Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 31

me then disappeared in a thickening cloud.

I hurried onto the driveway, then the tarred street. Although my shoes were soaked, I walked up the hill as if on springs. A minute later grating cackles and slapping wings turned me around. A crane flew over so close, wind from his passing ruffled my hair. Then the others passed almost within arms' reach. I turned in time to see the last one disappear north, heading in my direction.

As its crackling call faded into silence, I jogged after it to meet my bus, but I was imagining the birds. They were taller than me, the top of their heads red, the rest gray. Flying, their legs had trailed back under them like rudders. At Cincinnati Avenue I waved down the bus. Perfect timing. I hadn't noticed anything along the street, only what was in my mind.

Down the aisle, I imagined those large, beautiful creatures. Who knew what other animals passed us during the night, when we were sleeping, unaware? Outside the fog was lifting. This was higher ground than the valley holding my home. All the way to school, I searched the clear, northwest skies, hoping to see the birds once more, knowing for sure now that they were out there.