The creaking of the boards right by the stairs, with the sound of the heavy footsteps it propelled him down the ventilation chut. The exhilarating feeling of freefalling was all and more he ever wanted. But he needed to stop before it was to late. A few well placed magic burst against the walls allowed him to somehow managed to stop himself before exit from the chute came up. Catching the edge of the vent, his phalanges strong and gripping the smooth with practiced ease.
Any further down and he would back down in the basement again and would have to work his way up. It would be doable but time consuming and if it's something worse in life, its wasting your time doing stuff you rather not do. He listens. The old humans’ steps are slower this morning. In theory dangling like this wasn’t doable or at least not easy for someone with only bones for hands. He could feel a few drops of his magic cling to his skull, the cap making sure to catch the small liquids before it ran down his face.
Avian started counting the steps, to keep his mind off, the sound they made as they moved towards the staircase. The first step creaked, a slow and broken creak. Shoot he would have to put that on his “Get a look on that” list, Avian thought as he continued to count the time it took for the human to get to the third step. He readied himself and just when the human stepped on the fourth step, a loud groan went up from the step. Allowing Avian to drop down and land with a tremendous sound on the metal. The sound of his boney body hitting the hard metal would have been a big give away to the human. He stopped and listened but the steps continued onward, the human not aware of Avian.
He continues forward as the steps recede up onto the upper levels. Back in the vent he follows the twist and turns on automatic, the path familiar. The house was a big one. Built ages ago and had been made with vents are a way to dispense the air into the different rooms. Avian moved forward until he came upon the ceiling part of the long hallway. The hallway was big, with a high ceiling, with wooden tie beams allowing Avian to traverse the hallway unseen by anyone downstairs. This wasn’t a place for any bitty whos fears of heights most likely would have paralyzed them. Thankfully Avian had grown out of it by now. Do it enough times and it becomes second nature in the end, he thought. He ran over one of the tie beams, reaching a new vent that slanted down. Sliding down he followed it until he reached the vent, above the kitchen door, that also opened up into the kitchen.
The kitchen in a similar fashion to the rest of the house, was big. Avian had heard that once it would have been used by servants and it would have been near impossible to go on supply runs during the day. Instead they’d had to use night time when humans went to sleep and they had only a small timeframe to do the supply run. But well, Avian decided, that must have been a long time ago, before this human lived here.
While the kitchen was still huge, with an enormous open fireplace that was cold and empty. It most likely hadn’t been used for the last several years. Placed at one end of the long room, it was the first thing most people who walked in saw. The long table the second thing to catch one's eye. Was overflowing with stacks upon stacks of newspapers and old flyers. The old human never moved the stacks and had even once screamed at one of the cleaning staff when they tried to move them or even throw them out.
The only part of the kitchen left free of the chaos of leaning towers of newspapers were the stove and the surrounding counters. The human had left behind their breakfast, toast with marmalade and tea with milk. It would be good to take some marmalade back home and a few sugar pieces would be nice to bring back also he thought. But he had to be quick.
He could take the climb down, through the shelve just by the stove and just to his right, but the climb down was not something he found all that interesting. Also the human had been a bit slow today and had left the kitchen nearly 30 min later than usual.
Avian grinned, besides it wasn’t always he got to use the glider. Measuring the distance between himself and the countertop he found he had enough room to do a glide down. Gliding down wasn’t the safest choice, but by far the most fulfilling. If you were careless with the time you had, then you could be spotted gliding through the air. Also if you didn’t have enough room, nor time then the glide would become dangerous.
Using his magic, Avian let his hearing help him pinpoint where the human was at the moment. And for the moment he was doing his business. Avian grimaced and quickly blocked out his senses so as to not get any further information about the humans bowel movements.
Checking his position and his planned landing spot, Avian prepared the glider. Fixing the straps and finding a good place to take off. He gripped the glider and started to fall down.
