Ken waited in front of the door once again, sitting on the front porch. He had a nice headwind blowing on him so he knew it wouldn’t be long. Just as he thought, it was only a couple minutes before he saw the familiar plumage silhouetted against the sky. As she flew closer, he could make out the light and dark blue pattern on her wings and collar, and the white-dotted scarlet tuft on her head, contrasting with the rest of her curly brown hair. She landed gracefully on the lawn, barely swaying the grass, and reached into the bag hanging by a leather strap around her neck. She pulled out the small parcel and handed it to Ken with a smile.
“So it’s you today, Rosie?” Ken asked almost rhetorically as he accepted the package. “I thought for sure it would be Lily.” The cheery harpy puffed out her chest, including the bright blue feathers on her collar. It would have been more impressive if she had much chest to puff out. “Lily’s covering the downtown area today, so you’re in my section!” Rosie replied. “So what did you order today?” She asked, curious.
“It’s just another one of those games I like. Nothing special.” Ken sheepishly replied. “Ah, but if you come inside, I got more of those crackers you like.”
“I can’t come in for crackers today. I have three more deliveries to make.” She said, her happy tone fading into a hint of longing.
“Oh, sorry then… hold on.” Said Ken, stepping inside. After a few seconds he came back out and handed her a small sandwich bag full of crackers. “At least take a few for the road.”
She grinned, her face brightening up again, and saluted him, bringing a colorful wing up to her forehead. She quickly took the sandwich bag and put it in her parcel box. “Well, gotta get going! A courier harpy’s work is never done!” She said enthusiastically as she turned around and made a running takeoff from his lawn. Ken waved as she flew away. Although he enjoyed the view, he never liked to see them leave.
As he was opening the door to go back inside, however, he heard Rosie calling for him. He quickly turned around to face her again, and saw her making a rather hasty approach directly to him, not bothering to land on his lawn.
“Did you want to come inside after all?” He asked hopefully, letting his excitement get the better of him. She shook her head and held out a leg as she hovered next to him. In its talons was a form he was very used to, with a spot left blank. He gave a nervous chuckle as he took out his magical seal, pressing it to the paper’s blank spot. He picked it up from the page, leaving a glowing stamp of his acceptance of the delivery.
“Thanks!” Rosie said cheerily as she flapped away once more. Ken waved her off again before stepping inside. He leaned against the door as he closed it, bringing a palm to his face. He sighed and made his way back to his study. He quickly found his knife on the desk and opened a slit in the small parcel, sliding the contents out on to his hand.
He was amazed that he hadn’t found this item sooner amongst the plethora of goodies offered in the United Monster Territories. He sat down, easing himself carefully into his padded chair. He looked at the small disk, turning it around in his hands. It was about a half-inch tall and 3 inches in diameter, with an engraving of a happy harpy on the back. Along the rim was engraved “Thank you for using the Harpy Courier Service!”
He set it down and pressed a small button on the side. Immediately the device lit up with the familiar sparkly glow of magitech. It projected a small 3D map of his area with the words “You have no incoming deliveries” scrolling across the top. On it, however, he could see a small scarlet beacon moving quickly away from his house. He reached his hand into the hologram and tapped the beacon with a finger. A small picture of Rosie popped up, complete with her trademark grin and the best thumbs up a harpy could give.
He gave a short chuckle, and turned it off, watching as the little beacon faded away and the projection fell back into the magical disk. A delivery tracker was probably the most useful thing he could have gotten, and it was wasn’t even that expensive. It would certainly save him a lot of time sitting on the porch, not that he minded watching the daily tasks of the unusual world around him.
He turned to his ‘magicomputer’ as he liked to call it. It wasn’t exactly a computer, but it was the only way for someone with as little magical aptitude as him to access the ancient communication networks of the UMT. New or ancient, where people contacted each other, there were always ways to sell, buy, or barter. As he accessed the magical networks, he thought to himself, I wonder who I’ll get if I ask for one-day delivery.
He easily found a small item he didn’t particularly need. It was just a trinket, but it was cheap and had a one-day option. He didn’t particularly care much about what he got, as much as who delivered them. It was a surprise when he first arrived in the UMT a few months ago. He’d been staring up at the harpies flying gracefully in the sky, and one of them had swooped down to his doorstep to deliver his mail.
