As I flew over the mountains I felt glad that I had some time alone. I loved Marco and Rachel, but it sometimes felt great to be alone. I had been alone when I had been human and throughout the majority of the war I had been alone. Though during the war it had been because I was living life as a hawk and the majority of my fellow Animorphs were keeping up the appearance of being normal.


I was careful, as always, of predators coming after me. A natural red-tailed hawk’s predators wouldn’t give me a free pass because I wasn’t really a hawk. But I knew these mountains and I kept track of which predators were where. I also made sure to avoid other red-tailed hawk territories.

Looking down I just took in the beauty. A few times Marco, Rachel, and myself had flown over this area. Marco would usually start some contest while Rachel and I would sigh before joining in. It had been wonderful being with them. However, I knew that one day we would have to talk to the others to show that Rachel was back. I didn’t want to talk to Jake, but I would for Rachel’s sake.


I dove down and pulled up just before I would’ve crashed into the trees. I reveled in the simple pleasure of flying. It was a gift I would always have no matter what else happened. But it wasn’t like I would have any more battles to fight, so why should I be hanging onto it so deeply now?


When I reached a good height I felt darkness. I looked around to look for any rain clouds and saw nothing. What was I feeling? Was it simply the fact that I couldn’t understand how things could ever be truly peaceful that was getting to me?


It must be, but there was a coldness that was starting to run through my body. It was going from wingtip to wingtip and I felt fear. It was just my mind and it couldn’t make me stop flying. I started flapping harder to prove to myself that my body wasn’t affected. It was just my mind.


You can’t harm me! I yelled to the coldness.


Then the coldness turned to a fire and I screamed. It took a minute to calm myself down enough to look for a good landing area. I spotted a good area in the distance where Marco and myself had once rested before heading back to my cabin.


But before I could get close I felt one of the most terrifying feelings I had ever felt. It felt harder to flap my wings and that wasn’t because I was tired. I hadn’t spent too much energy on this little flight of mine so why weren’t they moving like they should?


As I continued to make more of an effort to flap my wings they quickly lost any ability to move. They were stuck expanded out so that I was gliding. I wasn’t naïve enough to think that I could just glide forever or until something, or someone, appeared to save me.


I could glide, but eventually I would crash and die. I had just gotten Rachel back and now I was going to lose the chance of living my life with her and Marco. I wanted to yell at whoever was doing this to me, but I knew that was beyond useless. Whoever, or more accurately whatever, was doing this wanted to kill me and make me feel tortured before doing so.


I imagined Rachel being at my funeral like I had been at hers. Rachel leaning on Marco as they both cried. Rachel shouldn’t have to cry at my funeral. But she would as now I was losing altitude.


Sorry, Rachel. Sorry, Marco. I said sadly as I closed my eyes to prepare for the end.


But then I remembered my first kiss with Rachel after the Ellimist had given me back my morphing ability. I remembered Marco throwing the ball that had saved my life. I remembered all three of us making love and then cuddling together afterwards. I needed more of those memories. I needed to not make either of them cry.


So my plan had to be something other than flying. Could I morph? I would only have one shot at morphing something. As I fell even further down I tried to think of a creature that could survive falling down from a great distance as I thought that morphing another creature would leave me unable to move.


Then it clicked and I started to morph a cockroach. I didn’t much like insect morphs, none of us did, but they had been useful for spying missions during the war. And now I had the cockroach morph as my only means of survival.


I morphed the cockroach and was glad when changes started happening. However, they were going slowly. I tried to keep my imminent death out of my mind as I continued to focus, though that was really hard to do. First thing that happened was I shrunk as my skin turned into exoskeleton. I was making the change to exoskeleton while the hawk features, that I could see, were still clearly visible.


I wanted to puke as an extra set of legs came out of my chest as my wings and talons turned into roach legs. The last thing to go was my hawk eyesight, which left me as I was still a little distance above the trees.


All I had to do now was wait until I crashed on the ground. It seemed longer than an eternity until I felt the ground rammed against me. I instinctively moved as a response and felt glad I was able to do so. As I demorphed I wondered what had just happened.


I decided that when I was back in my hawk body I would make sure that the other two were okay. Then we could talk about what had happened to me.


All of New Beginnings and Second Chances



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