Today I drank an entire pot of tea, and somehow wrote this odd little piece of writing. I enjoyed it, in it's strange, unedited state, and I thought maybe you guys would too.
After a long day of winnowing, the man had discovered that his fingers had grown feathers. They were odd little, flexible things that bent and bowed with a fair deal of pressure – but they refused to break of fray. The kind of feathers a wintering goose might wear to prepare them for the long journey – always pursuing the eternal summer. They felt strange – yet familiar, truly – like an old thing humans had long forgotten about, until suddenly it appeared again, and you knew what to do about it.
And yet he rather didn't care that there were feathers there. They felt strange in the water – an odd resistance that pulled at his palms. It changed how they felt out of the water – as if he was constantly streaming his fingers through water. Suddenly the space around him no longer felt empty. It felt full of potential and weight.
In his dreams he had dreamt of flying many times. He had dreamt of flying away many more. Somewhere the constant droll of fingers and hands weaving through water meant something other than toil from dusk to dawn. Somewhere – and it was never here. Somewhere – the word stretched out before him, filling the air with a golden taste that drew him away from his house. It drew him to the field, it pulled him. He knew he had to go.
With a sigh and a set face of determination, he stood, holding his feathered fingers in front of him. As he raised his hands to the sky, he felt the first bits of regrets slip off him like a false skin. Regrets of coming here, regrets of being forced in to this job he didn't love. Regrets of watching himself age here – the dark thought of dying here. They all fell off of him and on to the ground in front of him. He felt empty. Empty enough for the air around him to begin filling him – warm and golden and wild.
For the first time in a long time – he felt free. He glanced at his feathered fingers – their speckled colour turning translucent in the late afternoon light. Then he raised his second hand aloft, sunlight streaming through the dark feathers. With it he felt a new found confidence. A pull, a feeling, a need – something deep and primal he knew he had deep within him already – but ignored. Or perhaps it was the bird in him, he would never know. He took a deep breath and flapped.
He felt every muscle straining in his arms as the air again became a solid fixture around him. A mass, a place of buoyancy and weightlessness similar to what he felt when he was submerged in the river. The wind at his back was like a current pulling him onward. The feathered ached to feel the sky again, and suddenly he felt it deep within him, too. He ached to fly – he would fly...
Nothing. No great flight. No leap of grace or ascention to another level. No transformation or shout of joy or pain or...anything. Not a thing.
So the feathered man kicked off his shoes and started running.