When he’d asked, she told him harpies were very commonly couriers in this world, and they delivered most carryable objects. After his first few deliveries, he got to know her as Rosie, and he got to talking with a few of the other Courier harpies in the neighborhood. He also found out one unfortunate day that they didn’t like to be called mail girls. For a week his packages were dropped unceremoniously at the doorstep without even a ‘hello.’
Even still, he found he envied how they flew around seemingly without a care or second thought, even on such important business. Ken relaxed in his chair after he ordered the trinket, barely noticing the dull ache that constantly haunted his lower back, and turned on his tracker again. As it as the projection flashed to life, the words “You have one delivery; Scheduled arrival: Tomorrow” flashed across the top. Rosie had long flown out of range, and it didn’t look like there were any more harpies flying around his area today. He couldn’t wait to see whose picture would flash up on the screen tomorrow.
Ken woke up to knocking on his door. He quickly checked the alarm clock beside his bed, and realized he’d forgot to turn it on. It read 7:30, which was later than he usually woke up, but by no means late. Another bout of urgent knocking forced him to ease himself out of bed. He slowly made his way to the door, unsure of who could possibly be knocking at this time.
He opened the door to find himself face to face with nothing, and better yet, he felt a blunt force impact his gut. He fell backwards, completely caught off guard by the sudden trauma. He landed hard on his rear, and a spike of pain shot straight through his spine. He bit his lip in an attempt to stop the inevitable scream.
After a few seconds he came to, and instantly felt the sharpest pain in his back in years. He clenched his teeth together and realized he was pinned to the ground, and along with the pain, there was also a rather light object preventing him from moving. He looked down and saw the most vibrant shock of unruly red hair he’d ever seen. It seemed to glimmer in the low light of the morning sun shining through his open door.
As he got a better look at the object he realized it was none other than a short Harpy with bright wings of a fiery Red and Orange. A wing slowly came up and rubbed the red burst of hair.
“Why’d you have to go and open the door, I was still knocking!” It said without a hint of apology. Even as the pain kept him unable to respond, he laid down, dumbfounded. Is that even a question? She was knocking like my house was her only safety from an impending wildfire. Speaking of wildfire, as she climbed off of him, that was all her feathers reminded him of.
“So why didn’t you get to the door earlier?” She said, holding out a wing to help him up. He groaned again, trying to get his breathing to stabilize, and seeing he clearly wasn’t going to take her wing, she retracted it.
“You wanted fast delivery, right? I got here really fast, and you weren’t even ready.” She pouted, crossing her wings. He finally got his breathing in check and managed to puff out a sentence.
“I didn’t… expect it… here… so early.” Steadying himself on the doorway, he did his best to stand himself up. When he was about halfway up, his knees nearly buckled, and a spike of fire shot through his lower back once more, but he was able to hold himself steady. Shaking, he gathered a big breath and asked “Why were you knocking with your head?”
She gave him the most obvious “Duh, how don’t you know this?” face she could, and knocked with a wing, making barely a whisper on the open door. It didn’t even budge when she hit it. Now that he could get a better look, he realized that even though he was still struggling to stand up straight, he still had to look down to see her as well.
“So, you gonna sign for your delivery or what?” She asked somewhat impatiently, clearly having already moved past the whole headbutt issue. When he felt steady enough, Ken started walking towards his study, holding on to his furniture when he could to ease his journey.
“I have to get my seal. I think I left some crackers on the coffee table, so feel free to have some while I fetch that.” Ken pointed briefly to his living room. The small harpy pouted and walked slowly into the living room, clearly not pleased with having to wait longer.
Ken was starting to feel better as he made it into his study. He was able to stand up straight again, and he quickly picked up his seal from his desk. As he did, he noticed that he’d left the tracker on. The words “Your Delivery Has Arrived” were flashing across the top of the projection, and there was a bright orange beacon right on his house. He tapped it and a picture of the hot-blooded harpy in his living room flashed up. She was giving a proud king-of-the-world smirk that reminded him of hollywood’s fighter pilots. Under the picture was the name ‘Vivian’.
As he made his way back to the living room, he was surprised to hear the sounds of joyous feasting. He could barely see her unruly red hair over the top of the armchair she was in, but he watched as the last of the crackers disappeared with remarkable speed. He barely saw a flash of orange and the platter he had left them on was empty.
