You open your mouth to tell the truth, before being cut off by the girl who was a full head smaller than you, "I think I've seen a bird like you outside my window before."
"I don't believe I've seen you before." ...Did you just technically lie? Such things are difficult to distinguish.
"Are you sure?" You must do better next time; you intend full well to tell the truth, and you will do so if your name isn't... isn't... Actually, you don't truly have a name. You have a nickname
, but you would hardly consider such a name to be a name.
The girl patiently stares.
...But then, you just referred to it as a name. Does that mean you lied to yourself, thus lying again? You're beginning to remind yourself of the Black-white, and you don't like that one bit. Being compared to a thief, even by yourself, is completely unacceptable.
The girl begins preening her head-wing with her teeth and tongue, snapping you out of your internal monologue.
"...What are you doing?" You can't help but raise a brow at her overly hands-off approach.
She hops away from you, her three wings fluttering, obviously surprised by your question and eyeing you carefully. As quickly as she jumped away, she calms down. "I'm preening the odd wing on my head."
You wonder if she's serious; that much should be plainly obvious. "...I can see that."
Suddenly, her face is in your face, causing you to stumble back. "I definitely think I've seen you before."
You blink rapidly and clear your throat. "Well, yes, I'm you." Also not technically the truth. You have to work on this.
twisting her head in a tilt, she jerkily looks you over, her head twitching this way and that. "But I'm over here."
You can't help but sigh. This is getting you nowhere fast. "Yes, but I'm you and you are myself, in that we are the same person and yet not the same person." You decide to simply not care if you confuse this odd girl.
She quickly gets in your face again, looking you up and down as a bird would. "But that's a contradiction."
You don't quite know what to say to that. You were expecting her to say something to the effect of being confused, or ask what you're talking about, not... that
It's not so much that she said
that, but the fact that she has a very good point, that bothers you.
You decide to cut to the chase. "Why were you preening like that?"
She tilts her head the other way this time. "Because you seemed busy; you even were looking up and tapping your chin with your finger. I had assumed you were thinking. Was I wrong?"
You blink again. "Well... no, I suppose not, but..." You sigh. "Look, I just want to know why you were using your mouth to preen."
She stares blankly a moment, lulling you into a query over if she even heard you or understood you. "But what else would I use?"
This time it's your turn to give a blank stare. However, you throw in a risen brow for a splash of color. "...Are you messing with me?"
"No, that wouldn't be very nice, now would it? The last person to mess with me earned their pecking. ...They did not seem displeased with it, however. Master says that my lack of beak caused it to actually be pleasant and that I should use my forehead and aim for the part that smells next time. I'm not quite sure why I would wish to peck their rear, but I will gladly do so."
You blink rapidly again, what with her saying all of that rather quickly. In the time it takes you to digest that and come up with a response, she begins her oral preening again. "Who-" Once more she hops away, however you don't pause. "-is this "Master" you speak of?"
Blinking twice and returning to a relaxed stance, she replies, "Why, the one that owns me, of course."
This causes the taller Tokiko to peer at us from over her shoulder.
You notice her lickety-split. "Ohh, hello... ...me."
The smaller Tokiko rapidly jerks her head back and forth between the two of you twice. "You two look oddly similar. Are you of the same clutch? I have read of twins. Are you twins? You quite look like twins, and that fascinates me. I've never met twins before."
Sitting up, the taller bird replies, "Well, perhaps we are of the same clutch, but in whose are we?"
Smallkiko cocks her head. "The one whose clutch we are in, obviously. However, I wonder how we are in their clutch if we don't know them? Perhaps separation at birth. I read of such a phenomena in a book some time ago."
Tallkiko nods. "A valid option. Perhaps it is our long lost sister whom was abandoned as an egg. ...But there is one issue with that; I didn't come from an egg. Well, that isn't right; I didn't come from an egg that was vigorously pushed out of a cloaca."
She blinks. "Then where did you come from?"
"A library full of useless books."
"But books have many uses! The ones that do not have any use can be traded for other books! As can the books you have read! This is a very nice system and I like it very much."
"Ahh, but therein lies the problem; what value have books when you cannot read?"
"But I can read! ...Well, technically. I recently learned that word, and quite like it. Technically as in I technically cannot read."
The tall one looked interested at this. "Ohh? Tell me more."
"Well, I merely have an innate ability to translate, as I have been told. Master told me as such, so it must
"But what does it translate to if you cannot read?"
"Why, words that I can read!"
"But you cannot read words."
"Well, these words I can read. At least I call them words. I'm not sure what else to call them."
You feel a headache coming on.
"No, pictures are pictures, not words."
"No, that sounds more complicated and like it would damage the book."
Is this really what a conversation with yourself would sound like?
"...Perhaps. What are those?"
"The numerals of the Romans, of course."
"Hrm... They do
have an odd Roman feeling to them at times."
"Perhaps they translate to things your inferior brain might understand, or simply pure knowledge."
...Maybe if you were insane.
"Are you perhaps capable of extending such an ability to others?"
"I have what has been called an aura of translation. So long as I am near, others can-"
And so Tallkiko picked up the smaller girl, whom let out quite the sound, making your head spin as the larger bird began sprinting over to the bookshelf. The smaller one looked extremely
uncomfortable with this level of contact.
You sigh, shaking your head. "Be sure to not touch the book near the top about trap doors and boobie traps; I think it's some elaborate trap, and have a sinking feeling that it has to do with chocolate."
Her hand stopping right in front of said book, the tall one replied, "Chocolate, you say? I'm not sure if I would enjoy a chocolate trap. Perhaps vanilla. Or butter. Or splinters." She proceeded to instead pick up the 18 inch thick book about chocolate bastard swords or whatever it was about.
You walk over to the uncomfortable little bird and the extremely pleased larger bird who had the former in her lap, asking, "Why on earth do you need her power? Can you not read?"
The smaller one let out an uncomfortable peep, her personal space thoroughly violated, while the larger one rapidly scanned page after page. It was the large one to speak up. "Why, no, I cannot. This was stated."
You raise a brow. "And why have you not tried to learn, if such a thing is true? You seem very interested in such things."
"Why, a rather nasty bug took it from me."
You immediately flap your wings as hard as you can, tumbling away from her.
Yep, you definitely dislocated your wing in some place when you got up.
She spares a moment to glance at you. "It's not contagious." She went back to reading.
You glare daggers at her. "Say that sooner!"
"You flung yourself away at high speeds the moment I stated this."
Well, she has you there. "...How do you know this for sure?"
She eyes you oddly. "I watched you do so."
You blink, before sighing when you begin to understand the way she chose to interpret that. "How can you be so sure that it isn't contagious?"
She doesn't look up, nor does she pause. "I have been quite intimate with my lovers since then. They are quite capable of reading and have not paused in their capabilities nor slowed down. ...They never would share what they read, however. The least they could do is read it aloud for me. I would be quite interested in the things stored in those musty old tomes."
You frown, feeling a bit sad for her, as her lovers obviously don't care for her.
At the same time, the smaller bird continually lets out little nervous peeps.
 Write-in >>187148
I never said I wasn't
intending it to be silly. Merely that it would have been predominantly serious.
Or a good bit serious.
Okay, fine, it would have just had its moment. But then, I suppose a wonton mixture of dark and lighthearted humor is
my typical modus operandi.
That, and a lack of any real effort towards making more than a destination in my writing before doing so!
You'd be surprised how well that works.