So, a couple of weeks ago, I started work on a new short story under the aforementioned title, ‘I Have No Wings Yet I Must Fly’. As a last minute decision, I decided to pitch the idea as my major project for my final year of university, and it was chosen! I didn’t see that coming, and had to throw a script together by the end of the week. The film itself will not be done until like May, although a ‘pilot’ of sorts will be completed in December. Until then, as a sort of preview to the production, and something that will inevitably go into the production folder to give it the illusion of professionalism that simply isn’t present with me, here is the beginning of the short story what I wrote, which I have since translated into a screenplay.
It’s up there, I can just about see it.
When I went in there, into the crooked mansion to see the old woman, I hadn’t really acknowledged it before. Sure, it’d always BEEN there, but there’s something about perception that can make it utterly invisible to the selective eye and the ignorant mind. Of course, it’s just a matter of having your priorities changed, at which point your eyes will open and the previously elusive will, poof! appear out of nowhere. I am having that sensation right now. I’m looking at the night sky.
More specifically, the North Star. Why should I care about that?
I work for a company which specialises in granting last wishes to the dying. Usually it’s pretty simple affair; do-good celebrities to contact or plane flights to book.
This case is not that simple.
I mean, I’m told that she was sound of mind when she wrote it down, the illness hadn’t taken that from her at that point, so where on earth did this request come from? Like, of all the things to want to take to the grave.
She wants to be buried with a piece of the North Star.
I’ve tried asking her about it but to no avail, when she isn’t comatose she tosses and turns as if she were under some tainted affliction of the mind. I have asked the family, all three of them, and they have been of no help. Not one, not the daughter, the son-in law, nor the brother can tell me where such an unusual request may have originated. They were kind enough to let me make use of their telescope, which I currently stare through towards the celestial body in question.
It’s quite the conundrum. I have a job to do, yet I cannot. I have no wings, yet I must fly. I’m seemingly expected to soar through the galaxy and amongst the constellations, swoop around Orion’s Belt and ride the Big Dipper, before extending my hand and retrieving a slice, freshly cut, from the North Star.
So all I’d have to do is die of asphyxiation, decompression and burning. Simple. Where do I sign up?
My boss has been of like, literally no help. I called her earlier, and all she had to say was, “You have your assignment; see that it gets done.”
Cheers Boss; great job. I’ll be sure to send you the medical bills, as well as my notice of resignation.
I am reminded of the ancient story of Icarus, the boy who had wings. In a surge of overconfidence, he felt it necessary to show off just how capable he could be, to his own downfall. Upon straying too close to the sun, his wings melted and he fell.
Spoiler alert, he died horribly.
There have been no such instances of people with wings since then, yet something about this woman perplexes me. She cries out frequently for her slice of the star, in an almost natural, primal urge, as desperately as one might call out for water or sustenance. She means what she says, but does she know what she’s saying?
I’ve been given free lease of the house to look around as I please tonight. Every hour counts, the Doctors have given her until sunrise. This chance to see the North Star up close will be her last. The telescope is in the conservatory. A quick glance around the room reveals nothing else of particular interest, with the exception of the magazines. Articles on skincare, politics, celebrities, gardening, rambling, the kitchen sink, anything really.
With the notable exception of stargazing.
The telescope appears to be hers, but the interest is not. What is it about the brain that lays certain desires dormant, only to be unlocked in its final moments? Has the old woman ever expressed an interest towards the study of astronomy or the acquisition of what it entails?
According to the brother, not really.
Upon leaving the conservatory I find myself in the great hall. This building is one taken straight from the board game Cluedo. If I were to discover myself wandering through some secret passageway I wouldn’t be surprised. Point is, it’s an awful lot of ground to cover in one night. How many clues are to be found before my objective makes sense? And even then, how would it possibly be feasible?
Looking around the hallway, it has certainly become clear that I have my work cut out for me. Where on earth should I go next? Still, I have no time to dawdle, I will walk straight forward and see where it takes me.
I’ve never written anything like this before, so it is of course sod’s law that this is the project that ended up being chosen for my major project. However, I have had a lot of fun creating these ideas and writing this story, and am very keen, along with my team, to make and share the best story possible this upcoming December and May. Until then, thanks for reading!