“Alright where do I need to si-” His voice trailed off as she poked her head out around the side of the chair to look at him. Her cheeks were adorably full like a chipmunk’s and she wasn’t even trying to conceal her gluttony. It took everything he had to stop from laughing at the childish sight of this harpy who had looked so incredibly prideful the moment before.
She quickly swallowed so she could speak and excitedly blurted out “Got anymore of those crackers, mister?” This time he couldn’t stop himself from chuckling. He walked up to her and ruffled her hair without thinking. “Not right now, I think that was the last I had. I’ll have to get more.” Her expression visibly dropped.
“Well next time you order fast delivery, you’d better have more.” She puffed. It was definitely more of an order than a suggestion. “Oh yeah, here ya go!” She held out his small parcel with the delivery form. Ken pressed his seal onto the form, once again leaving the familiar magical emblem glowing on the page. He took the small parcel and placed it carelessly on the coffee table for later.
She grinned at the seal and practically ran back to the front door. “I should get back to my deliveries anyways. Seeya next time mister!” He made his way to the doorway and watched her step out onto his lawn. Suddenly, her wings almost seemed to disappear, and he heard a distinct buzz.
Ken stood in amazement as she zipped straight up into the air, then hovered before shooting off in the direction of her next delivery. Soon enough she was just a bright glimmer in the distance. He stepped back into his home and as he closed the door behind him, he made a mental note to get more of those crackers before the next time he ordered express delivery.
Ken sat at his work bench, opposite his desk in his study. He carefully painted, glued, and put together parts on what was looking more like a model ship each day. As it was, he was slowly outfitting the makings of a long, flat deck. As he finished the first layer of paint, he leaned back in his chair, relaxing.
It’s been a couple days since I ordered those new games I wanted. They should be arriving soon. He turned his chair around to look at his desk, and sure enough, there was a violet beacon flashing closer and closer to his location. He slowly stood up from his chair and walked over to the desk.
As he got there, the words at the top of the projection changed from “Your Package Is Being Delivered” to “Your Delivery Is Arriving.” He tapped the violet dot getting closer to his house, and a soft, motherly face he recognized flashed up with a warm smile. The name ‘Lily’ was written elegantly beneath the picture.
Ken figured he had a minute or two, so first he walked to his kitchen, and took a box of fresh blueberries out of the fridge. When he came out, he saw that he was correct, as Lily was only just coming up to his lawn. He never got tired of seeing her plush plumage. It was a brilliant violet that brightened into magenta and fuschia as it reached the tips of her feathers. Her beautiful deep pink hair was long and straight, clearly faithfully tended to. At the moment it was tied up in a long ponytail for her flying duties.
The tuft on her ample chest matched the gradient on her wings, giving her an elegant, almost royal appearance. She certainly didn’t invalidate that notion with how gracefully she flew. As she came in for a landing she was perfectly stable, and practically glided in, making the grass sway no more than if it were a light breeze.
Even ignoring the feathers she had rather noticeable curves. Her womanly features made it clear who she was on the ground as well. Her face was matronly, caring, and soft. Her eyes seemed to be innocent, but from the time Ken had known her, he knew that wasn’t the case.
Before his jaw became stuck in the dropped position, he picked it up and put it to use. “Lily, I heard you had to cover downtown last week. Was it busy?” She gave a polite laugh and responded “Yes, it was busier than usual, but nothing I couldn’t handle.” She fidgeted a little, contradicting her elegant early impression. “Was I late again? I had trouble getting out of the courier’s office on time.”
“Not this time.” Ken chuckled, amused that he had something to break her away from her usual dignified manner. She nodded and returned to her usual demeanor, giving him a short, elegant laugh in reply, and pulling his package out of her courier’s bag. As she handed it to him, she asked, “So what are you working on this time?”
Ken was surprised. Was he that predictable? “How did you know I was building another model?”
“Ah, so that’s what it is. You have paint on your hands.” She casually replied. Ken looked at his hands, trying not to appear stupider than he already did. Lily giggled and held his package out for him. In an effort to regain his composure he took the parcel in one hand and held out the blueberries he had gotten earlier with the other.
Lily accepted the blueberries, opening the box and gingerly picking a berry out. As she popped it in her mouth, he couldn’t help but watch her smile from the sweetness, and watch her lips pucker ever so slightly from the sour aftertaste. It was no surprise that Lily was excellent at making such mundane actions seem elegant and, well, enticing.
