Leap of Faith

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A captured fairy dreams of escaping into a wartorn world to have the chance to live freely

I celebrate my nineteenth birthday among a crowd of porcelain dolls. I sing to myself and blow out the candle. The cake was made by the finest baker money could buy. Every year the cake had grown larger, more extravagant. This year I look up at a ten tier, gradient cake brushed with edible gold. Along its side are smooth pearls, intricate filigree filling in any gaps between the gold and beige fondant.

I cut a slice of cake for myself, and for each of the dolls so that the cake wouldn’t feel so out of place. I pitied it. During its making, I wonder if it dreamed of being the center stage for a birthday party of over fifty guests. Maybe it thought it would be celebrating a wedding or the birth of a new baby. Instead, it was left here to rot with a creature whose only true companions are lifeless toys and the occasional blue jay.

In a heap behind me are enough presents to crowd half of my suite. Each of them hiding a request, or past request that has since been updated. Through the years I’d acquired a museum’s worth of phones, televisions, gaming consoles, books, paintings, clothing. You name it I’ve had every version of it.

“Technology changes every year! You must always have the best.” they would write to me on the card they slipped under the cast iron door, scheduled to be replace with steel and set up with face and voice recognition software. I admired my door knobs while I had them.

I took my seat at the window and watched the evergreens swaying in their endless sea. Far beyond them were mountains, cities, probably a raging river and life. Life that could talk and react. I wonder exactly how long it’s been since I’ve heard anyone say a word to me that wasn’t in a song or show. I have endless hours to hear the human voice humming in my ear.

My loneliness has stolen my sleep. My sanity has gone with it. I watch the birds flying overhead and wonder if somehow I could join them. If I flapped my wings as they do, would they remember?

“I am a creature meant to be captured. A wonder meant to be observed and admired far from the horrors of the outside world.” I recall him saying.

I was captured as a baby, they told me, and rescued by the time I was a small child. I remember that enough. I recall the darkness and filth. The pangs of hunger racked my body from dawn to dusk, and far into the night. They saved me from my fate, but not before they robbed me of my wings. Now they hang as little more than decoration.

“I can keep you safe.” was the first thing he said to me.

“You may never leave.” was the last.

I ponder the meaning of life if one is not able to tremble at the rain falling over their skin. To feel the forest between my feet, and smell the wildflowers in bloom. To taste another. To hear their heart beating. To experience the pain and suffering, if only for a moment. Numbness and contentment has bred apathy. It’s roots entwining into every fiber of my being, except for the childish hopefulness in my head. If ever I could fly like the bluejays I swear I will never allow myself to be locked behind any door. I long for the freedom to choose, and with that freedom I welcome the consequence.

The days grow short, and the nights become bitter cold. Echoing in the shadows, I heard the rumble of violence. I could smell the smoke and see war’s lightshow from my window. The evergreens were receding. In the distance I could see small civilizations growing and dying. The bluejays were seldom. My captor’s gifts were even more seldom. I open my window and smell change in the air. The roots loosen their grip and hope finds me. In the distance I can see the city walls. My heart cries for it. So many people. So many voices. So much to learn from another that books and movies could never touch. I can feel their hands over me now.

I could hold back no more. I search my room for rope. I tear down the velvet curtains and fashion them together. My bedding, my clothes, every scarf I’ve ever owned, all of it was laid as sacrifice and thrown from the window. The length never seemed enough. My suite was laid bare and still there would be quite the fall. That is, if I didn’t get caught first.

I waited for shelter of a stormy night before I found the courage to leap from my suite and shimmy down into the whirling wind outside. The fall made my stomach rise into my chest. I felt a rush of terror and glee until my feet collided with the soggy grass. I giggled as my toes wriggled between the blades. My chest felt full of jubilance and I skipped into the darkness. The rain battered my skin. I drank in every drop. I skipped, hopped, twirled, dancing, and let the furied storm crash over me.

I ventured further across the yard until I reached gate and a choice. My mind was already made, yet still I hesitate. The sound of war echoed in the night. Harmonizing with the rolling thunder. I could see the flashes of a battle. Death cries were carried on the wind. My wings trembled, remembering, but unable to flutter. I am a creature meant to be captured. A beautiful creature meant to be observed and admired far from the horrors of the outside world. I looked back. The castle seemed nothing more than a shell. I shivered. There was no life back there, not enough death. A simple, complacent nothingness for all time.

I climbed the gate, my wings lamely flapping against my back. I crawled over and again fell from its side. Pain shot through me. The brush was uneven, coarse and sliced up the bottoms of my feet. Each step was fraught with danger. Left foot hitting an upturned root, right foot stepping down on a jagged rock. I crouched to paw my way through the dark and spare my battered feet any further damage. The forest floor itself was littered with dangers so small only a mouse could see. I trekked on until the storm passed, and dawn brought a red sky.

The forest relented, beyond its borders were ash and death. I could only stare at the rivers of blood. Where once were songbirds, now the dead called. There was still life somewhere beyond this disaster. I could hear them shouting. The gun fire now only sporadic, but ever present. I only needed to pass the valley of the dead. My wings fluttered. I felt them rise and fall on my back. The walk seemed to carry on forever. Bodies were torn, twisted, pouring meat and bone from split skin. The horror was overwhelming. I could feel my own skin splitting. My life seemed as fragile as a petal. I looked above for the bluejay and found instead smoke. Someone called from the forest. I turned and saw them standing with rope, a finger pointed for my chest. They found me to take me back.

I will never go back.

I ran through the valley and into the forest of broken trees. The ash covered the ground like snow, and kicked up the ghosts of the war. I tripped on a helmet, the half-decayed skull rolled up at me in dismay. I shuddered and kept going. I could hear them coming. I must be swift. If only I could fly.

My wings flapped and fluttered, but could do naught to aid me. I could hear them just behind me now. The smoke tightened my throat. My body didn’t have the strength to run any harder. I was drawn to the mountain and climbed its rising peaks. One step at a time. My wings beating against my back with all the strength of a withering flower. Up and up we went until I could go no further.

At last I stood at the precipice. Divided by a crevasse. Below was the raging river of the mountain. Behind was my capture. Before me was possibility. If they caught me now what would become of me? How much longer until there is nothing left of my soul? I turned back to them. They approached, hunched and cooing. I wanted to feel their skin on mine. I knew that would be a grave mistake. I longed for it, even still. I allowed them come nearer. Drawn by their beating hearts. Once they brought me back, they would never touch me again. Maybe, though, if I could make it across I could find someone who would not abandon me, or lock me away.

I stepped back. They moved closer. I had only one choice. This would be my last day, my last moment of being who I am. I only need the courage. My wings fluttered. I turned on my heel and took in my last good breath as I leapt from the crevasse and into my fate.

Submitted: March 23, 2018

© Copyright 2023 ohmygiggles. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Dave Oney

Very nice read. Engaging to the point of compelling. Well done. I wrote a story with a similar ending, but different path to the leap.

Fri, March 23rd, 2018 2:53pm


I appreciate your comment! Thank you very much for taking the time to read it. It made my day

Fri, March 23rd, 2018 7:57am

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