I am not sponsored by Red Bull, honest. It was a bit of a struggle this week and so I may take a break next week not least because I will be out at another Neil Gaiman event, apparently in a crypt. Anyway, a long winded way of saying I hope this isn’t trite and you enjoy:
By Neil Beynon
“Why?” She asked.
“I did it for you,” said the creature. “I did it for us.”
She looked at the stumps where the creature’s wings had been, bloody and angry from the violence done to them and her hands gripped tight around the railing. She looked away across the city, the horizon was shimmering towards sunrise and neon smears marked the progress of traffic through the city. They were up high, on top of the tower, and the haze of pollution had not reached them yet, the air was cold and smelt of the sea beyond.
“You didn’t do it for me,” she said. “You did it for yourself, because you secretly you wanted to be like that, like them.” She pointed at the city below.
“No I wanted to more, like you.” the creature insisted, stepping closer.
It placed a hand on her bare shoulder; the creature’s skin was hot and dry, making her painfully aware of how cold and clammy she was, of how sick she felt. She shrugged it off.
“You deserve more,” said the creature. “I did it so I could be more. I changed for you.”
She turned to look at him. The wind had made her eyes glassy and she clutched her arms to her body as if hugging herself, the creature looked away from her eyes – it disliked seeing itself reflected on them.
“But I didn’t ask you to,” she said.
“I don’t understand,” said the creature, shaking its grey head.
She smiled and ran her hand down its jaw. “I know,” she said. “That’s why this is so hard.”
And she unfurled her wings, dropping the assumed form like a soiled robe, as she in turn dropped off the side of the tower and then lifted into the sky on the updraft. On the horizon the sun clawed its way into the sky and the air began to smell faintly of petrol.