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The young girl expanded her virgin wings.

Raven feathers of ink and soot spread out several metres to each side of her fresh, pale skin.

In the mirror, her hair curled and smudged dark, her eyebrows forming thick, bushy feathers. Nails were sharpened and grew to a rotten, murky grape. Even her eyes formed a shade of dusky merlot.

She motioned to stand up, but alas, those legs of hers had grown weak and fragile. Years of being confined to a wheelchair had rendered her legs ineffective, unusable weights. But that did not matter anymore, she had new legs. And they were beautiful.

She shuffled on her sore bottom, through the worm-eaten doorway and outside into the darkness.

The world was cold, rendering her breathless. When had she last been outside? Many years ago.

A barking from over the fence startled her, sending her plummeting up into the air with the beat of a thousand feathers. The clouds watered her eyes, obscured her newfound vision of the world.

She was so terrified, she stopped beating her wings, collapsing onto a neighbour’s roof with a resounding bang. The lights turned on, a gruff voice shouting expletives from the bedroom, followed by a gunshot.

*

So her first experience with flight hadn’t gone so well. She delicately clambered down from the house, before clawing her way back inside.

It had taken her several days to build up her courage, but she eventually felt it time to return outside. Her feathers had grown lifeless and grey whilst she remained inside, fingering yellowed pages of novels and peeling back the wallpaper in the lustrous mansion.

This time would be different, she silently determined.

And so she flew.

*

As days turned to weeks, she learnt how to best make use of her skill.

The timid girl soon developed into an illustrious phoenix, soaring up above, sat upon towering flats and watching the people below having drunken brawls and exchanging bodily fluids behind an ill-placed bush.

She did not understand many things, even the words the people below exclaimed as they drunkenly ran through the streets. Being shut in alone for fifteen years did tend to rend one socially awkward.

Our poor heroine did not even notice when her feathered kin flew away in droves, flocking somewhere safe, away from the mulberry clouds approaching from the West. Even those few resigned onto the ground would grumble and moan, as they fled inside to shelter, calling their children’s names in palpitating voices.

In fact, it was simply too late by the time our protagonist was aware of the oncoming storm. Flying back home amidst the pounding rain and moissanite hail, it took only one mere lightning bolt to send her plummeting downwards.

*

The exceedingly handsome young man was immensely surprised to discover a literal angel in his garden when he woke up the following morning, after his customary cup of tea.

He proceeded to poke her wings for several seconds, on the damp grass. They were lustrous and softer even than her reddened skin. But it worried him how her wings were such a dark, midnight blue. She was so beautiful, as he was told all angels were, and yet she was so oppressive and foreboding. He had learnt at church of those sultry vixens with shadowy wings from hell, those liberated women who must be destroyed, before they steal your heart and trap you in the underworld for the remainder of your days.

But thankfully for our sweet protagonist, this boy was simply too besotted to care.

She was breathing, heavily at that, so he brought her inside and placed her onto the sofa.

Her ragged clothing had been almost completed destroyed during the storm, and the young man was simply unable to control his lingering eyes as they traced over her still-forming figure.

But still, he had learnt that lust was an unforgivable sin. He went upstairs, fetching his softest blanket, placing it over her luscious body, his hands lingering over her tear-drop shoulders.

Yes, he would decide what to do about her after his classes, he thought, finishing his cup of tea.


 

This idea came about after reading the manga Black Bird, which was a really good series at first, but then quickly went crappy, in my opinion at least. But I like the idea of a girl with birds wings, rather than the stereotypical angel wings I wrote about not too long ago in my short story Fraudulent.

Want to read the rest of my Gothic series For I am no Lover of Lilies? Read it here!

Or you can have a nosy at all my fiction over here.

Copyright © 2016 Rebecca Sherratt

 

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