“I couldnae stop im,” Mrs McIver said breathlessly to her husband. “all I told im was get outta yer bed and feed them chickens, I was busy cleaning and when I heard the commotion…well he was off…I couldnae catch im.”
Reverend Mc Iver patted his wife’s shoulder. “Not to worry, I’m sure the lad will come to his senses in time.”
“But he hasnae any sense, oh his poor mother thank goodness she’s not ere to see this…and them poor chickens.”
“Aye he’s different… but wouldnae life be boring…”
“Oh I know if we were all the bloody same… Oh no now the whole village’s comin… what are we gonnae do?”
Donald didn’t hear the commotion behind him he was busy with his plan. Everyone thought him odd, called him the village idiot, the kids laughed and made faces at him and Crow. Crow was his best friend. He took Crow everywhere, he just stayed in his cage and aside from his mother, Crow was the only other thing he loved. Mrs McIver didn’t like crow, she said “birds shouldnae be in cages they should be free to fly, that’s why God gave them wings.” Donald didn’t like Mrs McIver. She was loud. Donald didn’t even care that she was his mother’s best friend she didn’t like Crow so that was it, even if she did clean the house and make his tea every night. Besides, she probably thought he was an idiot too, just like the rest of them.
Not like his mum she always called him a fine boy, a fine boy indeed. A clever one too! He’d heard her tell that to the butcher once when she was angry at him but Donald couldn’t remember why she was angry. Now he couldn’t ask her, she was sleeping but one thing was for sure she wasn’t in her bed, he’d checked. Mrs McIver had told him she was an angel. That she’d gone to sleep and got her wings, now she was up in heaven looking over him. Only he couldn’t see her up there. He’d tried to find heaven but he couldn’t see it, the clouds kept getting in the way. Somehow he would have to find a way to get there. He missed his mum.
First he tried sleeping. For two days he did nothing but sleep but he didn’t get his wings, all he got was a sore butt when Mrs McIver kicked him out of bed.
“Get outta that bed lad, what would ya mother say?” she yelled at him. “Them chickens ain’t gonna feed themselves that’s yer job… now go on…out there and feed them chickens.”
“I was trying to grow wings,” he protested.
“Well yer won’t grow wings lying in bed all day that’s for sure.”
“Oh boy, that’s different, yer mum’s gone ta heaven lad. She’s an angel now, angels have wings, but we cannae just grow wings lad…only God can give yer wings…keep talking to God and one day you’ll see her again but for now you’ve got to feed them chickens…now off with ya.”
Donald grabbed crow and went out to feed the chickens. His heart slumped, he’d talked to God often, his mum had made him and not even so much as one feather yet…how long would it take he wondered. He looked at Crow and wondered how could one become a bird?
“I bet you could see mum, you could fly to heaven.”
As Donald fed the chickens they fluttered around him greedily, there were so many chickens, so many pairs of wings his mind began to tick over. He remembered the man at the village fair with the balloons, holding them high in both hands he struggled to keep hold of them as they lifted high into the air. He remembered one broke free and he watched it as it floated higher and higher until it was only a little black dot in the sky. Suddenly he knew exactly what to do.
Now all the villagers stood watching Donald waving his arms in a flying motion, chickens clacking on the end of strings and poor Crow watching perplexed as always, from his cage.
“He’s a bloody idiot,” the butcher said.
“Aye,” was the communal response.
“I think it’s cool!” One kid said, “I’d love to fly!”
Mr McIver smiled, “yes, he’s got smarts in im that boy…just needs a little help with direction.”
“Oh sweet Jesus…” Mrs McIver cried, “he’s heading for the cliffs, we’ve got to stop him before he kills himself!”
Suddenly the men of the village took off to chase him down. Donald focused on the task at hand, so focused he didn’t hear the cries of “stop” behind him, nor did he see the protruding rock. At first he thought his plan had worked as he tripped but soon he was face down on the ground, chickens fluttering, clucking in a state of shock and as he blew the falling feathers from his sight he heard… “Caw…caw…”
“Crow,” he whispered. Crow’s cage had busted open in the fall and there he was a small black dot in the open sky.
“You okay lad?” A breathless McIver asked.
“Look,” Donald said, pointing to Crow, “he’s flying to heaven.”
“He may well be Lad, he may well be. Now let’s get you home.” Mr McIver picked the dishevelled boy from the ground, while the other villagers rounded up the terrified chickens.
Donald couldn’t take his eyes off crow as he soared higher and higher, “do you think he’ll see mum?” Donald asked Mr McIver.
“I don’t know, maybe he will.”
Donald smiled, “I’m sure he will… he’s my wings.”
I haven’t written a story in a while so this was fun and when I visited Charles Mashburn’s blog to read his story FWF and saw this picture it wouldn’t leave me. I’d never heard of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday so was happy to find it. Anyway I thank Charles for directing me to his wonderful story for this prompt and for the picture that gave me the inspiration. I did think this was a rather creepy picture but I decided to take a happier slant.