The moldy wood creaks beneath my worn, leather shoes. Arms outstretched, I wonder what bones might break if I fall into the flowing creek in the midst of winter. Would I live? The delicate, yet mocking sound of sparrows litters the air and I grit my teeth. A shriek echoes through the woods; I know whose shriek it is. What did my real parents feel when they left me? Was it just like this, except with pills? What was so tempting about their fall? I lift my gaze up to the foggy sky to let the cool mist settle on my cheeks. I don’t want to fall. I want to fly! My foster mother’s grasp wrests me brutally from my peaceful balance.
The twittering of the sparrows becomes the chaotic echolocation of my thoughts scattering in my mind. Tears sting my eyes as I whirl to face her. My wings have clenched into fists, but only my stare lashes out. This torment is mine. What must she think of me? I would chase them to their grave? I search for my destiny in her terrified face. Steel eyes in the grey winter light cast the lie with their reflection. How can she see me that way? A thousand times now I’ve thrust myself from that cliff. A thousand times I’ve mingled my bones with theirs in the jagged rocks below. She will never understand. It’s not my death I plunge into; it’s my life. Tears swell that I cannot share, so I run. Soft leather footsteps on mossy wooden planks, until I’m swallowed by the tranquility of the naked woods.