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Lost Raven Chronicles: Entry Five

As Aiden and I traveled down the road, he looked cautious, even nervous almost. I guess he had every right in the world, as we really had no idea what was going to be around the next turn. This section of road was straight and relatively undamaged. On either side of the road, there were a few random abandoned cars scattered from when everyone else left. Aiden slowed down as we passed each one to check for survivors, so far no luck.

As we came up on an abandoned fire truck, Aiden came to a stop. He looked at me and said, "What do ya think?" He asked me if I thought I could fly yet as he slowly opened the door. He held out his hand for me to climb onto. "I need you to fly Maverick, I need you to be my eyes in the sky. I don’t know if it’s safe for me to be walking around alone out here, but I need to check this truck for supplies," he said. So Aiden held his arm out the door of the truck for me to fly. I jumped and flapped, but it hurt terribly and I just wasn’t strong enough yet to keep myself in the air. Aiden got out of the Jeep and came over, picked me up, and set me on his shoulder. He told me to at least watch his back. He went through the fire truck and found a big axe, a bunch of first aid stuff, and also some light recovery equipment that he grabbed. I guess he must have thought it would be useful for something.

He set me back in the truck and grabbed the marker and paint. He spray-painted the raven's skull and the compass, pointing North, on the side of the fire truck. He grabbed the marker and wrote, "I've come here from a few miles south of here, at my home in Ninepoints. The roads between here and there are clear and safe for travel. I will head north from here. If you would like to find me, just keep following the raven north. If you see the raven sign, you know you're following the right path!" And he signed it "Aiden and Mav" at the bottom. Back in the truck, and back on the road.

We drove for what seemed like forever that day but because of the speeds we went due to the rougher than normal terrain, we really didn’t get very far, maybe fifty or a hundred miles before the sun started to go down. We passed a lot of cars left on the side of the road, buildings that had started to collapse, and even a few places that had so many abandoned cars in the middle of the road that we had to go through the woods to get around. It looked like a scene from a war zone.

Aiden said we had to find a safe place to spend the night, but where? There could be a problem around any one of these turns, and we aren’t going to know it until it’s too late. We slowly came upon a small dirt road that looked to be in pretty good shape. He turned onto it, saying it would be better to be off the main road. He stopped, got out of his truck and painted a raven's skull on the stop sign at the end of the road. Got back in and we continued down the road towards a few buildings at the end that still had lights on. As we pulled up, Aiden picked up his gun and made sure it was locked and loaded. He grabbed his flashlight and stuck his hand out for me. We got out of the truck and cautiously walked the property to make sure we were alone.

Three buildings were on the property, but only one had lights on and it was starting to get dark. Aiden set me on the ground by the first building and told me to make noise if I saw anything. He wanted to clear the buildings and make sure nobody was in them.

A few minutes later, he came back and said the coast was clear, so he grabbed his bag out of his truck, and we headed towards the building with power. It sounded like there was a generator running behind the house. The first thing he checked when we got inside was the water; it was clean and running. He opened the refrigerator and it was still cold inside. He looked at me and smiled. We were both starving. He filled up a little bowl with water and set it on the counter and grabbed me, setting me next to it for a drink. He filled up a tall glass for himself and grabbed his water jug from his bag, filling it to the top. The fridge was full, like whoever was here didn’t leave with everyone else, or maybe hadn’t planned on leaving at all. Aiden grabbed a bowl of fruit from the fridge and put it in front of me. I didn’t hesitate, it was delicious! Aiden had a few pieces and found some peanut butter and made a sandwich. He ate it slowly with a little smirk on his face. It hadn’t been that long since we ate last, but I guess it was a pleasant surprise.

Aiden looked at me and said we’d better get cleaned up a little while we have the opportunity. “Stay put, I’m going to take a shower” he said. He was gone for a while, but when he came back into the room, it was like he was a new man - clean-shaven and ready to take on the world. “Your turn” he said. He grabbed me and set me in the sink. He turned the water on slow and let it run over my feathers. He said, “Maybe, if we can get you cleaned up a bit, we can get you flying again, what a help that could be.” He grabbed some dish soap and poured it over me, gently massaging it into my dirty, charred feathers. The soap on his hands turned dark brown as he worked it in. He started rinsing it off and got a very concerned look on his face.

I guess he hadn’t realized how badly I was burned. I had a fairly big wound on my left side under my feathers, and a few of my feathers had basically melted together. He grabbed his first aid kit from his bag and took out a pair of scissors. He started trimming away the dead flesh and the damaged parts of the feathers. He said, “The cleaner we keep this, the less chance of this getting infected.” It looked even worse by the time he was finished, but it felt better than it had. “The cleaner we keep it, the better,” he said as he lightly rubbed in some salve. He wrapped a bandage around my whole body, tucking my wing into it.

He scooped me up and headed towards the couch. He set me on the pillow and sat down next to me. He trained his gun towards the door and put his feet up. “Let’s get some rest,” he said, “we might never get this chance again.” He put his head back and closed his eyes. “Goodnight Maverick.”

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