Hello, dear friend, and welcome to chapter three of my original comedy web serial. This is about a young, rather uptight law associate who inexplicably wakes up one morning with wings.
CHAPTER 3 – DEX
“OOOKAY, BUDDY,” SAWYER SAYS, HOLDING HER HANDS UP and looking at me like I’m a wild, skittish animal who might bolt.
I have wings. Maybe I will bolt.
Feeling tremendous pressure to assure her that I am not insane, I shoot to my feet, which wracks me with that horrible sensation as my wings emerge out of the floor and slide through the wall behind me as I rise.
My quick move has unforeseen consequences.
My bare feet actually lift off the ground about an inch before touching back down. But I suppose this makes sense as I feel like I weigh about 80 pounds now, while before I weighed 176 at 6’1.
Less than an hour ago, I was 100 pounds heavier. To say it’s disconcerting is a slap in the face to the word itself.
Expecting to stand, the force had made me unintentionally jump. As if I was an astronaut on the moon.
Oddly, even amidst all of this, I also realize I am uncomfortable at the fact that I am only wearing my pajama pants and a white sleeveless shirt. This is not acceptable. Not because I’m in my pajamas in front of Sawyer (she’s seen me in worse), but because I look so unkempt right now with my hair all a jagged mess and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet.
I do not like looking or being or feeling out of control.
I am the definition of out of control right now.
“Sawyer,” I say, sounding way too panicked, but I am unable to tone myself down. “I–“
“Let’s just chiiill, Alexander, okay?” Sawyer says carefully, using my full name to signify how serious she is.
She hasn’t called me Alexander since the fourth grade when I unwittingly played a part in killing her hamster, Bean. I thought it needed some fresh air and sunshine because it looked sad.
It may have died from heatstroke in its little plastic sphere thirty minutes later. I had nightmares for months. Sawyer loved that hamster. She is the most forgiving person I know, but almost an entire week passed before she would speak to me again. It was a low point in my young life.
“It’s all cool,” Sawyer says as she removes her gloves, pocketing them, “it’s aaall gonna be roses, man. Let’s just chill and handle this like reasonable human beings.” She has stopped approaching me, and is still standing on my rug in her muddied, snow-covered boots.
I am distracted by annoyance over this. How many times have I asked her to leave her shoes downstairs?
“Why don’t you pop a squat on the bed,” Sawyer says, gesturing at my bed.
It’s unmade and yet again, I am briefly upset by the state of myself and my room.
“You can start from the beginning,” she says, rubbing her hands together, then opening them like an offering. “Tell me everything, bro. It was probably some wack dream, right? And you just need some time to sort it all out? Get your head on straight again, you know?”
She is speed talking and still looking at me like I might bolt.
“I can prove it,” I say. I have already prepared myself for this knowing Sawyer would have me demonstrate anyway just out of pure excitement.
This was before I knew she wouldn’t be able to see them.
To make room for myself before extending my wings, I take a step forward, and Sawyer moves slightly in response, blocking the doorway. Silent communication via eye contact lends me the ability to slowly move the extra couple of feet I need to minimize my wings interacting with physical objects. “You ready?” I say. I myself am not sure if I am ready. Physically, yes. Mentally, no. Thrills and chills shoot through me.
Sawyer says, “Ready as a cheater on test day.”
Normally, I would have said some quip to this, or at the very least rolled my eyes, but I am too consumed with fear and adrenaline to respond.
I extend my wings with a loud thruuush.
And Sawyer’s hair blows back.
Her eyes pop in surprise. “Dude…” Her mouth works but no other words make it past her lips.
I am also speechless. So Sawyer can feel their effect, but still not…? “Can you see them now?” I ask.
Sawyer shakes her head. She keeps the movement going a little too long, mouth still gaping.
I am slightly disappointed she still can’t see them.
Sawyer swallows a few times. She continues to shake her head. “No, man. Can’t see anything. You still just look like a string bean white kid from Brooklyn.”
I am not a string bean. I work out five days a week, I just have a lithe physique. But I keep this to myself. Arguing with Sawyer about anything is impossible.
Also, this is not important right now.
We both don’t have any words for several seconds. I watch as Sawyer’s breathing slows. She blinks a few times, regaining her composure, then she pauses, as if something occurred to her, and a smile breaks out across her face. “Ah,” she says, tapping the side of her nose and then pointing at me. “Very funny, man.”
It takes me a moment to find words. “What? How–how is this funny?”
“How did you do it?” Sawyer asks, gesturing at me, leaning from side to side, looking for something. “A wind machine? A fan? I have to tell you, I’m impressed. Seriously impressed, bro. And that recording of the wings or feathers moving around or whatever? Man. That was perfecto. “
My mouth gapes open. She can hear them, too? But…?
“Since when do you pull practical jokes?” Sawyer says. “We should totally pull this on Lauren,” she says with a wicked grin and the twinkle in her eye that has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. “It’ll be–“
“Sawyer! This isn’t a practical joke!” I open my mouth to say something else, then stop, realizing she’s never going to believe me unless–
I crouch a little, breathing in deeply as my new muscles flex, and launch into the air with a whoosh. Sawyer’s hair blows again and she actually takes a step back from the force of the wind. I am hovering now, wings pumping in a sweeping fluidity that fills me with an indescribable joy that quickly mingles with terror at my best friend’s rapidly changing expression.
Sawyer has turned a chalky gray and is getting paler by the moment. Her mouth is agape. Her eyes are bulging. Her head lolls and her eyelids flutter.
And she crumples to the floor in a dead faint.
Click here for Chapter 4!
© 2019 Mandy R. Campbell
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