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 Blue sky - Collected

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Registration date : 2008-12-13

PostSubject: Blue sky - Collected   Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:43 am

Tim looked up and gave the sky a nod.

'Clear... Blue... Good day to fly,' he thought.

He crunched through the pine needles towards the tree's wide trunk - a serious face and a thumping heart. Tim sat heavily and leaned against rough bark to retie a shoelace. He paused to breathe in the warm mushroom scents rising from the ground. A shy smile crept to his eyes.

'Updraft - perfect flying conditions,' he told himself.

No one looked around to see Tim tug the bulging backpack higher onto his narrow shoulders. They didn't watch him take a deep breath and shut his eyes for a moment before starting up the rusty nail stairs hammered into the old pine's trunk.

Tim climbed. He didn't notice the still afternoon start to move as a breeze took hold and his pine tree swayed in soft time with the park's other trees. Tim didn't hear the startled sobbing of a small boy who fell off the monkey bars just a few hundred metres away. He concentrated on each hand and each foot as he made his way up the tree. Tim watched, in his mind's eye, the graceful ducking and weaving of the pack on his back. He knew that his precious wings protruded slightly through the zip but his careful path meant they would not be marked or damaged as they brushed against wayward branches.

Tim had spent four solid days making the wings. The school holidays had been long and lonely. Making the wings was the best, and most difficult, idea he had ever had. Making the wings gave him a real purpose. Making the wings and flying.

He was just nine years old but Tim knew a thing or two about building things. He was a good learner and he'd picked up some tips from his brother... and his uncle Tony.

Actually, it was Tony who'd given him the idea of making his own wings. "Why don't you just fly away then, little bird?" he'd said. It was Tony who'd told him to fly and it was Tony who'd made him want to fly.

Tony wasn't his real uncle, Tim didn't think. He probably wasn't his dad's brother. And Tony couldn't be his mum's brother AND her boyfriend. Tony was just Mum's boyfriend. He wasn't very nice to Mum. When Tony came over, Mum was always sad or angry, mostly angry. Tony hurt Tim too.

Tim looked up. It was so far away, the top. But he wasn't tired, so that was fine. He had all day. Tim looked down, and quickly looked forwards as he held tighter to the tree trunk. Down was too far. He had climbed really far off the ground. It was probably as far as the roof of his house. Anyway, he wasn't scared. He was a good climber and he wouldn't fall.

Tim stopped thinking and stopped looking and started climbing again. One thing he was always good at, his teacher said, was concentrating. When he set his mind to it, Tim got things done.

Tim stopped near the top. He stopped when it was pretty thin and he could see out sideways but the branches were still strong enough to sit on while he got ready. He balanced himself with legs tucked around the tree and took off his pack.

Tim rested and had a mouthful of juice. He looked around him and almost fell.

'Wooaahhhhhh,' he thought. 'I never knew it was this high.'

He could see down all the streets around the park. He could even see his own house two full blocks away! This was going to be some story to tell at school. They probably wouldn't believe him.

Tim pulled out the wings and admired how they glistened and shone. They looked to him to be quivering, full of magic and ready to fly.

'I can't believe I made them so great myself.' Tim glowed, a huge smile overtaking his pale face. 'This is amazing.'

He concentrated again - it wasn't easy taping and tying the wings to his arms. Each arm had the extra security of a borrowed buckle-belt, which was frustratingly difficult to do up one-handed.

If anyone had looked through the branches to the top of the tree, they would have seen a small, thin boy perched awkwardly, his arms tangled in wood and card - his white painted wings. Inside his head, Tim was more magnificent than any bird. He was perfect, almost blinding. Tim imagined his face on the body of one of those painted angels. He looked like God's best angel - the main one.

Tim thought about which direction he would fly. He noticed the growing breeze and the sway of the tree.

'I'll fly with the wind,' he thought, relieved that the direction was away from his house. He didn't want Mum to look up and catch him. Flying with the wind would be like a kite - easier. He'd probably be at the beach by the time he landed.

Tim felt a bit afraid, just for a moment. He breathed the fear out and breathed in a new top-of-the-trees air.

'Now!'

But he didn't do it. A rolling gust of wind put him off. Wait till the tree is still.

'Now!'

He took off, flapping hard - harder than he'd ever done anything before. Everything that was Tim was flapping his wings. It felt great to be winning against gravity, to be rising into the blue sky.

A child on a swing looked up at the scream and saw something like a small boy rolling and holding and falling fast through the branches of the pine tree. The swinging child held a sob and looked beyond the tree. She watched a jet stream grow wider and blur as its thin end rose higher into the blue sky.
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