Once there was an unnamed girl who felt like birds. She collected pictures keeping them in a polished wooden box with a golden latch, some torn from magazines, others found at antique stores, the edges faded and yellow from being handled for so long. The girl would make stories about the people in them, dreaming of how they had parties, backyards covered in tiny twinkling lights, the smell of Narcissus poeticus and Eurydice lilies intoxicating the air.
Everyday, she would sit on her roof, staring out across the ocean, the hot tar shingles burning her through her jeans.
"There's something more out there, i just know it," the girl would whisper.
"One day i'll see it."
There was a place, far away, a place covered in trees taller than any building, a waterfall made of silver that cackled into a clear stream dotted with little fish that flashed their bellies in the sunlight.
One day, the girl decided that she would go there. She opened her box of pictures and covered them in glue, placing them together, one slightly on top if the other, until she had made a pair of photograph wings.
"These will take me to my island," she thought.
She waited until night when moonlight brushed her skin like silk, the wind speeding across the calm sleeping sea, slipping from her window like a ghost. Her heart began to pound in her chest like a beating drum. Holding her breath she closed her eyes and jumped, anxious to feel her body slamming against the damp softened Earth. But the impact never came. When she opened her eyes, she could see nothing but the calm water below her. Millions of feathered wings fluttered furiously in her stomach.
Eventually the girl was so far into the darkness of the night that she could see nothing but soft ripples of the ocean and the moon casting bone colored light on her skin from among the millions of stars swimming above her like the fish in the stream.
She became tired, but knew that if she stopped, she would surely be pulled down into the cold depth of the sea. She would never feel the warmth of the sun, feel the ground beneath her feet. Besides, she knew she had to be close by now.
But she began to hear the cackle of thunder in the distance, bolts of electricity jumping around in the sky consumed by a dark heavy cloud that looked like a ferocious growling monster showing itself in the sky ahead of her. Panic started to rush from her heart, filling her veins like poison. She tried to scream, but nothing came from her gaping mouth. She couldn't turn back, she knew as tiny drops began kissing her cheeks. She couldn't tell if it was falling from the sky or her body. Soon the storm was all around her, drenching her wings, fairytale photographs littering the sea. The birds in her chest flapped their tiny wings frantically as if they did not know what else to do. Suddenly she felt waves crashing against her, engulfing her. The girl kicked and kicked but the freezing hands wrapped around her arms and legs, pulling her further and further down. Salty water forced into her lungs, and the wings inside of her slowed until there was one tiny feathered creature left. Then there was nothing but the sound of the sea and rain falling thickly from the sky.