WINGS - a short story

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WINGS - a short story

Postby amity » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:37 am


I climb the steps in the cliff to the seat at the top, overlooking the bay, where we always sat. No ordinary seat, this, but a flat rock, weather worn and smooth, cold in the winter and warm as silk in the summer sun.

It had been our seat since we were children, escaping from our parents to climb the hill onto the cliff top, to watch the gulls circling on the thermals over the water.

We came on our last day at school, to toss our schoolbooks out over the edge, into the wind where the torn pages climbed like ragged wings into a clear blue sky, and we came late that winter when his mother died, to sit in silence, with our fingers linked so tightly that it was hard to tell where his hand ended and mine began.

That was how it all started. He was like a big brother, guardian angel and best friend, all rolled into one, and over the years the friendship turned into love. We spent long hours talking of the future, our college plans, a house overlooking the sea, a dog, a car, all the things that young people talk and dream of. When we were alone, I watched him sleep, long hair trailing over the pillow, smooth skin and the face of a fallen angel. He reminded me of those pictures you see in big art shops, of pre raphaelite warrior angels with stern faces and huge folded wings like swans, and I watched him, as if by watching, I could imprint him in my memory forever.

Part 2

He went away to University and I started at the local art college, and the letters flew back and forth between us like winged birds, carrying our news. Letters full of love and hope, that I read on the stone seat with the gulls calling overhead, and a picture of him in my mind.

He came home that first Christmas, but he was quieter, and our conversations seemed distant. He tossed restlessly in bed and the muscles down his spine twitched as if he was flying in his dreams. Sometimes I would wake to find his arm round me and his hand in mine, as if he were holding on to safety, like a lifeline.

The letters still flew, but less often now, and he talked of exams and nights spent in the pub with his friends, but never of the future. He came home aagain at Easter, and after a couple of days, he called to see me. We walked up onto the cliff as we always did, and sat on the stone. The weather was cold and windy and the sound of the waves at the foot of the cliff almost drowned out his voice.


Did I ever want more than this, he asked, and he gestured at the bay and the little red houses as if they had become less than he remembered. I tried to remind him of the the things we had spoken about before he went away, and the dreams I thought we shared, but he shrugged his shoulders and slumped down on the rock, hunching inside his long coat. I looked back as I reached the steps and saw him standing at the cliff edge, leaning into the wind as if he would take wing and leave me behind, and I left him there, not knowing what I could say to make things right.
He would come and find me when he was in a better mood, running down my street, feet hardly touching the ground as if he would launch himself into the air to get to me faster.

I never saw him again. He failed to return to University and his father reported him missing, but he was never found.There were lots of rumours about what had happened, but this is a small place and the stories soon stopped. Sometimes I would think that I saw him, just a glimpse in a crowd, but the person would turn, and I would see that it was not him, not even like him. I waited for the post in the hope that he would send me a postcard from some exotic place where the sea whispered on silver sand, but he never did.

In my dreams I see him standing on the cliff edge, hair flying in the wind and his coat billowing open, like some huge black gull ready for flight, but mostly, I remember him in my bed, solemn and sleeping like an angel, the quilt wrapped round him like folded wings.

So I sit on our seat and wait. He wouldn't even recognise me now, so many years have passed, but |I would know him anywhere. People in the village look aside as I pass them on my way to the cliff steps, and some of them think I am mad, but I'm only waiting. I wait for the wild days, when the wind from the sea sounds like the wings of a huge bird. He will come back one day, I know he will. He was my angel, and angels are immortal. And so I wait.
I have written poetry since childhood(most of which went in the bin), but recently started reading at open mike nights at my local. I have just published a (very short) book of 11 poems and have written childrens stories for my grandson, Tyler.
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Postby wilmots » Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:25 am

Hi Amity,

Love your short story Wings. You seem to be having a problem making longer posts, so I have merged your 3 parts.

If you look at other short story posts you will see that some are much longer than yours. Not sure what your length problem is but if a post of your hits a size limit, then maybe try doing a first bit then come back to that post and click EDIT to add more ? OR if you already have the story in eg Word, then Copy the whole and when you want to post Paste it ?
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