Aluminum Wings

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A girl and the future.

Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Green salt water crashed upon the rocks at night.  The torches of the false angels, all standing on the face of the cliff made it seem like they were floating.  They wore white gowns and aluminum wings made of scrap metal from the dusty roads of the small island.  She kept her hands in her sweater as the acrid wind blew her dark hair upwards.  She stared as the ritual reached its second hour.  Her milky skinned face kindled as she stood on the lonely cliff beside them.  Old men spoke about her in the nearest restaurant.  She was visiting the island with her brother.  He was a writer for a major magazine.  He brought her along to keep her away from her perdition and her work.  Under her nails she kept the dark acrylic chunks of what she had been slaving over for the last two years.  Something she had shown no one and never talked about.  Her brother had kindly asked her to leave the hotel room they shared, without her knowing he had bought heroin and friendly company for the twilight.  She did not protest, instead she decided to walk the witching hour alone.  Hoping maybe to find a hunched over old woman, with knowledge of chicken blood and sea shells.

 

As she froze in time, enjoying every flicker of the thirty something torches being held by the celestial characters, a green arm came from the water below them.  A man covered in seaweed with tan skin climbed the hard rock stronghold.  In his teeth he carried a knife.  His tanned legs and arms blended nicely with the fire lit boulders.  Although she did not appreciate the mans intrusion in the picturesque ceremony, she related deeply with his struggle upon the hard surface.  She lay down on her stomach and watched through the tall flowers the mans ascension.  He reached one of the angels and began cutting off its shiny device of flight.  When finally detached from the angels body, he kicked the weeping man off the cliff and yelled something in another language.  As he reached another spirit, his leg gave way and his balance faltered.  Boisterous groans came from him as he found new placement for his feet on the ledges.  He strapped on the wings and began cutting off another pair.  His leg dripping red beads down to his feet.  He strapped on those wings as well, kicking off another weeping man towards the water.  She looked down to see what they did when they crashed into the green abyss.  She saw no gowns, no bodies, just black snakes gasping for air then diving down into nothingness.

 

The man collected four pair of wings before reaching the top and falling to his knees.  She was inclined to speak with him, but she knew they would never understand each other.  Instead she followed him as he walked into the forest next to the yellow glowing restaurant.  She stayed away enough to not be noticed, but close enough to know what purple trees to follow.  She heard the leaves sing, felt the ghosts brush her hair, avoided traps set by hunters and all this under the dim blue light of the moon.  She imagined where he was going.  She fabricated a small tent, enough for him to sleep in.  Dead animals hanging from low branches and the smell of graveyard exploration perfumed her mind.  He was probably going to kill her if he ever knew she was following him.  But she was too far into the forest, too far to turn back, too far to relearn the smell of cars and the humming of neon signs.

 

The trees led to a clearing.  An open field, with a small home right in the middle.  Enormous creatures ran beside him as he reached the house.  A bonfire lit the little faces of two children, a boy and a girl.  The children hugged the bleeding legs of the man.  He knelt beside them and tied the wings around their chests and shoulders.  They gleefully ran around the fire, making the metal gleam and shimmer like exploding stars.  The creatures played along with the kids, like dogs with scales and long vertical ears.  The man turned to the house and hugged someone wearing a hooded dark gown.  She tried desperately to get a better look at the people, standing with the tips of her toes near a tree.  She could see the mountains over the house, the dirty faces of the children, the different colors on the scales of the creatures but the face of the hooded person seemed shrouded by black bubbles.  She could see long dark hair and pale hands, but nothing else.  The man took off the persons cloak, exposing nude ivory skin.  He placed the wings on the woman and kissed her neck.  They all wore the shiny alloy now.  As she gazed, she suddenly felt like she did not need to see it anymore.  She looked back at the maze of the trees, the uninspiring darkness of it.  She should not have followed the man.  She knew who the woman was now.  She understood why she could not see her face.  With a smile she began her trek back to the yellow restaurant and the few angels that might remain.  A trail of blood made it easier for her to make it back.  She enjoyed the loneliness of the trees more, she swallowed what the spirits whispered, she did not mind if the night lasted forever or if she would be lost.  She knew where the wings would guide her and who she would be.


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