In The Dark
Change of Heart
"He doesn't even see me watching him," said Tomas the barn owl. 🦉
Honestly, it had only been by chance that I followed him here.
Otherwise, I would have stayed inside the barn, like I normally do.
But a barn owl has to eat right?
Luckily I found a tasty field mouse hiding between two tall corn husks on the farm.
It was really juicy.
Anyways usually around this time of the year, I really get hungry.
In the winter months, barn owls find it hard to search for food.
This is due to the extreme weather conditions of so many rainfalls.
But not tonight.
The night appears to be slightly brighter during this time in the winter season.
Perhaps it has to do with all the snow on the ground.
You may, or may not know but snowflakes cast a type of reflection of light into the clouds because of small fragments they have inside of them.
Now you must be wondering how do I know so much information?
Well, the answer is I read.
Actually, every morning at the break of dawn, Joseph the farmer comes inside the barn.
He sits down, drinks a fresh cup of coffee, and begins to read out loud all the current events of the day before going to work out on the cornfields with his tractor.
Once he's done reading the newspaper, he puts it aside next to other piles of newspaper.
And when the coast is clear, I take my time hopping down from the anchor beam in the barn then carefully turn the pages with my claws known as talons.
I try my best not to rip the newspaper because my talons are really sharp.
In fact, I have to thank Joseph for learning how to read and speak.
Now getting back to what I saw earlier.
After eating my dinner.
I quietly remain sitting on a branch from a Green Ash tree, where Joseph planted last year, in the entrance to the farm.
Soon afterward a stranger in a dark unmarked car hit Jesse the boy, who always goes home late from fishing at the nearby pond behind the barn.
What's odd is the stranger inside the car didn't even get off to help Jesse.
Maybe he was in a state of shock.
Be that as it may, he should have gotten off the car to see if Jesse was alright.
But, no instead he drove off.
Never mind that now.
I'm going to follow him.
Looks like he didn't go far.
Regardless I'm able to stay in flight, as I manage to see exactly where he's at. The best thing is I can fly 10 to 20 mph. Usually, I do fly faster so I can swoop quietly to catch my prey.
However, in this case, I am flying very slowly so I can stay with him.
On top of that, my feathers have these shaped edges which are sort of, fringe looking.
This allows air to flow through as my large wings remain steady at all times.
Not only that, I make no sound or noises of any kind.
Therefore you never hear me coming.
Upon arrival, I stay perfectly still inside a Hackberry tree where the stranger parked.
In a nick of time, I can hear him talking to himself.
What actually/really happened back there?
Like, in a blink of an eye the boy came out of nowhere.
God! I didn't see him cross the road in the dark.
The truth is I had been working so much overtime that I had been losing sleep.
No coffee or over-the-counter medications were helping me stay awake anymore.
I'm so freaked out!
I mean, I didn't even bother to get off my car to check if he was breathing or not.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" said, Judas.
Besides why is he out so late in the first place riding his bike?
Who cares if it's summertime and the kids want to have fun, stay up all night playing because they don't have to go to school for three months.
Alright Judas, get a grip here for a second.
Gather your thoughts.
Take a deep breath.
Remember think positive, stay positive.
Now let's do the right thing and call 911.
Most importantly, be anonymous.
I may come across as being a prick, but I need to leave.
All in all, I can't be involved under any circumstances.
No, one can know, who I am or what I do for a living period.
Well enough talking, I'm calling now 911.
The operator says, "911, what's your emergency?"
Judas replies, “Listen, I'm off a dark road in the middle of nowhere. A young boy between the ages of 10, maybe 13 years old got in front of me on his bike. And I don't know if he's alive or dead. You see, I panicked because I'm afraid I injured him. Please get an ambulance out here as fast as you can?"
The operator speaks, "Sir, you need to tell me exactly where you're at, so I can send out the paramedics or ambulance to your location."
Crash! As Tomas lands on top of the hood of the car.
Judas drops his Apple iPhone 12 in the driver seat, as the operator continues to ask, "where are you sir, and what's your name?"
He picks up his phone fast and turns it off.
Tomas speaks, "Stay calm, have a change of heart, go back and save the boy."
Judas nods his head up and down not saying a word.
Next, he carefully presses the engine button with his index finger to start the car.
He gets ready to leave.
Once again, Tomas talks, "Don't leave Judas. Please go back. I know what happened. It's not your fault."
Judas suddenly becomes overwhelmed like a massive wave of guilt, falling on top of him.
This turns into a deep trance of a place he is far too familiar with.
A world of pure darkness overcast's inside his troubled soul as it thrashes him back and forth to no end.
A never-ending battle of good vs evil resurfaced.
Above all, he knew the owl was right.
And for the first time, in a long time, he truly felt out of place.
He is ashamed.
Tears run down his face like a river of agonizing grief.
Tomas wastes no time as he quietly hops inside the opposite side of the car where the passenger seat window is open.
He gently spreads out his large fringe snow-glazed wings then embraces Judas and whispers, "the past can no longer hurt you, it's over. You are in the present moment. I'm your friend and we can do this together. I promise," said Tomas.
Tomas kindly backs away closing his lovely wings and sits perfectly still in the passenger seat.
Judas wipes his tears.
He smiles and says, "What are you?"
Tomas replies, "I'm a barn owl."
Judas laughs, "I can see that. But you can talk?"
Tomas answers, "Yes, I learned how to speak and read from Joseph the farmer."
On the spur of moment, Judas realized time is running out for the boy.
He asks Tomas, "Take me back, where the boy is?"
Tomas flies out of the car quickly.
"Now I can fly 10 mph," said Tomas.
In a heartbeat, they are back.
And not a moment too soon, as Judas parks his car, calls the operator, runs out to find the boy.
From a short distance, you can hear Jesse crying out loud, "Please help me! I can't feel my arm."
Tomas in a flash lands right by Jesse’s side.
"Don't be afraid Jesse, help is on its way," said Tomas.
Jesse reaches out with his other arm, then with his small fingers touches Tomas's wing.
He says, "I knew it! You do talk."