Fly Free

January 20, 2012
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It took her hours to remember how to do it. She hadn’t tried it, nor really thought about it until recently. And today, it seemed like the only logical thing to do.

The many mistaken lines and creases were unforgiving. There were proper steps and shapes required for this process; for everything to be perfect. A dimensionally acute origami flapping bird must be constructed cleanly and accurately from the very first fold and crease. Every pinch and press contributes to the elegance and romance of the finished model. Should any step be done hastily and incorrectly, the finished product would look sloppy, and sometimes wouldn’t even have the ability to flap.

She tore into it for an hour, folding and refolding. Crease made and corrected, shaped and crafted. She slaved with laser focus on the dimensions and detail until the pink avian could sit atop her desk upright and glorious. She marveled at her creation with forlorn sadness, the winged tips and profile were exquisite and every edge was spotless. She stared at this masterpiece and knew in that moment of flawlessness, when the universe had momentarily shifted into something beautiful, her time had come.

With the same precision she abruptly turned from her desk, leaving the small bird to mutely stare. She stepped onto a nearby wooden chair. She steadied her balance and inserted her head into a coarse, itchy noose. She tightened the knot to a snug fit around the base of her soft, white neck.

“Bon voyage, monde cruel.”

She kicked the chair swiftly out from under her, and her feet were left to dangle as she drifted to another world than ours.


Phillip Hosterman was the first detective to arrive. He slowed his car to a scene that reminded him of why he hated his job more every day. Police cruisers with brightly lit cherries swarmed the street, along with paramedics and the county coroner’s vehicle. Phillip stepped lightly out of his car and walked along the pavement path to the entrance of the house. He had learned from years on the force to channel out any and all commotion as he inspected the scene of a suicide. Wailing mothers, forensic specialists trying to deduce the possibilities, curious and devastated neighbors, all of them just noise and background considerations. He was here for one purpose, and he quickly found himself in the room where the action took place.
He stepped inside and observed the ugly, solemn noose, recently freed of its occupant who was now being taken to the coroner’s facilities and laboratory. He glanced around the comfortable living space, noticing the individual trinkets, soft bedding, workspace miscellanea and other effects of the young woman. The decoration had tones of mild purples and ravishing blues. The open window across the room let in a curious ray of sunlight that brightened the feminine atmosphere.
His eyes flashed to a small origami bird sitting freely and inconspicuously among the menagerie on her study desk. Phillip picked up the small paper creation and examined the advanced workmanship. Amidst his admiring he noticed the remnants of written scrawls within the creases of the animal. He slowly unfolded and dismantled the little wonder, until a wrinkled square of pink paper read the following words in a curly, delicate penmanship:

In shadows unnamed
In worlds apart
I’ve been set free
From this crushing dark
I know not of my sins
Nor the ties undone
I’ve drifted away
Into the setting sun.

With a whirring gasp a strong breeze swept into the room from the open window. While papers and curtains flew about, the crumpled paper was lifted from the detective’s hand and swept clean out the window, to descend into the wind thereon. As the floating parchment drifted away, the detective saw it refold to a magnificent creature in an instant and flutter away downwind into the heart of the city. A free bird to cascade and dance with the world and stars.
“She’s finally free”.





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