“These are wonderful, Ken. Glad you remembered after so long.” She teased. He nodded in affirmation. “Well of course I remembered. It’s hard to forget anything about a lady such as you.” He replied, feeling proud of himself for the admittedly cheesy line.
She responded with an almost hungry predatory glare and a smile that made him swallow a lump in his throat. “You shouldn’t say such things to a mere courier…” Her voice echoed sweetness, and a hint of danger. She leaned in close. “We might get ideas.”
Ken’s heart was pounding, and he wasn’t sure if it was fear or something else. It calmed down almost immediately, however, when Lily brought up a clipboard with the delivery form. She held it out to him with a much more innocent smile than the one she was previously wearing.
He gave a nervous chuckle and fumbled for his seal. He finally found it in his pocket and pressed it to the page, leaving the familiar magical glow. Satisfied, she put the clipboard and berries away in her delivery bag and gave Ken a wink. “You have fun with that model, now. And thanks again for the berries!” Ken just nodded silently, lost for words.
He watched Lily turn to leave, and couldn’t stop himself from staring. The way her body bounced with her first few powerful wingbeats was enough to keep anyone’s attention. As her colorful plumage began to shrink with distance, he wondered if he should go back to working on the model.
With any luck, he’d be able to at least finish the upper structure of it tonight. He was certain his mind was probably too crowded, though. I suppose I’ll just have to make another order. And I’ll have to get more berries.
As he was lost in thought, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. A dark streak was diving straight down at Lilian! He didn’t even have time to shout, not that it would do any good that far away. Suddenly the dark streak stopped in the blink of an eye, ripping its wings open.
Ken was mesmerized at how quickly the speeding harpy had stopped. Its outstretched wings looked grey as it nearly hovered behind Lily, riding on the lift from the rapidly spread wings and almost instantaneous stop. It glided into a position next to Lily, who seemed a little startled by the sudden appearance, but otherwise was fine.
Certain he couldn’t do anything from where he was, and now extremely curious, Ken dashed inside as quick as he could, discarding his package on a chair in the living room while he ran to his study. Once he made it there, next to Lily’s violet beacon on the delivery tracker he saw a bright yellow one flashing.
He tapped it to see the picture of a relatively cute girl, whose hair he could now make out to have a black and grey spotting pattern. The name under the picture was Gladys, and the mischievousness in her grin was not lost on Ken. He sighed, and wondered briefly if she got along well with the other girls, but decided he shouldn’t think too hard on the matter. He just hoped she didn’t replace Lily next time Lily had to cover the downtown shift.
Ken was flying again. It didn’t seem odd at all for him to be looking down at the world. He couldn’t help but feel something was missing though. As he looked around himself he could only see the sky and the land far below, and for a second he began to wonder how he was flying. Unfortunately his moment of contemplation was interrupted by a spike of pain in his back, followed by the paralyzing sense that something was crushing him.
He blinked and found himself in a giant, clawed, reptilian hand. As it squeezed tighter, he looked up and locked eyes with a dragon. A town-burning, princess-stealing, honest-to-god dragon. He began to panic, struggling to climb out of its herculean grip to no avail. He didn’t know if it was just crushing the life out of him, or if he was having a heart attack from the fear, as pain clamped down on his chest and made it impossible to breathe.
He shut his eyes tight, wishing that it might go away, the dragon, the pain. As he felt his last breath leaving his body he tried desperately to open his eyes, and get one last look at the sky. He couldn’t fight the fear, and his eyes remained sealed shut, darkness surrounding him in his final moments. With strenuous effort, he made one last attempt, forcing himself to open his eyes.
As he regained his sight, Ken saw the ceiling of his bedroom. He stared blankly at it for a long while, letting his heart rate slow down and his breathing regulate. He was covered in cold sweat, practically drenching his bed. As he finally calmed down and closed his eyes to rest once more, the sharp ringing of his alarm clock drove him wide awake.
He let it ring for a minute or two, hoping it would stop and let him go back to sleep, but much to his displeasure, it did its job. He slid reluctantly out of bed, making sure to silence the damn clock. He slowly slogged his way into his kitchen, and more importantly to his coffee machine.
He had set it up the night before and all he had to do was flip on the machine and let the life-giving lava flow into his cup. He knew he was awake enough at this point that he didn’t really need it, but he felt that it helped. Maybe the strength of it would help get his mind off that dream.
