“Winged” Part 5

Apologies for not posting last Saturday. Shame on me for not having the next part even written. With writing projects coming my way nearly every day, it’s difficult to give time to these little treasures.

With that said, enjoy the continuation of “Winged.”

The morning came with rain. Oddly enough, it did not come with dowsed feelings or wet emotions. Rather, I rose with an interesting sense of clear, clean anticipation. Anticipation of what was up for a wild guess. I rested my chin on the windowsill and watched the droplets individually. They looked happy, and I really don’t know how raindrops can look happy, but they did, somehow. I wanted the rain to continue all day, but it was gone by nine o’clock, and the earth was dry by ten. It seemed what I felt inside could not be in sync with the weather, because it was then that I began to feel wet and dowsed. After some thought I concluded that I felt dowsed with anticipation.

I went downstairs into a clouded and silent kitchen. It was Sunday; my parents would not be awake now. I was relieved because I wasn’t in the mood to put on fake smiles and false accommodations. I walked to the full length window and looked out beyond the porch, beyond the beach, to the waves. They were calm as glass. I started to feel that urge again, the urge to look up and gaze deeply at the sky. I satisfied myself with looking at the horizon, half water, half sky. Unfortunately, that was enough. I flipped the white latch and quietly pushed the sliding door open. My bare feet were like a cat’s; soft, delicate, and yet full of spring. I glided down to the water, my wings ruffling in protest. Even they couldn’t keep me back. My skin touched the chilled sand, and a ripple of cold swept up my legs into my torso.

If I lifted into the air now, I could escape it

Escape. Even the word itself felt so promising. My tan feathered wings began to beat; back and forth, back and forth. I waited for the voice of my mother, the voice of my reason, to tell me to settle down, to ask me, with meaning, what I was doing. First my chest, then my hips, and my knees followed into the air. When my feet left the sand the cold stayed with them, and that’s all that stayed with them. No grey particles, no drops of saltwater, no solidity of earth. I was rising.

And I was rising too fast.

I didn’t know I was rising fast. All I could concentrate on was keeping my weight aloft, keeping my struggling wings beating. I simply ascended vertically, but now I tilted my body forward. I leaned into the wind like I was falling into bed. I spread my arms to keep my balance. I recalled to memory how I saw the gulls do it. Casual, lounging, lying back in the breeze. For just a moment my wings paused, and suddenly I flipped, curling around until I ended up horizontal. My eyes raced down to the ground, and I thought I was going to lurch but instead I remained absolutely still, my wings hung up like a towel to dry. I lifted my face until I saw the horizon again, and I began to follow it. I smiled to myself, thinking how lucky that I was such a skinny girl and likely weighed only about a hundred pounds. I smiled again, because I felt even lighter than that.

Time did not continue. I mean, of course it continued, but not for me. And no matter how much further I went, the horizon and the teasing sun were still as far as they were before. That didn’t matter to me, anyway. I was flying. That’s all I could think. I was flying. Seventeen years and I was flying. It was a very beautiful Sunday morning.

Perfection cannot be forever, and I did not pay attention to how high I was going. Something chilled and ghostly brushed my hand, and as I looked I realized a cloud was passing through me. It wasn’t the fact that I suddenly couldn’t see that made me panic. It was the fact that I was this close to a cloud, that I was touching a cloud, and it overwhelmed me. Then the gust came. I was shot back out into clear air, and for the swiftest, momentous, most beautiful second I saw the sun climbing over the end of the world. Then it was spinning. I couldn’t find the muscles in my back that made my wings move. When you’re falling everything seems to lift out of your body oh so gently, turning you into a puppet and placing you at the mercy of the invisible strings of nature and fate.

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