Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dali's Egg ~ 14. Flight



The wings were waiting as they emerged from the Blueman’s hut.
The featureless night sky hung over them in deep velvet infinity.
Light from the hut’s opening fell on the promised wings – Da Vinci-like contraptions of wooden struts and large brown and white feathers with a harness of leather straps and brass buckles. John looked at Adam who was grinning nervously. John shrugged
“Zzzyew oownlee livv wunzzz,” he said, the words buzzing on his rainbow breath. He lifted one of the harnesses; it was surprisingly light, “Eye allwayzzz wantid wingzzz.” He said as they helped one another into the harnesses then stood wingtip to wingtip on the edge of the plateau.
The wings spread two metres to either side beyond their outstretched arms; the feathers bristled in the electric atmosphere.
John looked out at the island and was surprised to see that no fire burned at the village, but that there was an orange glow coming from the vicinity of Eden.
On the left the moon hung ghostly grey, its face in profile, round and intense.
He sucked air, thick, between his teeth and, stopping admittance of thoughts of safety and reliability, he launched himself off the edge of the plateau.
He hardly dropped at all before the mountain’s updraft caught the wings and lifted him into the air to hover, feathers singing, ten metres above the plateau. He looked down at Adam’s upturned and awe filled face and tears of exhilaration ran from his eye – freedom never felt so good. John watched as the boy followed his lead, more dexterous and faster learning, Adam performed a wild swoop around the hut using the tail feathers and wings instinctively before flashing out and up with a yell of pure joy.
John smiled tender, his mind lit by a crystal clear memory of Martha blowing smoke slowly into the night air, wondering in her stoned way whether perhaps dreams of flight are not only an unconscious desire to flee, but also some genetic regret that the ability to fly could not have been a natural function denied merely by the physical absence of wings.
“Martha”
The wind threw her name back into his mouth and he sucked it down.
It tasted like everything he was had been could have been had wanted to be. It tasted of want.
He twisted the tail feathers with his hips and dropped one wing to send himself in an almost vertical dive down the side of the mountain, the wind rushing in his face causing the eye patch to flap against his cheek and sucking tears from his other eye...
Tilting the wings up a little too sharply in anger and careless disregard, he was wrenched upward, gravity clawing at his gut, skimming the rock face back up to the level of the Blueman’s hut.
Swivelling his head for reference, scanning the sky for Adam, he turned hard at the top of his arc, angled down in the direction of the river mouth, passing high over Adam’s juvenile aerobatics, feeling the cool air from the river, allowing himself drift past the shoreline and out to where the fresh and salt waters mixed – ripe for life.
He turned back in a long back arch, a parabola of muscle, as the seagulls, incongruous and ominous in the dark, gathered in a cloud of white flapping and ludicrous language to stem his flight.
Lower now, he skated over the cold air from the lagoon, circled once the hanging tree where Geoff’s corpse held no remembrance of life, etched as it was to the minimalist requirements of skin and bone.
John got a brief taste of the rot as he passed, rising on the updraft from the forest, Eden glowing ahead.
The white house needed maintenance; paint was peeling under the eves, tiles missing teeth and the grass losing the grip on its occupation of the forest.
John made a wide circle right, coming back for another look.
Adam appeared briefly next to him, close, John could smell the grin on his face. The boy swooped under to corkscrew around John’s straight glide; an animated cupid.
John loves Martha. An arrow through a heart, precisely carved in furtive disobedience; cruelty to a tree in a park far from here.
His mind was torn between clinging to the memory and the view ahead.
The villagers had gathered in front of the house where white cladding had spouted shoots of green life, where the roses had wilted and been blindly trampled by the gathering crowd, flaming torches casting the area in sepia.
June stood on the veranda talking to the crowd, words drifted up in scattered syllables. The magpie perched on her shoulder, his beak in her ear.
With exhilarated squeal, Adam dive-bombed the gathering. John banked left across the decadent lawn, too late to land, not sure if he wanted to.
Looking right he saw the moon coming up from the tree line, its progress as visible as the minute hand on a classroom clock. He tightened his curve to avoid it, coming close enough for his wings to feel the pull of the grey face’s gravity. He had to work hard, teeth gritting, wings flapping, to escape its grasp.
Adam didn’t even have time to think about evasive action; he plummeted straight into the moon’s dusty face, his body cracked and crumpled in ascending dust, feathers descended in fluttering requiem slo-mo.
John tore his face away, flapped over the house where the upturned faces O’ed, unaware of what had just happened to Adam behind the house. Morose gave a nod of the head as if to salute begrudging respect.
“………………..!” The wind took John’s garbled outcry from the grimace on his face and threw it back down to the gathered villagers where Shangaan jerked as if awakened to some obvious notion.
The scarred man touched the back of Saki’s hand. Saki didn’t bother to question his touch, but slipped away from the light, attaching herself to the end of Shangaan’s arm.
All things tend to chaos.








7 comments:

subtorp77 said...

"Smell the grin"~~ :)

Now I have to think of all the times I've dreamed of flight...it makes more sense to me now...fortunately I'm content to just dream about it as I plan my escape into true freedom...

Poor Adam...but unlike Icarus, he didn't fall from the sky but met it head-on( in a sense ), to gain his eteral freedom...

Yodood said...

That "parabola of muscle" is the very one I feel when flying. I guess you have too. ;p

Pisces Iscariot said...

Subby: when you fly outside the 'protection' of the system you have to be even more careful - or to quote Dylan: to live outside the law you must be honest

Yodood: nevermind the parabola of muscle - I'm cultivating a hemisphere of fat :)

James Higham said...

Why are the only words I can think of: "Take that!"

Pisces Iscariot said...

James: Why? Do they have a new single out? :D

Harlequin said...

not only for the ongoing story which is perversely delightful was this a great ride, but also for how the various perspectives got me inside this strange and familiar flight... and sky.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Harlequin: you've earned your wings then :D