Friday, July 08, 2011

#FridayFlash: Kate’s Wings

A short one this week. I enjoy writing these sub-500 word pieces, not only because I can start and finish them in a lunch hour.



Kate’s Wings

“Daddy! Look at me!”

“Hi Kate!” As usual, his daughter was up in the tree house he’d built for her last summer. That big oak tree was her domain, and she’d live in it if only her parents would let her.

“Look, Daddy! I got wings!” Kate twirled at the top of the ladder, making him grimace. She did have wings, sprouting from the back of her sun dress.

“Is that what Aunt Morgan sent you for your birthday?” This was Kate’s eighth birthday, and Faye’s sister always sent her niece strange yet beautiful presents. He couldn’t see the straps — it was just like Kate to tuck them under her dress — and the wings themselves were gorgeous. Shaped like a dragonfly’s, they came from her shoulders a deep blue, shot through with streaks the color of Kate’s honey hair, and faded to a near-transparent blue at the tips. The network of veins made them look so lifelike.

“Daddy! Watch me fly now!” Kate hunched over the top of the ladder.

“Kate, no!” he gasped. He knew his daughter: even as a baby, she had no fear of heights, and the bruising mishaps of life had done nothing to teach her caution. He leaped forward, thinking at least I can break her fall. He’d have to tear down the treehouse after this, and that would hurt Kate more than broken bones, but —

She launched herself from the top of the ladder and soared overhead, her laughter nearly drowning out the whirring of wings. He could only stand gaping as she flew laughing under the tree, flitting through the branches as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

“Catch me, Daddy!” He instinctively reached up, and she alit in his hands. Still in shock, he hugged her to him, taking care not to crinkle those beautiful wings.

Kate looked over his shoulder. “Mommy! I flew! Did you see?”

Faye smiled. “Yes — you did very well!” She spoke like Kate had just tied her own shoes. “Your present from Aunt Morgan came, why don’t you go see?”

“Okay!” Kate squirmed out of her father’s embrace and ran inside, wings now folded against her back. Faye went to her husband, took his arm, kissed his cheek.

“Honey,” she said, “there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

32 comments:

  1. Whew! I was really afraid she was dead. Thank goodness! Sweet wee tale, FAR; good show!

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  2. Nice little story. I had a feeling she might not fall, and I'm glad she didn't

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  3. One of my favourites so far! It's a pity it doesn't carry on to the explanation, but that's the beauty of it. You know life for the family is never going to be the same again.

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  4. Hi all and thanks for commenting!

    Cathy, I think even her dad wasn't going that far — broken leg, sure, but he didn't build it *that* high.

    Michael, I suppose I *could* have let her dad drop her. :-D

    Craig, I think what happens next is pretty obvious given the names of the mom & auntie.

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  5. Outstanding! Definately had a different idea in my head of where it was going.

    If only it were real...

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  6. "There's something I need to tell you" LOL, YOU THINK!?
    Please make a story out of this. I find it cute. I'd like to fly, gimme wings!

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  7. Faye gave it away, then I read the comments and forgot that "Morgan" was also a clue.
    Clever and sunny.

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  8. For such a short piece, that was excellent! Made me giggle at the end :-)

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  9. This was very cute, Mr. FAR! Warm despite the peril, and then you came out the other side with a smile. One of my favorites of yours this year.

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  10. Good afternoon, all, and thanks for your comments as always!

    Anthony, "if only it were real" — oh, I wouldn't wish that on any dad, we worry about our daughters enough when they run around in *two* dimensions!

    WG, heh, yeah, Faye kind of waited a little too long to tell the poor guy about what he married into. It could become an interesting story… Kate having to learn that other 8-yo girls don't sprout wings, how to hide them, etc.

    Pegjet, I wanted to leave a few clues, yup. Aren't oak trees also associated?

    A.M., thanks much — I'm fond of saying stories are as long as they are, and this one was short. Even the wife & daughter thought it was cute, so I figured I had a good one.

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  11. Thanks, JohnW — sorry I missed you while I was writing the earlier response, but that means you get one of your own!