This was the first time he’d had that dream, but it wasn’t the first time he’d had a dream of that sort. Dragons had been plaguing his dreams for over a decade in one form or another. Ken tried to go back to the good part of the dream, focusing on the flight, the feeling of freedom it gave him again. He rubbed his back, the familiar dull ache that he’d grown so accustomed to reminding him of his constraints.
As he took his first sip of coffee, lethally strong without cream and sugar, he opened the cabinet above the coffee machine. He was running rather low on crackers after Vivian’s second delivery to him a few days ago. Other than her he hadn’t had many deliveries recently. He’d only ordered a couple trinkets which were delivered by Lily, whose visits he always enjoyed, despite her occasional tardiness. Now that he thought about it, he was expecting another delivery from her today.
After a quick shower and shave, Ken walked into his study and began working on another model. This one was an older aircraft, and the model was very simple. Before long he was almost done. He just needed to put the finishing touches on the paint job. He took a second to glance at the clock, and realized it was already the early afternoon. Apparently he’d spent more time on the model than first thought.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Finishing the model would have to wait. His delivery had arrived. Ken walked into the kitchen and got a box of blueberries out of the fridge. He straightened out his shirt and quickly strode to the door. He opened it, expecting the usual brilliant lavender and violet plumage.
The grey-spotted wild tuft of hair that greeted him was certainly not something he’d expected. He looked down to see a mischievous grin he knew he’d seen somewhere before. As he looked at the sharp and shapely wings, and more importantly the lethally sharp talons at the end of the girl’s legs, it clicked in his head.
This was the girl he had seen dive on Lily a few weeks ago. Her features were slick and streamlined. Everything about her seemed predatory, not the least of which was her grin. He could tell she was up to something, but he had no idea what she could possibly be thinking.
“I’ve got a delivery for a mister Ken Bradley!” She eagerly said. Ken was taken aback by how honestly such a dangerous looking girl addressed him. He stuttered his response.
“Ah, uh, that would be me.” Ken quickly regained his composure. He still wondered why she dived on Lily back then, but he was starting to think that she wasn’t as nefarious as he’d predicted. She held out his parcel.
“Here you go Mister Bradley!” She said with the same innocence. As he tried to accept the parcel, he realized he was still holding the blueberries, so he took the package in one hand, and held the berries in the other. He once again thought he was on the right track, until she eagerly held out the delivery acceptance form. He fumbled around with his parcel for a few seconds, trying to figure out which hand to get his seal with.
Finally he set down the parcel and took out his magical stamp. He pressed it to the page and the familiar glowing seal appeared. He bent down to pick up his parcel once more, and he heard the eager voice call to him again. “Sir, can you please sign this?”
Confused, Ken looked up again to find his seal had disappeared from the page. “Oh, sorry. Let me try again.” Ken carefully pressed his seal on to the page, and once again it left the magical mark. Satisfied, Ken turned around only to hear, “Please sign this, Mister Bradley. I can’t go back until you do.”
Ken was flabbergasted. He looked once more to see that his seal had disappeared from the page. “I uh, that’s odd. I can swear it worked.” He pressed his stamp to the page for the third time, making sure to watch it, and sure enough it faded into nothing after a couple seconds.
“Are you sure that’s an official seal, Mister?” The predatory harpy innocently asked. Ken struggled to think of an explanation. “I could swear it was, I mean, this has never happened. I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s going on with it today”
As he fumbled around with his words, it was seemingly too much as the innocent look on the girl’s face suddenly burst into a wild grin, and she broke into fits of heaping laughter. “Don’t know what’s going on with it today!” She said mockingly, almost rolling on the floor as she laughed.
Ken realized he’d been had. “Wait… you? What is it? Some kind of magical paper?” She was laughing far too hard to answer, so Ken waited with a scowl on his face until she calmed down enough. When she finally started catching her breath, she wiped a tear from her eye with a dark feather.
“It’s enchanted like invisible ink… It goes away after a few seconds, but it will appear again in a few hours.” She explained through small fits of involuntary giggling. “Don’t worry Mister Bradley, I got your seal. And one of the best laughs I’ve ever had. We’ll have to do this again sometime!”
Ken stood there, wide-eyed and speechless with his mouth hanging open as he attempted to reply. As she turned around to take off she gave a little wink over her shoulder. “And berries aren’t my thing. If you’ve got some hard candy next time, I’d be grateful!”
