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Wings
Andrew, Age 12, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia

Robert was sitting at the table waiting anxiously for dinner to be served. Maree was watching him from the other side of the table. No, she wasn’t watching, she was glaring. “Dinner is served!” said Mum happily. She was a pretty woman with a kind face that never seemed to stop smiling. “So what did you do at school today kids?” asked Dad, he was a surveyor, he spent every minute of his day measuring how far things were from other things. Despite the fact that Dad had told Robert many times that it was a fun job he still wasn’t convinced. “Nothing much,” Maree and Robert answered at the same time. Dad noticed the visual conflict between his son and daughter and asked, “Are you two ever going to stop fighting?” “Probably not,” Maree answered quickly. I wish I could just grow wings and fly away Robert thought.

*

They finished dinner and Robert and Maree were sent to bed. As he lay in bed Robert thought about what it would be like to live as a hermit. The next thing he knew he was in a deep sleep. He dreamt of growing wings and flying away from home. Then he was sucked into a portal of some sort and ripped to pieces.

He woke up with a start. His first thought was to check that he still had all of his body parts attached. “Legs…yes, arms…yes, head…yes, wings…yes, hang on, wings!?! Last time I checked I didn’t have wings!” Robert quickly jumped out of bed and rushed over to the mirror and examined himself. The wings were the wings of his favourite animal, the Sea Eagle. On second thought, they look pretty cool thought Robert. “I wonder if I can actually fly with these things” Robert asked himself.

Robert went over to the window and looked down. His room was on the second floor of an old two story Queenslander. He took a deep breath, and jumped. The wind whistled in his ears as he fell head first towards the ground. Then Robert remembered that birds flap when they fly, the next thing he knew he was flying like a bird, literally. As he rose up over the trees, houses, cars and people, Robert saw what he thought was a finch in the distance. He decided to try to catch up to it, but as he got closer Robert realised that it wasn’t a finch at all, it was a black sphere. All the more intrigued he made his way towards it. At that moment the sphere exploded in a flash of white light that engulfed Robert and blinded people all around.

*

Once Robert woke up he discovered that he wasn’t on the same planet that he had fallen asleep on. No, this planet was very dissimilar to Earth, instead of lush green grass and trees with colourful fruit, there was some kind of orange balls covering the ground and towering boulders of what looked like crystal. If it is crystal, I could be rich thought Robert excitedly. Next thing he knew he ran over to the mound and started trying to rip a chunk off.

“AAHEEEM!” Robert swung around to find something that was remarkably like himself, It was a rather large man with wings attached to his back. “I thought that you might like to know that what you where just hugging is Druntrous manure,” he said “come again?” Robert replied “Druntrous manure, it is the waste of a large animal. If you had to relate it to anything looks like an elephant crossed with a rat kind of creature.

“What are you?” asked Robert, “A hermit. A hermit angel,” Robert seemed rather bewildered at that remark “And so are you,” he added. As Robert took all of this in he was grabbed on the arm and dragged towards a shack that he hadn’t noticed before. When they got inside, the man asked Robert his name, Robert then asked “What’s yours?” “Gabriel” came the short reply. Robert was dumbstruck. “You mean to say that you are the angel Gabriel” “Yep and this is the one and only heaven.”

When he had recovered, Robert asked “Well how did you get here? And more to the point how did I get here?” “How do you think, you died!” replied Gabriel in a harsh tone, “But, I’m not dead, I can’t be dead, I went to sleep last night and POOF! I woke up with wings.” Gabriel thought for a minute before asking “Did you get sucked into a spinning orb?” “Yes! Is there a way back to earth?” “Nope, sorry,” “Are you sure?” “Well there is one way, but it means you can never come back to heaven again.” “That doesn’t matter, it isn’t what I thought it was anyway.” After Gabriel had asked three times and got the same answer he figured that Robert wanted to go so he explained how to leave.

*

Three hours later Robert was standing beside St Peter outside the gates of heaven. Robert had thought that the gate would be a cloud with golden gates. It couldn’t be any more different. It was a big orange ball like the ones in heaven only ten times bigger. It had a huge black wall at one end and a jet of air shooting up from the emptiness below. St Peter was explaining how to get down without coming back up in the jet. “You need to jump off one side of the boulder, freefall until you can see the ground and then start flapping like mad so you don’t hit the ground.” “Right” Robert said for the hundredth time. “Okay then, let’s get this over with.” Peter said reluctantly. As he stood at the edge of the ledge Robert felt his stomach lurch.

You can never come back.

He shook the voice out of his head and jumped. The wind whistled in his ears once more as he plummeted earth once more.

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