Broken Wing

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Broken Wing

The man walked along the roadside. Just having come out of the low underhang out a mall, he made his way into the blinding sunlight, squinting against the harsh light of the sun. Sipping his coffeee, he wondered what today would bring.

Wiping away the crumbs of a cheese danish, he quaffed the next large gulps of his drink and stopped at an intersection. Waiting for his turn to cross, he watched a dark jeep, black and metallic make it's way though the crosswalk and into the middle of the street. Waiting in the middle was a seagull. It's white feathers plump and preened in a flurry of grey and white. The bird began to lift off into the air.

And the jeep's front slammed into the bird. Pulled underneath, the animal tried to fly away, but underneath the vehicle there was no escape. The bird rolled and fell under, disappearing for a moment. The man watched, horrifed, stopping at the crosswalk and waiting to see the bird emerge unharm. And then he heard it.

The snapping of a fragile hollow bone. Like a collision of bamboo on bamboo, the echo reverberated across the industrial buildings and over the asphalt. The bird listed to the side, skidded underneath as the first set of tires broke its wing. The second set rushed towards it, the man continued to watch, horrified, convinced he was about to see a bird become a bloody mess. Unable to look away, the back wheels felt like they filled his vision, time slowed down, the bird disappeared for a moment.

Reappearing on the other side, still white, still grey, no blood. The bird attempted to fly towards the sidewalk, lifting a foot into the air before falling and rolling onto the street again. The bird stood, attempting a second time, another time, again, and again. Finally, the creature seemed to understand, and walked down the street trying occasionaly to fly.

The man continued walking, aghast, wondering what to do. With no smartphone to aid him, no phonebook, no knowledge of any humane society shelters or animal control contacts. He continued to walk. There was nothing to be done. He thought about the bird, what would happen? Without the ability to fly would it be able to eat? Would someone else see it? If it wandered into the road again would it escape in time? Would someone help it?

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