He finally regained his ability to speak as she was taking off. He grumbled after her, “Darn mailbird…” And picked up his parcel. She picked up speed as she flew away, then pulled up sharply. She pulled her wings in tight with acrobatic grace and fell backwards. When she was level she spread out her wings once more and rolled upright, almost dancing through the sky with her powerful raptor wings.
She slowed herself as she glided past him. With a wink, a grin, and a playful wave of her wing, she said “We prefer ‘Couriers.’” Ken found himself admiring the grace of the infuriating harpy as she sailed off into the afternoon sun. He didn’t know where she learned to fly like that, but he couldn’t stop himself from wanting to see it again, much to his chagrin.
Ken stepped back inside, grumbling annoyed nothings to himself. He couldn’t even remember what he was doing before she showed up. He sat down on an armchair in his living room and began eating berries absentmindedly as he made a mental note to get her back one of these days. One thing was certain. He wouldn’t forget Gladys anytime soon.
It was a cold and rainy day outside, which was why Ken was happily sitting in his living room and playing one of his favorite games. As thunder boomed outside, Ken was grateful for his warm, dry home. Despite the magic, storms in the UMT could get rather nasty. Suddenly there was a softer banging noise, barely audible over the storm. At first he thought it was distant thunder, but then he heard it again. He waited a second and heard the soft pounding for a third time.
He realized it was actually knocking at his door, and got up as quickly as his back would allow, hoping he hadn’t missed more knocks earlier. As he got to the door, he opened it to see two pitifully soaked harpies trying to dry off their feathers in the rain. The storm raged, just past his porch, the wind blowing rain even into his front door as a healthy stream ran through the street. Lightning flashed in the distance, punctuated by another roar of thunder. When she saw that he’d opened the door, Rosie immediately looked up and smiled, apparently very glad to see him. Lily was rather flustered as she tried to get her feathers dry. She looked like a deer in the headlights when he opened the door to see her shivering in the rain.
Lily did her level best to straighten up and give the semblance of dignity, but it was already lost for Ken. He ushered the pair inside. The situation was a little surreal for Ken, but he was brought back to reality quickly by the voice of his wingman in the game he’d left running. He cringed slightly when he heard the television say “Lead’s been shot down! Abort mission!” Rosie seemed suddenly oblivious to the fact that she was soaked and tried to look past him at the living room.
“Is that the game you like so much?” She eagerly asked. As he was about to answer, Lily cut him off. “We’re really sorry about this Ken. I was late on my way back from my last delivery, and I believe Rosie’s route kept her out late. We met up a few miles out, but the storm got worse and we couldn’t make it all the way back to the center. Do you mind if we stay here until it blows over?”
Despite her dignified demeanor, the fact that she was soaked took all the nobility out of her request. She was still trying to appear professional, but her long, beautiful hair hung limply over her shoulders, and her normally plush feathers were wrung out and dripping like a waterfall. Rosie’s feathers weren’t faring much better, and her normally curly hair was drooping sadly. The dotted tuft seemed surprisingly intact, however. There was no way he could turn down the two pitiful harpies, although Rosie didn’t look like she was having such a bad time at all.
Ken gathered his wits about himself, trying his hardest not to stare at the two women in front of him, with their soaked clothes clinging to their shapely bodies… It was tough enough normally, when their clothes didn’t stick to every curve. Even without being see-through it was enough to make any man take a second look. Ken was determined to not take an obvious third look, though, worried he might have stared too much as it was.
Ken shook his head to snap himself out of it. “Alright, let’s get you girls dried off.” Lily smoothly pulled a clump of dripping hair away from her eyes and said, “Thank you, Ken. We apologize for intruding, but we couldn’t think of anywhere else we could go.” Rosie simply nodded her approval as she was clearly focused on exploring his home more than whatever they’d said. As ken led them to the bathroom, he wondered just how much the harpies must trust him to think of him when they were in trouble. Once they reached the bathroom, both girls stepped inside and gave an energetic shake, flinging the water off themselves exactly like finches in a birdbath. Rosie’s bright tail feathers and pert rump gaily danced in front of his eyes. Lily’s more buxom features shook more vigorously than her smaller companion’s but somehow still with more modesty and grace.
