by Andrew Z.


A 1000 word piece about hope, freedom, and truly dreaming. Escape your life.

  Tick....tock....tick....tock... goes my grandmother's old clock as I lie awake, enveloped in a blanket of blackness alone in my bedroom. It's been a long week, work's been slow all week, haven't spoken to my family in days, but it's 11:07 Friday night so none of that matters right now. I let my mind wander, reminiscing over my childhood and heart breaks of my teenage years as my eyelids slowly shut.

   I awake with a start as I find myself hurtling towards the gray sidewalk as the cool March air whips past my face under the glow of a full moon. I take a deep breath, shut my eyes once more and a moment before I hit the ground I am whisked upwards. I chuckle to myself as I soar towards the stars, although not the first time I find myself spreading my wide, snow-white, wings it always terrifies me. Putting aside my momentary petrification I decide to take advantage of the night.

   Gliding up amongst the clouds I look down upon the cityscape that I've called home for the past three years, heading towards the oh so familiar suburbs. I watch as the tall monuments of steel and glass slowly shrink and become smaller townhouses and dark green shrubbery peeking out between the melting snow, marking the end of another winter. A smile crosses my face as I float by the streetlights that from this height seem to be dancing underneath me like tens of warm yellow fireflies. That's when I spot it, my old high school, millions of memories instantly overwhelming my tired mind, hundreds of faces swirling around my mind. My heart leaps and drops at least ten times in the span of a moment of memories.

   I decide to drop down and sit on the familiar roof of a building that has taken so many years of my life. My naked feet dangle off the edge of the building as I stare into the expanse of this universe and let it stare back, deeply, into my soul. I have nothing to hide, not anymore. There were times when I ran, times when I would hide, times when I held on oh so tight, but that has all changed. As most do, crashing up against the rocks in the river of time. I am suddenly overcome with a tinge of longing, feeling alone, again. Forgotten by all, all except the moon. It sits up there amongst the stars, waiting for a warm embrace, but one that cannot occur from such a distance.

   I lie back and close my eyes as I rest my back against the cold roofing of the school. Becoming completely absorbed in the moment, I inhale, the cool night air filling my lungs, holding it in for a few seconds, then release. My warm air traveling off into the night sky. It was then that I saw it, a glowing ball shooting across the horizon, leaving behind a trail of stardust. I leap to my feet, turn around and begin running towards the edge of the building, my strides quickly transforming from long and careful to small and carefree. I reach the edge and leap off into the thick blackness of the night. My hair flying behind my head I tense my back and shoot off upwards. Trading my view of an abandoned parking lot for thousands of twinkling stars.

   The shooting star within sight I give chase, but as the minutes pass by I begin to realize that the closer I feel, the farther the comet seems to be. Determined to reach the glowing object hurtling across the sky I pick up my pace, my tired wings working vigorously in pursuit of the object. More minutes pass, fatigue begins setting in, but as I'm about to give up I notice a small silver object fall from the larger. Realizing tonight is not the night to catch the shooting star I set my targets on the smaller object, that seems to be gently floating down through the air. My determination flares one last time as I dive towards to object, the air cool whipping by my face as I snatch it out of the air. I hover for a moment to examine my treasure. I discover it to be a beautiful silver feather, reflecting the glow of the moon as it disappears behind the clouds. I clutch the feather in my hand as I glide off in the direction of the ocean.

   I reach it within minutes, picking up speed as I become level with it, letting my wings tear into it's salty body, which is surprisingly calm. Continuing off on my journey I notice the shooting star once more, except this time it heads directly for the clouded horizon, bursts through the wall of gray, releasing a splash of warm morning sun onto the blue backdrop of the expansive sea. Filled with new vigor I stare up into the sky and blast off towards the heavens, smashing through the clouds I slow down. Admiring a sight so few will ever indulge in I wrap my wings around my body and let gravity take control of me, pulling my violently towards the waves, I don't tense up, accepting my fate I open my eyes until the moment my body crashes is enveloped in an infinite salty blue.

   My eyes shoot open, I'm sitting up in my bed, turn and face the clock it reads 12:47. I turn towards the open window, the curtains fluttering as they flap, allowing a draft into my comfortable cocoon. I get up, stumble towards it and slam it shut, trudge back towards my sheets that've never looked so inviting in my entire life. I curl up beneath the covers and realize my hand has been in a tight fist since I awoke. I loosen my grip to reveal a silver feather, that seems gleam in the darkness of my room, and hope fills me.

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