Sunday, 16 February 2014

Trying To Fly (flash fiction)

What people don't realise is that every time I die, I feel it.

Every time I fall and slam into the ground, I feel it. Every time the person guiding me misjudges a gap, I feel it. Even my fat bones feel it as they snap into my insides. The one merciful thing is that, each time, it is fast.

Most of the time, I'm dead longer than I'm alive. The amount of time it takes me to start over again and their hands (whether it's the same person or a new one) assume control is sometimes longer than it takes them to drop me on the ground like they don't care or slam me, beak first into one of those green pipes.

I look at other birds, sometimes. With their working bodies, their normally shaped beaks. I envy them. They don't need help to fly. They soar. I flap when I'm told to and then I fall.

Whatever I did to deserve this punishment, I've surely paid by now. Each time, I put my frail, useless wings into someone else's hands and each time, I trust. Stupidly, I trust, like I've forgotten every time before.

It never hurts less. It never gets easier.

But I never stop looking at the sky and looking to escape.

One day, someone will take control and it will be beautiful. I will be in their hands. I imagine a young girl, who has never played before and she's a natural at it and she was made to do this in the same way that I was, and I will forget all of the pain as her presses make my useless flappy wings into something that have the motion and form of poetry as I make my way unerringly through the gaps, my ungainly bounce turned into a steady beat.

One more time, I feel it all start again, my broken bones and shattered beak restored, and from the sureness of the first touch, I feel that she has finally come for me.

My wings feel like they work for the first time as she takes control.

I push them, stubby as they are, against the weight of the air underneath and I close my eyes and she does not steer me wrong.

I fly.

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