As much as Ken wanted to stay and enjoy the moment, he knew they were just getting dry. He tried to think of something he could do to help them more. He had an idea, and briskly walked to his laundry room to grab a couple fresh towels for them to use. As he walked back into the bathroom, he found both the girls had already taken off their shirts. Ken couldn’t stop himself from getting a fantastic eyeful of Rosie’s perky B-cups, and lithe, athletic figure, as well as Lily’s much fuller, more voluptuous assets. From behind her shapely rear was on full display, and he could see just a hint of her well-rounded bust. Ken put his hands up, holding out the the towels in a rather poor attempt to shield the two from his vision. “Whoa, sorry, I should have knocked! I didn’t expect you two to start undressing so soon” Ken hastily apologized.
Rosie looked confused. “Well how could I dry off with wet clothes on?” She asked almost too honestly. Ken was somewhat lost for an answer as he stared with newfound interest at the floor, until he felt the cold sensation of drenched feathers patting him on the head. “Thank you for being so gentlemanly and making an attempt to protect our modesty.” Lily cooed. “But we’re grown women… We’re fully aware of what we’re doing.”
Each of the girls took a towel from Ken, and he rapidly left the bathroom and closed the door before he could embarrass himself further. He took a deep breath and walked back into the living room to turn off the television and his game, which was replaying his death in cinematic glory. He pressed the off button and the screen faded out of life.
Lightning flashed outside, followed by a bout of thunder, and he remembered the storm. He wondered just how cold the poor girls must have been flying in that storm. Just from opening his door he had received a freezing blast of cold wind, but they’d been up in it for some time, hours even. Ken knew just the thing for it. He went to the kitchen and put a saucepan on the stove which he then filled with milk. He went to his cabinet, and just above his powdered coffee he pulled out a small container of cocoa mix that he made himself just for days like this. He slowly mixed the cocoa mix in with the milk as it warmed up, careful not to let it boil.
The girls chose that moment to walk into the kitchen, wearing only their towels. Rosie was reasonably covered for the most part, but Ken knew it wouldn’t last with how she moved, and Lily barely fit in her towel, not leaving much to the imagination. He wondered how she’d even gotten it to stay on in the first place. Fortunately, it looked like both of the girls’ feathers had started drying. Lily’s wings especially had started to fluff up again, looking more like feathery pillows than wings. “Oh! What’cha makin’? It smells really nice.” Rosie asked excitedly as she sniffed the cocoa in the air.
Ken knew he had to get the girls clothes quickly, or his thoughts would cross into less respectful territory. He genuinely enjoyed the girls’ company, and he didn’t want to do something that he might regret. “Uh, wait in the living room, ladies, I’ll be right back.” Ken hastily said, carefully making his way past them. He ran into his room and ransacked his closet for any shirts he could use. He finally found two that he didn’t care too much about, and grabbed a pair of scissors from his work bench.
Ken cut the sleeves off the two shirts, and cut a short way down the sides so that the girls could fit their wings through. On his way back out, he realized they were also missing bottoms, but that was much easier. He picked up two pairs of track shorts, hoping they’d fit.
As he came back out, Rosie was already running up to meet him. “It’s a shame you turned off the game! It looked fun. Anyways, thanks a lot for letting us roost here.” Ken wanted to reply, but he decided it was better to just hand her one of the shirts and a pair of shorts. Her towel was already slipping off, and as much as a part of him wanted to stick around for another look, he still had to give Lily her shirt as well. When he walked into his living room, he found Lily in his armchair. The busty magenta jubjub was sitting elegantly, and clearly waiting patiently for him.
He handed her the shirt and shorts, and her eyes lit up slightly. “Thank you, Ken. I’m sure this will suffice for the time being. You’ve been more than helpful enough already.” Ken sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. “Of course. You girls do so much for me. How could I not? Anyways, I’ll just let you two change.” Ken turned around and started to walk back into the kitchen, when he was cut off by Rosie, who had managed to change already.
Ken wasn’t a particularly big man, but as he’d guessed, the clothes were too big for her, and she was having a significant amount of trouble holding up the shorts. Every time she leaned forward, the front of the shirt was left hanging as well, and Ken was certain that if he could see her from the side, there would be plenty to look at. “Actually, hold on just one more second!” He said as he ran back into his room. He fished around in his closet once more and found the tin he was looking for. It was full of his sewing supplies for when he had to fix his own clothes, and inside were a few clothespins that he knew would be perfect.
