Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 25

& in the morning, I wake to a pair of fully formed wings grown from my shoulder blades. My bed sheets are covered in blood and snowy white feathers, stained crimson in the morning light. I stretch my wings out in front of the bathroom mirror, and they span something like six feet. These, I think, are not angel wings: they look fierce, predatory. Though the wings are coated in layers of silky white feathers, each feather is angled to a point, as though it has purpose, has somewhere it needs to be. The wings are hard to control because they are so big, but after only a few minutes I have managed to unfurl them and then tuck them against my back twice. I hide my wings beneath a too-big sweatshirt of my brother Charlie's, and run to meet Julie and Rachel at the treehouse before school.

In the treehouse, Rachel takes off her coat and sweater for the second time. She, too, has developed powerful and pearl-white wings. She is ecstatic.

It is only Julie, smoking a cigarette with a shaking hand, who has not grown her wings yet. She reluctantly shows me what has sprouted from her back: funny little half-hearted things, less than half the size of mine and Rachel's, flecked with browns and blacks and whites of every shade, as though they could not commit to being any one particular color.

Though Rachel and I want to leave right away, Julie convinces us to wait for the right moment. We decide we will leave that very night, after school and after the war coverage on channel three. We will follow I-70 out west. Julie says nothing, but nods, exhaling smoke. She puts her cigarette out on the floor of our treehouse and we leave for school

& the hatch of the plane is finally opening, and I'm not sure if the feeling in my stomach is the plane losing altitude or something else. We're all

Kelly Kiehl | 25