man meets a woman and falls in love. I want to marry you, he says. And
time goes by, and one day the man is walking by the bathroom, when he
inside and sees his wife with a pair of white wings on her back.
he says, looking at her in confusion. I never knew you had wings.
better not to talk about it, his wife says with a smile, and quietly
what are they for? the man says at dinner. Where do they come from? And
do they go?
not really wings, his wife says after a while. I really can’t give you
man becomes irritated. Frustrated. Angry. Why is his wife keeping
him? All this time, he’s loved her so much, and now this—it’s so
Time goes by and the man starts working late. He has an affair with his secretary—just physical. He comes home late at night and slips into bed.
never sees those wings on his wife.
one morning the man wakes up and finds that his wife is gone. He
through the house, looking for a sign, something, a note, anything. But
is different, nothing has changed. All her clothes are there, her car.
just her, she, his wife that is gone. The man can’t think what’s gone
some reason his attention is drawn to the yard. He steps outside and
the lawn. Then his gaze drifts up to take in the sky.
when he has his idea.
takes some time—a month or two—three—but the apparatus now is all
man straps it on and straightens his goggles, then revs it and lifts
first, the air is very peaceful, a few birds moving here and there. But
rises, other forms become clear, whirling about like leaves in the air.
Mrs. Kilcannon, who disappeared three weeks back; there’s Rodney, the
Freeze manager. There’s Julia Barth; he hasn’t seen her in years, and
man glides about, back and forth, searching throughout the thickening
the ongoing flyers peel off before him, their eyes locked on their own
plight. For a while, it’s a nightmare, just churning confusion, but
then it all
stops, and suddenly widens. And there’s the man’s wife, falling
the sky, and there the man goes, sharply diving.
He dives and he dives—the machine’s to the limit—there’s the ground coming up, there’s his wife. And he catches her then, at the very last minute, and touches down, clinging to his life.
Copyright © 2010 Ben Loory