sniff.

“May I help you?” said Carter, not knowing what to do.

“You smell peculiar,” said the bird.

“I beg your pardon, I just took a bath,” said Carter, and then it dawned on him that he was talking to a bird.

“You can talk?” asked a startled Carter. Even though he was slightly scared, he didn’t show it.

“Even though it is different, I have smelled it before,” said the bird.

“Who are you?” asked Carter, knowing the answer to his first question.

“My name is Corvair. Yes, Corvair. I am a bird! A polling bird, to be exact! I work for the Elves' Census Count,” said the orange crow.

“Corvair? Might I inquire what a polling bird does?” asked Carter.

“Inquire? Just like a human to know not what a polling bird is,” said Corvair.

Carter felt a jab in his stomach, and a finger flick to his brain. A small headache flared up again.

“I help the Elf capital to keep track of the population. When a new person is born, I count them, remember them, and then tell them,” said Corvair.

He looked out the windows and turned his head back towards Carter. “The dead, too. It’s rare, but I count them too,” added Corvair.

“Whom do you tell?'” asked Carter.

“Tell Who? Oh yes, I tell the Elves Census Count. It's a long way to fly. So many to count,” said Corvair.

“Are you here to count the newest Princess?” said Carter.

“Yes, half-cambian and half-magnate Princess, female, and you, human, female,” said Corvair.

“I don’t need counting. Just forget about me,” said Carter with a little fear in his voice.

“Corvair remembers all she has counted. You are not among them. Now you are,” said Corvair.

“The other bird counted me,” said Carter.

“All polling birds share the same memory. I count you, so do the others,” said Corvair as she looked closer at Carter. Her head tilted one way and then the other as if she was thinking hard.

“I have smelled your kind before, but you are not the same,” said Corvair.

Carter thought about grabbing the bird around its neck and killing it, but the thought vanished as fast as it came.

“Human, male!?!” yelled the counting bird. Corvair backed up with wide eyes and started dancing, spinning around and flapping his wings.

“Yes, yes, male, so few firsts anymore in this stale world. Something new, yes, yes, yes,” said Corvair.

“Please don’t tell anyone. I was told not to tell anyone,” said Carter.

Corvair stopped her dancing and looked at Carter with a stern look. She walked over and took another big sniff of him and then said, “You didn’t tell anyone your sex. Tell them you didn’t,” said Corvair with a stern face.

Corvair pulled back with what looked to be a smile and said, “I knew it! You’re not to blame”.

“Are you going to tell the King and Queen?” said Carter.

“No, do I look like one of those black crows to you?” said Corvair as she looked over her shoulder with a mean look out towards the sky.

“Crow? No,” said Carter.

“I report only to the Census Court,” said Corvair as she returned to the balcony.

“Yes, lucky am I,” added Corvair as she flapped her wings and flew off.

“That wasn’t my fault,” stuttered Carter as he lay flat on the bed. He pulled the blanket back and slid underneath.

“How much time before they come for me?” said Carter under his breath. He closed his eyes, knowing it would take a while before falling asleep.
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