As you may have heard before about the depressing story of the ugly duckling, all of it is untrue. It is a cover-up of my failed mission told by my handler. I was assigned to investigate the case of bird disappearances in the Denmark Duck Region and resolve it. However due to the tight security I had to infiltrate as an egg with the help of one of the cooperative residents, Mr. Webb, whose wife was coincidently hatching ducklings.
When I emerged from the shell my mission began as I found myself surrounded by five pairs of curious beady black eyes. I thought my cover was already blown when Mrs. Webb stared intently at me for an awkward three minutes; however she still took me in despite of my different looks. I looked around for Mr. Webb to thank him for his help, but he was nowhere to be found.
Mrs. Webb quickly taught me the basics of swimming. I purposely misled her and my fellow ‘siblings’ to think that I am a terrible swimmer so that I can carefully observe the other residents of the lake, but little did I know that she led me to a trap. She was going to turn me in.
“All bow down before thy Queen” a duck quacked. I slowly bowed my head. In that moment I realized that was Mr. Webb speaking.
“Mr. We-” I cried out. Before I could finish, he flew forward and silenced me.
“Don’t say a word,” he whispered.
“Alfred, do you know that ugly, disgusting creature?” the Queen questioned.
“No, your highness,” he said as he turned back.
After being interrogated and tortured about my existence, I was locked up in a cell. Days passed and my mission wasn’t progressing. Looking at the full moon one night, I heard a footsteps approaching.
“Hey, are you done playing around? I knew this was a bad idea. Go home,” the black shadow tossed me a pair of keys.
“Who are you, and why are you helping me?” I asked as I fumbled with the keys. Stepping out into the light, he revealed himself,
“Just call me Rick.”
It was Mr. Webb who was Alfred, who is now, Rick? What? My head was spinning.
“My mission isn’t over yet,” I quacked.
“No, this has become far too dangerous. I can handle this by myself. Go home just follow the pink blossoms,” He said as he turned back and disappeared into the darkness.
After escaping, I camped out near the river contemplating whether I should continue or go back. Before I could make a decision something whizzed through the air. I peered through the brush I was hiding in. Mrs. Webb was collapsed on the ground, surrounded by a sea of red. I stood there in shock. Coming back to my senses I realized that Rick was right, this mission was far too dangerous for me. Call me a chicken all you want, but I’m not staying any longer.
Leaving them, I began on my journey back home in search of the pink blossoms. The weather grew colder and I could barely feel my legs. After walking miles my vision became a blur. I swayed back and forth while my eyes wandered, trying to keep myself awake. However my resistance was all in vain as I collapsed onto the white snow. When I woke up, I found myself in an unknown environment. Upon my awakening, children screamed waving their pudgy fingers toward me. Alarmed, I ran towards the door and escaped the giant’s lair.
The climate grew warmer and my disguise wore off as white feathers emerged from the grey. Walking aimlessly, I caught sight of the pink apple blossoms. I stretched out my wings and flew for the first time. Flying overhead, I glanced downwards and saw my handler. After landing into the water I quickly swam towards him and told him the news about being sent back by Rick. He just shook his head in disappointment, and told me that I was supposed to be his back up.
I was labeled as a failure, and Rick died a hero. During my journey back the Queen suspected my infiltration; therefore contacted the Denmark Swan Region but my story was just written off as a lost swan duckling.
© Michelle Wang
Bio: Michelle Wang is a student who is part of the creative writing community at Cerritos High School. Her inspiration comes from imagination with experience. Having written most of her works fictionally, writing a bio, is not her forte.