The New World

by Misti Stanton

"And, what diseases did you have as a child?"This is the upteenth time I've been asked this question. No matter what I answer the next question will be about my mother's health during her pregnancy."Did your mother take any medications while she was pregnant?"See, I told ya. These questions will go on for another ten minutes. Then the kind looking man in the white coat will finally leave the room after giving me a reassuring pat on the shoulder. And, that is time I truly look forward to now. Being in this white room may be a bleak existence, but it is so much easier to be in here alone, then to keep getting visits from them."Okay, thank you for your time today." He says in that sympathetic tone that just sounds condescending after weeks in this sterile room. "Are you going to eat lunch in your room again today?""Yes sir.""If you insist. We are going to take a full body scan tomorrow, just relax today." And here comes the pat, the look, and finally the exit. I can now relax and bury myself in a book. Always a book written more then a year ago, never a magazine or newspaper, no current events, that is my demand. I do everything they ask as long as I don't have to see all the lucky people out there being normal and happy. Seriously, who wouldn't be happy soaring over the world, seeing the beauty of nature from a mile up in the air, lucky them. Being stuck down here in the filth, with the garbage and the vermin, that is truly hell.So, being in this clean room, six stories up is my silver lining. Now, if they could just find me a doctor that is willing to hide his wings better I could really be happy.I try not to think about that day 13 months ago when the world changed, when evolution slammed into over-drive and sent the humans into the sky. There I was, sitting on my couch flipping channels and on every channel people are flying. Old people, kids, fat, thin, all races, religions, nationalities, the rich, the homeless all of them. So, I run outside and there they all are, my neighbors, strangers, everybody, high up in the air, soaring, diving, barrel rolls. I look around me on the dirty ground and it's just me and a group of dogs barking at the strange new birds.I'm not saying that I deserved the coveted two toned soft feathered full body wings that the fashion folk say are the most beautiful. I'd settle for the smaller flesh covered wings that have limited height, but still allow fast flight. But, no, I got nothing, my back is a smooth as the day I was born.I couldn't find a job, I lost my apartment, my love life was finished, I had no options. Then, I was scooped up off the street by the men in white coats. I was poked and prodded, given intelligence tests, motor skills, psychological, all of them. At first I fought hard against them, demanded my freedom, yelled for a lawyer, ripped up their tests, spat in their faces.Then one day I was watching the news and saw a story about a wild group of non-winged humans that were destroying stores, stealing cars, attempting to rip people's wings off, it was terrifying and violent, and I knew exactly how they felt.That is when I decided that I wasn't going to fight anymore. I negotiated with the doctors that they would hide their wings, give me all the books I want and would only require me to "socialize" (meaning be tested alongside) with others like me.I realize that maybe the ones on the street are possibly more brave than I, they will stop rioting and fight for some kind of forced equality, maybe one them will invent a way for them to fly as well, heck maybe they will form their own utopian society. I don't have all the answers, but here in this hospital I am free from bullying and the pitying looks, here I am safe and fed, that will do for now.

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