She’d never understood how she could be in a room full of people and feel so alone. There were conversations going on all around her, but it was as if she were watching a show on humanity. The people in the room were puppets, inept beings pulled along by a cosmic string with painted on smiles.
It was a slap to her subconscious. Each obnoxious and insincere “Do I know you?” like sandpaper against her skin.
Without hesitation she would recount the story of how she had come with friends, pointing vaguely across the room to acknowledge someone before excusing herself and slipping back into the crowd until the voices flowed around her as if she were a stone in the cascading waters of life.
The idea of sprouting wings to fly from the room took root as she sipped her drink and closed her eyes. In her imagination, the scratching bones of the unfurling wings began to poke through the flesh on her back, just to the side of the tender skin that rested between her shoulder blades.
When the pain surged across her back, she sighed and bit into her bottom lip hard enough to taste blood. There was no surprise later when she felt the twinges of her muscles as the feathers began to poke through, all harsh angles and needle sharp pain.
I want to rise out of this existence. She thought as the wings broke through and unfurled like downy flags. Tremors shook her as she stretched her newly formed limbs, testing them for strength.
There was a soft whoosh as they beat through the air, and then silence.
When she opened her eyes she saw the world was paused, as if time had been fractured and frozen. The jigsaw pieces were still in place, their jagged bonds now visible.
She reached out to touch one of these silvery lines and gasped as it snaked out and wrapped itself around her finger and trailed down her arm, sending pulses of power into her newly formed appendages.
You’ve always known we were here. It whispered in a voice comprised of a thousand humming insects.
Nodding, she pulled her wings around her and then beat them down once, twice, three times before rising into the air. Then the spell lifted and the screaming started, the shrill voices joining in a disjointed chord before rising up to greet her.
As she flew toward the window she watched them scurry along, their figures shrinking back into obscurity. Shards of glass cascaded over her body, shredding her dress and causing small rivulets of blood to flow over her skin and fall through the night like crimson rain.
The wings propelled her forward, carrying her farther into the sky until the air thinned and the particles of the universe reached out to brush against her flesh and welcome her home.