The rush of the air around him, the rushing sound of the air. The pulse of his soul as he felt the glider wings get caught on air currents and as he soared down he could feel his soul lifting. This was his calling, his whole identity and it was always a treat when he found time to do this. Being tiny didn’t always allow someone to do stuff they wanted to do. His brother would most likely reprimand him for putting himself in danger but the act was always to good to give up.
Landing was done with minimal tripping, no equipment damaged so he counted it as a success. The place he had landed on was just by the stove. One of the tops were holding the teakettle and beyond was the leftover toast with the open marmalade jar. Sticky knifes, old moldy mugs and a buttery mess was spilled across the whole place. Like usual.
Knowing the human would be done soon he took up a position by one of the many mugs lining the countertop. The smell of bacteria growing on old milky tea could make even strong bitties faint, still Avian stayed. The mugs with more mold were more likely not to be moved anytime soon. As he heard heavy footsteps leave the bedroom and go towards the stairs he sought out the nearest exist. No matter what always have an exist ready.
Thankfully the human seemed to be following their routine today, although somehow later than usual. They were moving not towards the kitchen but rounding the stairs and going to the back of the house towards the study. Avian let some time pass before he came out of hiding.
Stepping carefully around the utensils and the used mugs left on the counter, Avian grabbed a piece of toast from the plate, as he continued towards the furthest part of the kitchen counter.
The kitchen had been built to be big and when the first bitties had moved into the house they had built most of the hidden pathways for future bitties to use. One of those were hidden paths, were behind one of the wooden panels right on the kitchen counter. However hiding the path was one of the first important steps and finding the latch, getting a grip on it and then physical lifting the panel loose was always a workout for a lone bitty. But Avian had experience doing this and after some minutes the panel was off and the path open up and showing Avian the lift.
The lift was a work of a master, it had been built to move a lot of stuff, the old tin can used on the lift was big and the mechanics with the ropes and the gears was a steady work but always loud. Avian supposed that back then there had been a lot more bitties living in the house and going on supply runs was always a big affair and done with far more than just one bitty. He was sure there was more lifts around but he’d yet find them and he didn’t want to even imagine how bad of a state they would be in.
When he was younger and went on his first runs with his parents he imagined how the house had looked like, back when there was more bitties around. With all the paths being used, the lifts working and there being someone to help out when needed.
He shook the thoughts away, no time right now. The gears looked ok, a few of the mechanism needed replacing in the future. But he brushed his hands off on his pants and got to work.
Doing supply runs alone wasn’t advised. Before the accident Avian had always done supply runs with at least one of his parents, but the idea of bringing his baby brother along now seemed more scary than anything else.
Also grabbing the supplies they would need for the next two weeks was easy enough by himself. Not even the buttery mess on the counters could slow him down. As he grabbed the items he thought how lucky it was. That he didn’t need to travel to the other side of the kitchen was a blessing he was thankful for everyday.
Soon he was filling the old tin can with some sugarcubes, flour and some salt packets from the latest take away bags. Next was more rope, some tin foil and some double-coated adhesive tape and he even found some new postage stamps his brother would love. He could use the left over glue to fix up that old hole in the wall. The stamps were of a dog and another was of a big cat that apparently came from I.N.D.I.A. He would have to ask his brother to tell him what that word meant.
Everything finished he threw a last glance at the big open jar of marmalade. It wasn’t often it was left open and it had been a long while since they have some sweet stuff. The human was apparently one of the few that didn’t enjoy candy, or sweet things, very much so they rarely brought any home. And the few times they did Avian wouldn’t dare touch them. Not unless he wanted the human to become aware of something odd going on in the house. Never take anything that people would miss or notice go missing.
So grabbing one of the last containers, he filled it with some of the orange marmalade. With the last of the goods placed in the old canister lift, Avian started fixing the panel back into place, when he heard something not right.
The human had left the study and was now coming towards the kitchen.