Jamaica Gleaner / A boy, not unlike them, an Ethilian born of the feathers of the great goddess, yet …
What was he? An anomaly?
An abomination. A male child with a girl’s wings. White, the colour … the colour …
They held him down and searched his privates, these boys older, stronger, fiercer than him. They had the wings of black the colour a boy’s should be. Their might seemed to come from there, a man’s force as they pushed him and beat him. And when he could bear no more beatings … as much as he could, he stayed away from them.
He flew to the mountain where no one would think to search for him; it was a place of humans. That was where they lived. But no. Not anymore. There were no humans there, he’d found this out when he retreated there to hide and from then on kept it as his hiding place. But on this night when a full moon lit the green a pale hue and he was hidden well beneath the trees and shadow, he saw her. Having been so on edge that the boys might find him, he thought at first it might have been one of them, but it was smaller than any of them and slender, and seemed to flit across the ground like a bird running. Odd, since it should fly.
He began to think it was his imagination, but he blinked and the shadow moved into view near the edge of the mountain. And then, just for a moment, she stopped and stood as still and straight as one of the trees about them. That’s when he saw her, all of her, the small face, burnished brown locks, her pink lips and eyes, sad, big, glistening, beautiful … and tears. She didn’t see him. If she had perhaps she wouldn’t have tried for she looked about the darkness to be sure that no one was there, then jumped from the mountain, tossed herself off the edge like one does a thing discarded. He did not hesitate not for a second for he knew a human the moment he saw her. She couldn’t fly.
The mountain was not so high, there would be only two more seconds before she died. He was swift. His wings shot out and feathers burst into the night and he dived, catching her well before she could hit the ground. She was so light, but as he flew back to the top with her in hand feathers still floating down after him he grew weary of her stiffness against his chest.
The only movement he felt at all was her frantic gasping and the rapid beating of her heart that shook her body. He set her down well away from the edge, looking her over, assessing her state, eyes flicking to and from every part of her, wondering why she had done it. It troubled him and he grimaced, then his breath caught. So pretty, he thought.
Were all humans this way? How could he have known? This was his first time seeing one up close. At least she would be safe there were he’d placed her to sit so long as she stayed. Then he froze, realising her eyes were on him. She was gaping up at him, the moonlight falling into her eyes beams unto mirrors almost blinding him …
No, he thought. She was staring at the wings arched above him. No, no, he thought, don’t look at them. THWIP!
He pulled them in, into his back and beneath his skin. Hid them, the wings of a girl, from her eyes. Shame shrank him as he backed away to the mountain’s edge, and there he rested back as if there were a bed to fall upon and fell.
She screamed and rushed with searching eyes to the edge. But saw nothing and only heard the thud, flap, flap, of wings until the sound shrank into the distance. She stared wide-eyed into the darkness, for no part of her could believe it, not her skin that had felt him, silken, nor her eyes that had seen him. She had climbed the forbidden mountain to kill herself, but the black night had leaked an inked boy, in only a loin cloth, dreadlocks to his chest and eyes exactly as the stars, who had saved her life.
The darkness, not only of the night, but in her soul, had recoiled from the pure, iridescent, bright of his massive white wings. An indescribable brilliance warmed her and the cold night air ceased to exist. Her former thoughts and reason for being there vanished, she wanted now to live so much that it pained. Her eyes had passed into another plain when she saw him. A boy … that beautiful … my God, she thought.
“They’re real!” The gasp escaped her as she still could not stop staring off into the darkness to catch one last glimpse of him somehow. Ethilians were real,” she breathed again. Since she was four years old she had been told stories, now it was thirteen years later and she was old enough to know that no such thing could exist. But yet she had seen one with her own two eyes, touched one. And he had looked right into her.
As she remained for a long while stilled by the sight of such a beguiling boy, she could have no space in her mind to consider that he was, as he flew back to his sky home, thinking of her. Of the girl with eyes like the crystallised surface of the moon with water trapped inside now pouring out unto the unsuspecting town below to drown them in liquid only seen by those who dare to travel to exotic planets.
A human. Small, slight and frail all over, he suddenly grew more weary of the wind’s strength, for what if it blew her from the mountain? For a moment his wings quivered and tilted as if to change direction, return to her, but …
“No. I am the master here,” he murmured to his wings as if they could hear him. And he half felt they could, since they seemed to have a mind of their own. He closed his eyes and savoured what parts of her he had trapped in his senses. She had smelt so sweet. Her fragrance, what was that? It had risen through his nostrils to his head, dazed him and spiked his blood.
He inhaled, deep, to remember it again, but at the same time feared that the night air might erase it from his mind.
He should never have gone there to hide, else he would still be in possession of his whole heart. For he could feel distinctly the pain that a piece had been left hidden with that girl there on the mountain. But, he would not go back … he could not go back. For a human that captivating could never want a boy with a girl’s wings.
Inspired by: Guard Me Book Two: Wingless /The Guard Me Serials
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