Evan Quinlan

A Swift Lesson

In Fiction on July 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

There’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s a bit windy.

A bird flutters by, looking lost.

“What’s wrong, little bird?” I cry, but it doesn’t hear me; within moments it’s out of earshot.

They say swifts never land; they eat, mate, and do everything else in the air. Could I learn to live like that? I wonder what it’s like to look at that plain of Earth stretching beneath you for your whole life and not want to land on it. Humans want to fly; why don’t swifts want to walk? Perhaps it’s the unyielding nature of stone compared with the nearly incorporeal touch of air. Solid ground is a law; thermals are gentle suggestions. By that rule of thumb, the world has gone full anarchic.

Good luck little bird, I think. If you’d ever wanted to land, it’s too late now.

I look again at the sky, though I have little choice. It’s above me, beneath me, beside me, everywhere. I wonder where the Earth went. I wonder why there’s still a sky. But mostly, I wonder where, oh where, I’m falling toward.

I’ve seen others, falling like me, but I don’t know how to reach them in this ocean of air. I suppose that, like the swift, I’ll have to learn.

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