Hello, friends! This story is about a young, rather uptight law associate who inexplicably wakes up one morning with wings.
I will post a new bite-sized chapter once a week every Saturday. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read Chapter 1, click here! 🙂 Enjoy!
CHAPTER 2 – SAWYER
I JAM MY COPY OF DEX’S APARTMENT KEY INTO THE LOCK, and jiggle it while holding onto the door handle, pulling up on it, then down, to one side, then the other, trying to open the stupid thing without breaking the key off. Whenever it’s cold like this, it always sticks. And mocks me.
I’m just glad I have a key. Not every guy is comfortable with giving their female best friend a key to their place when they’re dating someone else. And Dex, being a professional at executing practically every social faux pas known to the dating world (because he never takes my advice), has never hidden this fact from his girlfriends, not even his current one, Lauren. He explains it’s his way of testing the relationship.
I explain it’s his way of ending the relationship.
“Come on,” I mutter. The key almost turns, then gets stuck again. I sigh through my teeth and glare at the doorknob . “No one likes a tease,” I say, trying again. This time the key gets stuck halfway. Even though I’ve only been trying to open it for about twenty seconds, this is the last straw.
I never said I was patient.
“I hate you,” I say in a deceptively calm voice. “I hate you with every fiber of my being, and I will destroy you if it’s the last thing I do. What’s that? You’re an inanimate object? Well, too bad. You see that firewood ax over there? Yeah, just think about that. Tetanus? I’m wearing gloves, you moron. And my Tia made me get the shot when I bought that rust bucket from my cousin, Manuel, last year,” I say, letting go momentarily to jab a thumb over my shoulder at the AMC Gremlin, the most aptly named car of all time. “BUT GUESS WHO DIDN’T GET A TETANUS SHOT!” I yell at the door, and use all my strength to lift up on the doorknob while violently jiggling the key, and it finally turns all the way. “Yes!” I yell, pointing at the door as it swings open. “The shame of your defeat will last for all time!”
“SAWYER!” It’s Dex’s voice, echoing from inside, and he sounds panicked. This isn’t that unusual. Dex’s resting mode is at a 4 out of 10 in general twitchiness, but right now he sounds even more worked up than usual.
I step out of the cold, slam the door shut a little harder than strictly necessary (take THAT!), knock the snow from my boots on the rubber mat, and thunder up the private hallway of narrow stairs that lead to Dex’s second floor apartment. “I’m coming man, hang on!” I yell, huffing already. I slip, right myself with the rickety, wooden rail, and finally reach the top. The front door is already open.
Not good. It’s always locked. Even when Dex knows I’m coming over. He’s paranoid like that.
Now I’m really worried.
When he called forty minutes ago, Dex said nothing specific, only something about him being sick or whatever and to please, please come over ASAP, and to tell Boss Man it was totally his fault for me having to bail on work. (Dex doesn’t know Boss Man’s actual name and has never asked. Sometimes even I forget his real name. He’s the dude that signs the paychecks and that’s all that matters. Beauty of working as a newbie, fresh-out-of-college graphic artist at a chill, online magazine with a focus on conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.)
I’m not concerned about missing work, though. Especially when Dex sounds like he just found out the Apocalypse is here. I’m not exactly Mother Theresa when it comes to sick days anyway. Dex, on the other hand? So far he hasn’t missed a single day this year. And it’s November. Part of it’s the job, sure, but even if he had the same job as me, things wouldn’t be any different.
I love my best friend with the burning fire of a thousand suns, but Dex is the most uptight person I’ve ever met, bless him.
I pass the boring, uncomfortable, modern furniture in the living room, bypass the kitchen and turn left into Dex’s room.
And stop so quickly I almost slide on the rug at the door.
I was expecting Dex to be laid out in bed, but he is huddled in the corner of his room by his closet, arms wrapped around his legs, and he is staring at me, pale even for the super white boy he is. “…Dex?” I say. “What are you doing, man? Is this one of your weird, anti-anxiety meditation techniques you haven’t told me about yet?”
“You…you can’t see them?” Dex asks, voice hoarse.
Dex swallows. “My wings.”
Click here for Chapter 3!
© 2019 Mandy R. Campbell
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