A Short Story
Thousands of voices banged against the walls and roared a deafening rumble into the ears of a small girl. People of all kinds clambered about, their feet shuffling and scuffing against the bare, cold stone beneath. They all passed by her, almost as if she was invisible. Her broken and battered wings hung low, the tattered feathers brushing against the ground stirring up trash and debris. Her clothes had been ripped up from a fight that had lasted a lifetime, leaving her ravaged like a meek lamb among ruthless wolves. Her eyes were red and dull. Her painted face was no longer flawless. Mascara streamed down her cheeks and seemed to mark her as a piece of failed art.
As she continued to walk down the many dark and spoiled streets, she grew weak. With every glimpse of litter, her stomach twisted in knots. A loud cry caught her dreary daze. She turned to see an abandoned cat, with only patches of fur on its dying body. No claws to defend or to hunt, so she could feed herself. They took them from her. The little, broken angel stumbled over to greet the feline.
Unlike humans, the cat could see her. It first showed caution, but soon opened up once again, and expressed unyielding affection. The girl caressed the cat for hours until it grew silent and still. She bit her lip as she held back the tears welling in her eyes. She suppressed her sobs as she smiled, and carried its lifeless body to a nearby park. Her lips quivered as she looked upon the area with utter shock.
All the trees were near death, the flowers were withered, and the water was tainted with foul odors and poisoned with waste. Every breath the girl took, she could feel her lungs shriveling and screaming for a taste of pure air. Another piece of her heart broke as she felt something begin to change within her. Terror and hopeless dread drowned her, while she slowly reached up to touch her head.
Her hair had started to fall out, and with it, some of her feathers began to rot off of her once-strong-and-mighty wings. She pushed aside her fears, as she tried to use whatever strength she had left to dig into the soot-covered ground. After she had dug out enough soil, she whispered her goodbye while gently resting the perished cat into the hole. As she gradually pushed and patted down the dirt over the animal’s corpse, she felt tears rush off her lashes, and trickle down her face to seep into the burial spot.
Memories of a happy place flashed through her mind. She saw a loving family who didn’t throw out their beloved pet. She saw a park full of life, thriving with beauty, from the flowers to the trees’ changing leaves every season. She saw people flourishing and caring for the land from which they collected their needs. She saw humans who didn’t ignore problems—humans that would see someone in need or in pain, and help, rather than drudge on.
Abruptly, she was snatched backward into another memory. Hands were reaching for her, hands holding her, hands pulling her, hands touching her, hands raping her. These are the greedy hands that took everything from her. These are the cruel hands that left her bare.
She screamed as she snapped back into the dark reality of her crumbling world. She glanced around, taking it all in one last time. A once beautiful and prosperous creation—now, nothing more than a dark, corrupt, and unforgiving land under the control of the humans to whom she gave everything. For years, they took, and she waited. They continued to take until she had nothing left to give. Now, they wretchedly lay their hands on her to snuff out her soul and leave her stripped.
As she crashed to her side her wings turned to dust. Her eyes stared into the distance, as she felt the weight of their new world crush her lungs. She closed her eyes as she whispered her last words. “This world isn’t like me. You have doomed yourselves by destroying what took care of you. Now what's left, will destroy you.”
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~ "Good read and one can connect on many levels. Great job, Mel!"
~ "What a poignant and relevant story!"
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