He came back out to see Rosie still holding up her shorts. He went to her first, crouching down and using a clothespin to crunch up the shorts and keep them tight so they could stay on. The next part was a little harder. Rosie saw what he was doing and raised her pretty blue wings out of his way. He focused his eyes on the shirt to avoid staring at Rosie’s revealed chest, and used clothespins to pin the front and back of the shirt together just under her wings. He did the same for the other side and stepped back. Rosie seemed pretty impressed, leaning back and forth, and flapping her wings to test out the new clothes. Once she seemed satisfied, she gave him her happy “thumbs up” or as close as she could manage with her wings. “Thanks for protecting my modesty!” She said with a giggle.
Ken couldn’t think of an adequate response, especially not with Lily’s giggles behind him joining Rosie’s. Ken turned around to look at Lily and realized immediately that he wouldn’t need any clothespins for her. The shorts fit fine, but the shirt was having trouble fitting. It seemed especially tight on her chest. “Well, you girls seem fine in here, so I’m going to continue making the…” Ken trailed off as he realized in his haste to get the girls dressed, he’d completely forgotten about the cocoa he was making.
He ran to the kitchen, and sure enough the milk had all but boiled away. Well, time to make a new batch. Ken poured out the burnt cocoa into the sink as the girls came in after him looking worried. “Aw, did you burn it?” Rosie asked. Ken nodded and replied “Yeah, I was going to make cocoa for you two, but it looks like it didn’t go so well.” He softly chuckled at himself. “That’s too bad, I was looking forward to it. It smelled really nice!” Rosie said dejectedly. She seemed to cheer up again almost immediately, though. “Oh well! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! This time it didn’t!” She helpfully supplied.
Lily nodded in agreement. “Just as she said. It looks like this time you were unsuccessful, but that’s alright. As we keep saying, you’ve done plenty just by giving us a place to warm our feathers.” She extended one of her rather fluffy wings to punctuate the point.
Ken smiled, glad that his failure to provide a warm drink wasn’t too much of a disappointment. “Well I was just about to make more, so you two can wait in the-” Rosie shook her head and cut him off. “Well why don’t you come in and wait with us?” She said, clearly as a suggestion.
“Well I’ve got to make the-”
“Nope. You don’t. We’re just fine without it, but we’re awfully lonely!” Rosie said, definitely making her point clear.
Ken sighed, beaten. He obviously didn’t have a choice, so he followed Rosie and Lily into the living room. He pulled in an extra chair and soon they were all sitting around the table and chatting like old friends. Ken could no longer hear the storm outside, but he didn’t really care. He just was glad to have the moment with them. He’d completely lost track of time, and before long both the girls had fallen asleep in their chairs. Rosie had been the first to doze off. That was probably for the best, because Lily was snoring surprisingly loudly.
Ken got up slowly from his chair and rubbed his back. He’d been running around all day and it hadn’t done any favors for the aching. He went to his room and brought out a couple of his spare blankets, which he carefully draped over each of the sleeping girls. When he was confident that they were both comfortable, he sat down in his own chair, realizing just how much the day’s events had tired him out. Almost the second he closed his eyes he was deep into his dreams.
Ken woke up the next morning to see that the girls were nowhere to be found. Neither were their wet clothes, which he hoped had dried overnight, nor the clothes he had lent them. He didn’t care much about those shirts anyways, so he wasn’t too worried over it. After making himself coffee, he saw a note on the table that he’d apparently missed. He picked it up and read it. It was in Lily’s impressive calligraphy.
Ken, we thank you dearly for how you helped us yesterday. We apologize for leaving without waking you, but you just seemed so peaceful that we thought it would be rude. Our clothes weren’t dry yet, so we left with the shirts you gave us. Maybe next time we can nest there without a storm.
-Lily and Rosie
P.S. Get more crackers!
P.S.S. Our phone numbers are on the back.
Ken chuckled as he finished the note. That solved the shirt mystery. Clearly he’d have to invite them over again soon. And he’d have to get more crackers.
This is my first story for TFT, and it’s really more of a collection of short scenes. I have plenty more planned, but I decided to publish what I had to see how well people would like it. Please leave comments to tell me what you think. Criticism isn’t just accepted, it’s appreciated!
Finally, I’d like to give a huge thank you to TwoHeavens who gave me the idea for the story, let me borrow his setting, and called me a pussy until I got off my ass and actually wrote it! Without him I wouldn’t be publishing anything at all.