The golden rays from the sun caressed Teneil’s skin. She pulled her long blond hair over her eyes and stretched. Rolling over, she buried her face in the soft white feathers she laid on. That peaceful moment was ruined as quickly as the sun disappeared behind a tree. “Kahlo! I did it again. I have to get home!” She scrambled up a foot or two to the griffin’s neck and managed to wrap her arms around him. He had been up and moving around awhile waiting for her to wake. Acknowledging her concern, he let out a loud screech and started off towards Teneil’s house.
She peered around his thick neck, the wind in her face felt amazing. Teneil watched the trees as they passed and seemed to shrink; Kahlo was taking off. She looked down, the ground was expanding and trees were but little bunches of hair growing on the earth now. The feeling of flying was amazing and even if she was in huge trouble when she arrived home, this was all worth it. She rolled onto her back and stared up at the ocean of sky and passing cotton soft clouds.
As Kahlo flew higher, almost into the fluffy, white billows the air smelled of rain. Teneil reached up but her arms were too short, she decided to stand up. The fluffy masses engulfed her torso, drenching her instantly. Kahlo dropped altitude quickly making her loose balance. Letting out a grunt, her butt hit the griffin’s back and she rolled to her side. She was laughing now, and laughing hard. Kahlo let out a low screech in response.
“Kahlo, I love you.” Teneil reached up to his head and ruffled his blue crown feathers.
She lay back to back with him watching behind them. One day she would never have to go home and report to her parents, she could just stay out with Kahlo in the woods and mountains.
‘Oh great. My last good pair of pants. Dad’s going to murder me.’ She mumbled to herself while sitting up.
Teneil tried to remember how that could have happened and how she was going to explain it. “The bears, it happened with the bears!” she laughed. How could she forget that?
She had been hunkered down behind a small bush watching baby black bears play, not even putting thought to the fact the momma would be around. The sun was setting and her sight was becoming limited. She guessed it around nine o’clock. Kahlo would be looking for her soon.
Next thing she knew a burst of hot, heavy, smelly breath was on her back. Teneil took off, joining the babies in the open meadow. Her first instinct was to find a tree to climb and scream for help.
The bear was right on her ass and there were no trees close. She could feel the fear growing inside of her. Was this it? Would they ever find her remains? She shoved these thoughts aside and kept running but veered to the left, the tree line were a tad bit closer over there. She was not going down without a fight.
A guest of wind came from behind her knocking her down as Kahlo swooped in at the bear. He began attacking the creature with his talons. Teneil got up and kept moving. All she heard was the sound of the creatures shrieking and roaring. She stopped just in front of the towering trees and turned to see what was happening. Kahlo was hovering over the bear screeching and the bear growling trying to fight back. Fur and blood were going everywhere.
“Kahlo! No! Stop it!” Teneil yelled while rushing towards them. It wasn’t as bad as it looked. The bear finally tucked it’s nub of a tail and went to its babies with minor wounds. The griffin got out of it with roughed up feathers and minor scratches to his legs. He tottered to Teneil and put his wing over her, pressed against her with his beak as if to say, “You’re my baby and you’re safe.”
Kahlo’s slowing down snapped her back to reality. They landed in the field at the edge of the woods behind her house. She didn’t move for a moment or two. Kahlo shook himself to make her get down. Teneil ruffled the deep blue feathers on his head and slid down his pure white back. She walked around and was enveloped by his large wings. He tucked her in his chest with his head and she rubbed on him with her face. He was so soft this time of year.
“Go enjoy your day, Kahlo. I’ll come find you later.” She grabbed his head and put her forehead on it. He made a low kind of growl noise and nudged her off.
She walked begrudgingly to her back gate and turned to see him watching her as if he wanted her to just go back out with him and never come back. One day my friend, one day. She thought to herself. Opening the gate, she turned away.
She crept up to her window and looked in, no one was in there. She pulled a butter knife from her pocket and stuck it between the screen and the window sill. Popping the screen made a louder noise than she anticipated. Her dog walked in to see what the noise was. The excited dog wagged her tail and barked.
“No, ssh! Shh!” Teneil climbed in the window. The eager dog danced back and forth waiting for attention. Teneil decided to pet her to get her to go away. The dog trotted away as happy as could be.
Now Teneil was faced with getting the screen back in in record time. She had done it a hundred or more times but it was always still dawn not early morning. She tried shoving the screen back in from the side but that didn’t work too well.
Her dad walked by, “Hey. Glad to see you’re up early. What’s with the window?”
“Oh, um. My window popped off the tracks and I had to put it back on,” she fibbed.
“Ok?” her dad looked at her suspiciously. “Your brother is going to take you to finish school shopping in a few. Are you going to be ready?” He set his coffee cup down and walked over to her. He smelled of his pipe tobacco and coffee. He was behind her and took the screen and put the top in first. It snapped right in. “There. All done.”
“Yeah I’ll be ready,” she tried to look like she was watching a bird so she didn’t have to turn around. “Should be fun,” rotated her torso to him and smiled. He returned the gesture and left. She jumped back on her bed and sighed in relief. She had gotten away with another night out.