In the cage of my living room, I sat slumped on the couch while the television failed to drone out my tortured inner musings. As I contemplated the closed but unlocked door, my mind turned escape. Oh - I could leave my apartment at anytime, just hop in the car and go... But therein lay the problem. To where would I go? I had nowhere to go. To escape my apartment would only leave me trapped in the world.
So my mind turned to other means of escape. My hands caressed the key to my prison door. I had bought it at a Renaissance Fair, and it had hung on my wall for years. Holding it up, I tested the edge against my palm. A fine line of liquid life appeared, almost without pain. I smiled. Almost. I set the knife aside.
The soaps slid into the after-school cartoons, which in turn slid into the news. Shadows slowly crept up the walls of my prison as I kept my silent, solo vigil. I watched a bird alight on my balcony, warble contentedly at me, and flit off again. A smile considered crossing my lips. Mother Nature - my truest, my most loyal, my only friend. Surely I should bid her adieu before setting myself free.
My limbs stirred, lifting me off my couch and carrying me to the balcony. An arm that did not seem my own slid open the door. My legs pulled me across the threshold. My head tilted upwards, lifting my eyes to the horizon.
And I saw that the sky had turned aquamarine. The half-sun on the horizon bathed the world in a radiant red glow, forcing me to shade my eyes with a limp hand. The towers around me grew like trees in an ancient forest, and flocks of birds seeked out their shelter for the night. A single flickering star appeared on the horizon as the sun slipped below the sky.
My body felt afire, kin to that wavering star. I felt as if I must be a blazing point of light to those on the streets below, visible for miles, a beacon to travelers. My feet took to the railing. A moment's pause, a breath of fear... Then over.
The shrieking wind brought tears to my eyes. Free... And then the spread of wings sore from years of disuse swung me upwards, through the towers of steel and glass, past the birds roosting in their nests, into the deepening night.
I will never be free. I can live only within the prison of this world. But I will make this prison mine. I turned towards my star, to the unpromised freedom of this life, and took on the night with my wings of hope.