Thursday October 30th, 2014

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: wings.

If you're wondering why this is getting posted so late... so am I.

As best I can figure out, I fell asleep last night on the couch and woke up to a black screen. Instead of realizing that the computer was in sleep mode, I thought it had been powered off. Which meant it was time for bed.

I guess?

Anyway. I should get this written up so I can go help build the horse fence in the rain.


The graveyard is nearly deserted as I make my way between the crumbling and faded headstones. Soft voices carry through the twilight, originating from somewhere to my right. I think. Sound travels along strange pathways here.

Overhead the clouds are heavy with impending rain while ravens with midnight feathers move from tree to tree in eerie silence. I've never heard those birds be so quiet, and I don't care for it.

It takes longer than I would have liked, but I eventually find the grave that I'm looking for. Tucked into the northeast corner of the property and edged on two sides by towering walls covered by moss, it's hard to imagine this spot sees much foot traffic. The lack of flowers on the surrounding sites seems to confirm this.

And yet.

I move closer, careful to avoid stepping where logic tells me the body was buried. Mostly out of respect, and only a little bit out of superstition. The headstone is a small one but the details are intricate and finely done. The family obviously could not afford much but they had paid their utmost for a dignified marker.

So who, I wonder with teeth threatening to grind each other to dust, had decided to break these little angel wings?


Greg said...

Well, you falling asleep and then deciding to go to bed is fine by me; I always worry slightly that something worse has happened :) I hope you slept well too!
Wow, slightly creepy, very suitable for Hallowe'en (which it is here at least!), and the last line is an interesting puzzle. Who would break the wings of a grave-marker?

When morning came and the sun rose the Devil was perched upon it, huge and red in the sky, jabbing it with it a burning pitchfork. He was laughing to himself, perhaps amused by his attempts to destroy mankind's source of light (for of course he had been cast out of God's light all those aeons back), and his eyes glittered with the supernova deaths of a thousand other suns. We turned away, we pretended that there wasn't a vast, horned shadow overlying us, and the braver amongst us prayed for clouds.
Elizabeth muttered a prayer as quickly as she could before she addressed the crowd in the bar, pointing out that this was puerile Christian imagery. There was a muttering of anger and disapproval as she continued to point out that the other big monotheistic religions didn't go in for such childish interpretations of the scriptures. But right before they turned truly ugly and tried to lynch her, she grew wings.
Huge, white, soft-feathered wings burst from her shoulders, a spatter of blood, skin and bone fragments from her shoulders striking the wall behind her. I saw her eyes go blank with the pain of it all, but the crowd just saw a nimbus of light around her and huge wings beating in time with an unheard heartbeat and believed that an angel had arrived. The prayers and desperate howls that they might be saved as well was deafening, and I retreated from the bar to the streets outside, where the Devil-ridden sun was slowly sinking towards the horizon. There might have been dark spots on it now where the Devil stabbed at it still.
Gently I unfurled my own wings, invisible electromagnetic fields that gripped the electric and magnetic currents that surrounded the Earth and protected it from the predations of cosmic rays, and lifted myself upwards until the air was cold enough to make me shiver and people looking up would assume I was a stealth aircraft of some unusual shape. I turned away from the Devil and his solar steed and accelerated towards the night and the rest of my kind, convinced that this world was not worth saving.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I've never managed to go to bed without posting, other than due to a non-working internet connection. First time for everything, I suppose.

That opening image is fantastic, and I like the way you come back to it at the end with the mention of the dark spots.

An intriguing ending as well. I wonder who the rest of his kind are, and where they might be...