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  12. Oh I loved this! I had a feeling they might be real wings but it was beautifully done.

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  13. Cute story. Nice, light touch even with the Dad's apprehension.

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  14. Wonderful, sweet little story. You did such a good job with it, I could see her flittering about and her daddy's horror - and surprise.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Wow, I actually thought she was wearing wings. But this was soo cool. As a teen who still wishes she could fly, this was AWESOME!!

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  16. Whoa. She should have told him before the girl nearly gave her father a heart attack.

    I think this story needs To Be Continued.

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  17. Oooh I loved this! A lovely story. So who has her dad been married to all these years, maybe a forest nymph eh?

    Beautifully told tale!

    helen-scribbles.com

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  18. Oh,this is just so nifty. I expect wings to sprout from my daughters' shoulders everyday. So far, we strap them on. Nice show!

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  19. Morning all!

    Thanks, Icy. I usually reserve slice of life to my own blogging. :-)

    Tim, thanks much. Poor dad, he about had a heart attack!

    Cookme, welcome to the free-range insane asylum! Wishing we could fly isn't something you exactly grow out of. Or at least I didn't.

    Sonia, she was looking for the right moment and let it run on to long. One thought I had for "continued" was Kate at 12, doing the alienated pre-teen "I am SUCH a freak of nature!" woe.

    Helen, thanks a lot! I haven't looked far enough into the Enchanted Ones to be comfortable with the different kinds. But her mom's name is "Faye" for a reason. :D

    Victoria, good luck with that! Does your daughter like to jump off things and pretend she's flying? Thanks, and good luck with her!

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  20. The father wasn't the only one who was about to have a heart attack. I was reminded of times my daughters did things to dangerous to watch.

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  21. Nice. Played with your emotions and great pay off.

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  22. Wow! As a dad you had me cringing. Thanks for letting us off the hook so creatively.

    This is definitely one of my favorites. And the we-need-to-talk ending was perfect!

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  23. Heh, I've dreaded those last words many times. Well done, Far. I had to reread that flying portion to make sure that I had read things correctly.

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  24. Nice final line. I always wished I could fly when I was little. I'm glad Kate got her wish. I like the way she's always been fearless w.r.t. heights.

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  25. Wow, what a charming story - and one which had me gulping at times. I love your skipping the explanation. It's an intellectual cliffhanger, always delightful. Really well done.

    Take care,
    JC (@JCRosen)

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  26. Hi all!

    Randilin, welcome to the free-range insane asylum! Kids do like to push the envelope, don't they? Like the time Daughter Dearest caught a baby rabbit bare-handed at age 4, because she didn't know it was impossible. :D

    Thanks, Virginia!

    Thanks Chuck, I'm a dad too. I drew from some experience, although I'll admit DD never tried launching herself out of a treehouse.

    Boran, I wonder if he even heard them. Yup, the kid really can fly!

    Aidan, like I told cookme25 above, some of us never grow out of that desire to fly. I drew on The Boy for her, he was never afraid of heights either and could outclimb 12-yo kids when he was 4.

    Thanks, JC. I thought the explanation was fairy obvious. :-D

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  27. Fantastic - what a great story and twist. I had a dream as a child I did soemthing very similar hahaha. So glad it was a happy ending

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  28. I think like most parents you have that "heart in your mouth moment" when they leap into the wild blue abyss, but you gave this a clever twist with hints in the names. Good stuff.
    I'm a little late in reading this week.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  29. Made me smile and remember wanting to be able to fly as a kid. The line at the end was great.

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  30. Brainhaze, is that how you got your name? :-D

    Thanks Adam — and better late than never, right?

    Lara, did you ever actually *try* to fly? The Boy jumped out of his treehouse, but it was only like five feet up & he didn't have any expectation of missing the ground. But Mrs. Fetched made me tear it down anyway. :-(

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  31. A fun story. I love that the mother's name is Faye. Nice little touch there. :)

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  32. Robin, I apologize, your comment got caught in the spam filter for some reason and I just got around to inspecting the filter. Fixed now.

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