Fiction By LoriAnn // 8/12/2009

Not strict poetry, but not an essay or fiction either....


On the clearest of nights, when the winds of the countryside are calm and peaceful, and the stars seem to wink cheekily down at their earthbound watchers; I stand outside my house and stare upward.
My cheeks are brushed gently by a half-mocking wind, and my hair tickles the back of my neck. My fists clench and unclench at my sides, and a thick, sharp feeling of longing fills my gut.
I want to fly so badly that it’s like a sickness in my stomach; burning like acid through my chest. I feel trapped, unwillingly caught by gravity’s harsh net and unable to break free. I am made for flight – I know it! My very soul cries out to rise above the treetops and make for the clouds like an arrow from a bow.
An owl ca-hoohs in the distance, his call echoing spectrally through the valley. I mimic the call, cupping my hands to amplify the sound, and we “talk” for a moment.
Then jealousy sets in. Why is it that the small, irrational creatures of the world are blessed with such a gift? Why is it only the birds, the insects, the leathery bats that are allowed to explore the depths of the sky?
I glare around me at the tiny, flitting insects – many who don’t live more than a few dozen hours – and they seem to taunt me.
Nya-nya! Look what we can do!
You can’t fly, you can’t fly, neener-neener
It’s not fair…not fair at all.
I long to sprout wings; to rise effortlessly from the ground and zip off into the night sky. I’m flying! I’d scream at the stars, as I backstroked through a shallow cloud. Nothing can stop me now!
I’d shoot straight toward the moon, round and yellow like cheddar cheese, higher and higher and further and farther. Up through the atmosphere, until the oxygen was rarified and thin, and my blood flew through my veins like a molten flood. My head would be spinning faster than a top, my hair streaming out behind me with bits of star-stuff tangled in its locks.
Giving a scream of pure exhilaration, I’d flip upside-down and watch the world swirl around me in pearl-colored confusion. Then down I’d dive, steeply down with my head pointed straight at the unforgiving earth.
I wouldn’t care if I plunged to my death – it would be worth the flight. But no, I would swoop up at the last possible moment, laughing at the sheer adrenalin coursing through my body as the surface again shot away and I was off.
Darting through clouds, washing my hands and face in the thick mist, catching currents of air rising from the lands to the south, riding winds from the north. I wouldn’t care where I went, what I saw, when I got there – just so long as I could keep flying! Through the velvety-plush sky, my fingers raking across the rough façade of the stars I would dash. My wings would pound to the heartbeat of the firmament, pushing me across the threshold of space.
The pulse of the night murmurs in my ears, as I sit on the ground, my back leaning against our car. I look up at the stars as gentle winds shuttle clouds past the moo, but my vision is obscured by hot tears.
My neck is craned for a better view, and the salty drops run down my face and into my ears. I want to fly… I moan silently.
These are the nights, when the winds of the summer sky – so inviting in their promise of flight and freedom – make one’s spirits soar…
But I am tethered to the earth.
My feet are rooted in the mud, my bones are as heavy as concrete, and my fingers can only reach, pleadingly, for the stars.


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