The Winged Boy & The Windmill

This is the start of a story. It combines a number of elements that interest me. If you previously read "Yonder" this is a basic reboot. It needs work, but I hope for lots of help there. It's basically the story of the winged boy and how his lonely existence gets changed.

The grass swayed; the ticklish breeze spawned waves of golden vegetation that stretched into the horizon. The landscape offered a smattering of trees, sticking out amongst the plains like great wooden weeds. Their empty branches stretched out to the reddish sky, gnarled and desperate, pleading to the heavens an unknown prayer.

The plains halted some miles away, stark and sudden, chased away by a stretching void that defied reason. The blackness of the chasm was endless, yawning into eternity. Sounds rose from that shadow, soft and whispery, not-voices that begged to be understood. Flocks of huge, soot-colored birds cried out in rusty voices as they migrated out of sight.

A lone structure rested at the edge of the nothingness, defying logic and understanding. The windmills was the color of cream, its paint peeling and tagged. Huge, canvassed blades groaned in the soft breeze, praying for a gale so that it might once again spin. Twin windows peeked out from behind the blades, like vacant orphan’s eyes.

Something stirred in the grasses, many spans from the windmill. A small figure rose from the vegetation, its chest barely cresting the grass. It was a boy, pale faced and filthy, with curious amber eyes. His hair was dark and tumbled to his shoulders, which bore a pair of leathery wings. The left wing was ragged and incomplete, while the right stretched and flexed majestically. A small crown of horns poked through his mane. The winged boy opened his mouth in a huge, gratifying yawn.

He glanced at the windmill, cautious. Something in the boy’s golden stare bred thoughts of fear, as if the windmill harbored malicious intentions. His gaze was the same for the darkness. He blinked at both and turned slowly from them, as if either might pounce if he wasn’t careful.

He walked through the grasses, towards the orphaned trees. They gave off little shade. He clambered up the nearest tree, moving with care. He reached a sturdy branch and sat upon it. His wings folded behind him, and he prodded at the branch, gentle.

A knot in the branch was hollowed, and from that hollow a small stream of tiny insects scurried forth, moving in an irritable rhythm. The boy reached out with a scrawny finger and giggled as the bugs crawled along his hand, their infinitesimal legs tickling him. He watched closely as their oblong heads and shimmery eyes regarded this massive intruder. He spoke to them in a soft, muttering voice.

The ants crawled along him, before growing bored with the warm, familiar landscape that the boy’s body provided. The boy turned his attention to a hole just above him, in the trunk. There were many items within, and he rummaged through, hands moving with slow, delicate movement.

He found a small figure he had made, using branches and grass. He smiled at the little character, with its tree-bark body bound by grass, and its tiny wings fluttering in the breeze. Unlike the boy, the doll flaunted two completewings, made of the last leaves discarded by the trees. The boy offered his toy to the ants. They swirled over it, but after a few passes, they’d had enough of that as well.

The boy smiled, but the expression of melancholy was impossible to hide. He returned the doll to its hole and pulled out a small sack, threadbare and torn.

He pulled out a small, crinkly object. The word SALTINE was written across the clear package. He opened it, tossing the clear covering to the ground. He crunched on his breakfast, and peered into the bag, counting what was left. The bag was still mostly full, but the boy felt a pang of regret. His supplies were growing shorter. He wasn’t sure what else he could eat once these things were gone.

He reached into the hole and pulled out a jar, and took a sip of water from within. The jar had once taken residence in the bag as well, but its weight had nearly ripped it apart. Like the saltines, the jar was still plentiful, yet not quite as full as before.

The boy replaced them and sighed. He couldn’t be sure of what else he might do once things were depleted, though in his mind he was certain of only one answer: the windmill.. His heart froze in his chest at the thought. The windmill and its croaking blades…what did that haunted place hold? Could it have food and drink? Could it have shelter? Or did it, as the boy suspected, harbor spirits of evil intent? Did it bear creatures of clammy skin, with massive, hungry faces and fingers far too long?

He shook away the thought. His fast broken, the boy bid farewell to his tiny compatriots and climbed back down the tree. He felt a brief gust of wind and watched the blades of the windmill threaten to whir, but fall short.

He walked toward the void, purposeful.

The End

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