To Take Flight

by Megan Hay


His hands are trembling.

I'm fine, he says. It is a lie. Bitter, poisonous upon his tongue.

He is staring at ink colored feathers, a finger tracing faded burns, healing scars. He is fine, really, he is. 

Flying. It’s what he was born to do.

He glances over the ledge he stands on, ignoring the way his stomach twists, the street rising up to meet him.  He's only thirteen stories up; if he is unable to do this, the fall will certainly hurt but not kill him.

Bare toes dig into stone. He wants to fly, there's no question about it, but fear, that smoky, black beast, paralyzes him.

He looks over the ledge again, takes a deep breath. He hates heights, despises them, hates his wings, loathes them entirely, but he can’t keep letting fear hold him back. Because it’s not hate, but fear. Hate is just easier to accept then the fact that he is so completely, one hundred percent terrified-

What if he falls?

“You’re not alone in this,” she says, stepping up beside him and taking his hand. It’s comforting and warm and everything he needs in this moment.

“I know,” he breathes, remembering he isn’t. He takes a deep breathe, squeezes her hand again.

“They’ll hold you,” she says, voice soft. She always seems to know what he is thinking, perhaps even before he is. “They’re healed; you’ll be fine.”

He flexes his wings out of instinct, glancing over at hers. They are off white, smooth, so completely different from his. “Will you go with me?” he asks finally, voice soft. He can’t do this, not without her. He has never been able to.

“Of course,” she says easily, as if there could be no other possible answer. Perhaps not, at least in her mind. As she speaks, she inches them closer to the edge.

He takes a deep breath, then releases it. He does not give himself any time to truly process what he is doing before he leaps.

A moment of pure terror captures his mind because it’s not working, this was a mistake-

Then the wind catches his wings and he is…


Artist Information:

Author: Megan Hay

Hometown: Dibble

Major: English Education

Minor(s): Creative Writing, French, & History

Year: Junior