The chains hung limply against the grimy floor. Metaphorically, of course, for they did not exist. No, they did not exist, not quite, but that's how he pictured them. He felt them weighing down on his ankles and wrists, binding him to the ground. The chains would be rusted, he did not deserve gleaming, new chains. No, even in confinement he did not deserve to be treated with so well.
The boy flexed his wrists, stretched his sore legs, and felt up behind his should blades. Fresh wounds were bandaged up tight there, two of them. He tried to remember days when he had not been imprisoned, when he had not been forced to the ground, when he had not been drowning in this horrid, horrid reality. Metaphorically, of course, for he was the only one that could see these confinements.
The boy looked out the window, where thin clouds spread out across the sky and silhouettes of winged animals flitted across the vast blue. And, down below, were the humans, walking upon their two feet, unable to comprehend the freedom that they were deprived of-- unable to fully understand the freedom that he had felt up until two days ago.
Two days ago, the boy could fly.
He wasn't sure how he had come to be, but he was human, that was for sure. He was a human, but upon his back, there had been two wings. And they were beautiful. These two wings were white has the purest of souls and feathered with the softness of a hundred downy pillows. They spread a length longer than thrice the boy's height, and they beat so strong.
With them, he could soar, he could dip and dive and fly away. The birds would keep him company, the sky would be his home, and he would be free.
But he, the boy, was still a human. The nature of his being was a strong thing. Stronger than the Western winds, or the sandstorms in the dunes, yes, this human nature was very strong indeed. Soon, the boy found himself yearning to human companionship. His mind tried to dissuade him, for no good ever comes out of meddling with this species, but what could it do? His heart was set upon it, no matter how foolish an idea it was.
And so, he set out for the human village. Upon arrival, he was met with so, so many people. Their faces were friendly, their touch was warm, their words were kind. But, their minds were narrow. They looked at him once and announced scornfully that no human should have wings. It was unnatural, unruly, and very, very different.
The boy was conflicted. He loved his wings, and yet, he wanted to belong. The wind caressing his side was a daily pastime that he could not think of losing. But, here was a village of people of his own. Their smiling faces were encouraging. This could be him.
And so, he agreed to cut off his wings.
Now, two days later, his regret is deep and dark. The shackles in his mind are thick and heavy. They drag him down in a way that he could not have imagined. Mournfully, he fingers the wounds upon either shoulder blade once more. He willed tears to come out, but none would. He had long since used them all up, crying, on the first night. He wished, he wished so, so much, that he could be himself again. He just wanted himself back.
Outside, people looked up at him through his window. They smiled those placid smiles of theirs and congratulated him on his decision; he was one of them now. The boy smiled back wanly. But he was saddened, very much so indeed. It was true, now he was exactly the same as the rest of them. Exactly the same.
That was what he wanted, was it not?