The Angel Who Couldn’t Fly

The sky was pallid gray, no sign of a rainbow or even one tiny glimpse of sunshine could be seen. The eerie sounds of Birds and other Animals could not be heard, as if they were forbidden to speak. Even the Leaves, which were always rustling in the wind, were showing no signs of movement. Everyone was waiting. The Animals, the Trees…even the Wind or the Clouds hung low were waiting. Something was there…and that something did not belong there.

That something was sprawled on the ground, its body bruised and bloody. Its tawny golden mane was rumpled and unmanaged, its long, lean arms black and blue and red with so many cuts and bruises. Its face…its handsome features were hidden behind soil, dust and blood. His blood.

The Animals and Trees all looked at the poor creature with pity. What brings such a fine-looking Man to a place like this? Why was he covered in blood? Why didn’t they, the resident creatures of the Forest, hear or feel the arrival of this being? This creature did not belong in this place. He belonged in the City, a faraway place where most inhabitants of the Forest were killed and annihilated. The Animals and Trees alike did not welcome a Human to step in their land, but they all felt very sorry for this poor young Man on the ground that none spoke of banishing him from the Forest. None spoke at all, for they all looked wearily at the figure before them.

The Olden Trees glanced at each other in silence. Should they wake the Human? Should they speak to him? They did not know what to do, for there wasn’t a time before this that an unconscious Man stepped into their private lands. Yes, some bastards dared to enter their land and tried to uncover the wealth within by dishonest, cruel means, but never, never an unconscious, blood-covered Man.

Before they could even decide what to do, however, movements began. The creatures all became alert and looked unblinkingly at the Man.

He was beginning to stir.

The Man opened his eyes slowly and blinked once. He blinked again. He shook his head as if trying to force his weary and tired body to move. He tried to use his hands and stand up, but it was of no help: his frail body trembled and he shot back to the ground.

The creatures all looked at him with pure pity despite their hatred for Mankind. It was not good to look at anyone in that state. They wanted to help him, but they weren’t sure if he wanted any. Mankind is, after all, best known for its ego and pride.

He tried to stand up once more; again, he failed. For so many times he tried this, and for so many times he failed. It was only nightfall when he managed to sit straight. Only by the moon’s light did the creatures of the night see what the stranger really was. As the creature sat down, small, white, feathery things were what they all saw on the back of the Man.

Why, he was no mere mortal. He was an Angel.

Then the creatures all assumed what had happened. His wings, they noticed…they were too small for him. His wings, perhaps, did not have enough power to support his weight, and so, those feeble wings gave up on him and he fell down.

Oh, what shame must he feel! He was an Angel yet he wasn’t able to fly, for he had but small wings for himself. They could all imagine him up above in Heaven, being ridiculed by his fellow Angels, for he didn’t have big, strong wings like the rest of them had. Perhaps he would always try to fly, but would soon be falling down, and it might be that a friendly Cloud would always catch him. Perhaps one day, when no other Angels were around to bully him, he tried once more to take flight. He tried with all his might, and for a second he thought he was successful. Yet it was only just the Wind, and this Wind wasn’t his friend. It was a fierce Wind, and the Wind blew and blew until it blew him away…away from his home, away from safety…away from everything he knew. The cruel Wind might have blown him until the Wind got tired and then, the poor Angel fell fast to the ground.

They all felt pity for the poor Angel. He must feel sorry for himself. Perhaps he was the only Angel who couldn’t fly. Perhaps he was the only angel doomed forever to stay in Mortal land.

The creatures of the Forest all felt too much pity for the Angel that they tried to help him at all costs. The Animals found a small shelter for the Angel and searched food for him every day. Others helped heal the Angel’s wounds. They all helped, for they all pitied the poor Angel who would be staying with them until, perhaps, the day he would die.

But the Angel didn’t look like he was sorry for himself. On the contrary, he felt happy and amazed about the new world before him. He hadn’t seen the Trees and Animals this close before; he could only see them from afar, and how wonderful it was! He was so happy, yet he knew it wasn’t the place where he belonged. He needed to come back home. But, as what he and all the creatures of the Forest ask every passing day: how would he do that?

There was only one answer, and they all knew it. But it was impossible. His left wing was broken, probably from the fall. Although his body looked better than how it looked when the creatures of the Forest first took notice of him, the Angel still couldn’t hide the pain he felt with his barely-healed cuts and bruises.

Yet he tried. He tried so hard everyday. Each day he tried mightily to even move his feeble wings for a moment. At times there was a small movement; even more were times when he felt like giving up. What the other Angels said was true: he was never to be a part of them—he was different, he wasn’t gifted with the wings of the Seraphs he envied; he was only given a pair of small wings fit for a medium-sized bird. He was always the odd one, the strange one, and now he could never come back home.

But as much as the thoughts of never seeing his home threatened him every night in his dreams, he never gave up hope. He was thankful for the Forest creatures for they nourished him and helped him as much as they could, but he wanted to go back to the Heavens.

And so everyday, he kept on believing that he could. He mustered all the strength his body had to fly, and everyday he saw improvements. These improvements—albeit small—showed him that he could do it. There was hope.

Then came that day.

On a fine afternoon, while all the Animals of the Forest were taking an afternoon nap, the Angel kept walking until he came at last to the place he wanted to go to. It was the Cliff, a high place overlooking nothing but darkness below. The Angel could hear the screeches of some scary creatures living below the Cliff, waiting for another prey to eat. He looked below and gathered his courage. It was time for his final test: should he fail to do this, he would only be another meal for the evil clutches of the dark.

A gentle and kind Wind saw what the Angel was doing, and hastily informed the Olden Trees about the Angel’s attempt. Hurriedly, the Olden Trees woke the Animals of the Forest. After hearing this, every creature quickly came to the Cliff to stop the Angel.

Sparrow, a sweet bird who tended to the Angel’s wounds, quickly rushed to his side and tried to talk him out of it. But the Angel shook his head and calmly said to the Sparrow, if you were in my situation, dear Friend, and you cannot fly when every one of your companions can, would you have stopped trying? I will not stop until I succeed, dear Friend, so I beg that you not stop me.

As Sparrow heard this, he understood. He knew the Angel’s pains, and because he knew that he would have done the same thing that the Angel was doing, he let go. Do your best, dear Angel, he said.

The creatures of the Forest, big and small, all watched with fear as the Angel who couldn’t fly tried with all his might to flap his small wings. They all watched and waited as they heard the Cliff’s laughter, awaiting its next victim. The Angel closed his eyes and jumped.

The Animals gasped. Not one of the creatures wanted to come near the cliff. They had a feeling that it was over—their dear Angel friend was devoured by the malicious Cliff. They all bowed their heads with sadness and pure grief for the loss of a friend.

But then, out of nowhere, rays of light broke from the Clouds and lighted the dark depths of the Cliff. They were all surprised: it was the first time that Light seeped through and entered the Cliff. That was when the creatures all heard it.

And then they saw it.

Emerging from the Cliff, with wings so grand and splendid and white, wings unlike anything the creatures of the Forest had ever seen, was the Angel. His wounds were healed, his bruises were gone, and there was an air of magnificence around him. But what made all the difference was his triumphant smile. He finally could fly.

-This was originally written in 2006, probably before I even graduated from high school. My, how time flies. I wrote this on a whim and after how many years, I found it tucked away inside a folder containing stories–good and bad–that I’ve written throughout the years. 😀 I can’t believe how much writing I’ve done when I was younger.

According to the original document, this story is “for those who believe in the magic of trying.” 😀

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