By Anthony Duraski
I woke up in a cell under soft sheets and next to a small heater. A glass of water sat away from the heater with small ice cubes barely managing to stay frozen. Footsteps echoed around me as if the concrete walls were nothing more than thin slices of metal atop a rickety box, creaking and moaning like it was being held up on a caterpillar’s back.
A few stopped and a door opened, but it wasn’t my door. The sound of gunfire echoed throughout, rattling the bars that blocked my doorway and causing the water in the glass to ripple everywhere. It was as if they were trying to hide behind each other, but got swept away by a perpendicular wave before ever reaching their goal. After that, my whole body shook. A chain rattled as I tried to get up – my left leg was bound in a full leg brace and only allowed me to sit with my leg out rather than get up. The light above me flickered as I heard heavy footsteps reach just outside my door.
Muffled voices sounded like low feedback from a stereo as they spoke to one another. The only word I could catch and make out was, “Assimilate.”
Three clicks, two screeches of sliding locks, and hydraulic steam pressure released, and the door opened. The air in my lungs left when the guardian angel of death himself appeared, carrying a smoking revolver and a rusted hatchet. A long trench coat with the buttons apart revealed something along the lines of a butchers apron, but it was a gross shade of yellow with blotches of still dripping blood. He first raised the hatchet, but after looking me over fully, he lowered it and left the room. Cold air flowed back into my lungs once he was gone.
Ready to be free.
Around my leg, the brace unclipped, and I felt my world fizzle until I was sitting on a cold curb. My back ached as my wings unfolded.
Papers twirled around me as spectators from another world passed through me without a care, the rain cutting through them as it bounced off of me. Two figures were solid, however, I knew one of them couldn’t see me anyway. One of them had wings, like me, but they were drooping and his face was covered by his hands. They both looked up, and when the angel saw me, they smiled as if the rain had given way to nature’s gold.