Feathers

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There once was a boy. He loved to collect feathers of all sorts. Always looking up in the sky gave him chills and a tingly feeling. As the birds were flying around above him, he would look with glistering watery eyes up to them. He slowly lowers himself to the ground to lie on his back. The thought of flying was so beautiful and satisfying. He would imitate every movement the birds made while he was laying in the damp, tall morning grass.

When he grew up year by year, he collected more feathers. By now he had ten boxes filled to the brim with feathers. The boxes were all stored in the basement of the home he lived in. The stench coming from the boxes was inhumane. It smelled like there were dead bodies down there. But his parents could not throw away all these feathers. When they tried to, the boy would cry and scream his lungs out. His obsession with feathers had become troublesome.

The boy felt that the feathers he found were bound to him. He would never ever be able to part from them. Whenever the boy would be out of school he either spent his time collecting feathers or sorting his already thousands of collected feathers. There were blue ones, red ones, purple, grey, white, striped, dotted. Anything you could think of, he would have them. Fake or real, a feather is a feather.

The boy was now thirteen. He had been collecting feathers for over eight years. The boxes stacked up to the ceiling. About thirty five boxes were overflowing with the delicate feathers. In these years he started bird spotting. He may even have seen one of the rarest birds on the world, The Imperial Amazon. Only an average of hundred fifty Imperial Amazon’s are left on the world, and he saw one of them. It must have gotten lost.

All he would think about is the beauty of these feathers. The soft touch they had. The way they worked on a bird. The different winds the feathers had caught must have been in the hundreds. He eventually became so obsessive with his feathers he would grind some of them, and ate them in his meals. His parents thought this was very worrisome, so they hired a professional psychiatrist and let him go there for three times a week.

A couple of years later the boy was free of his obsession. He was now 17 and started to live his life in a way he never did before, like everybody else. He started to build up his own life, he got a job and still went to school. He got himself a girl and married her. They had a beautiful little boy.

He showed his son the beauty of the world. The living creatures and the animals on the world. One day they were both laying on the grass looking at the sky. The son had grown up and now was seven years old. He pointed at the sky and giggled, as a magnificent magical bird crossed their eyesight. He looked at his dad as he laid there with wet swollen eyes, with tears rolling down his cheek. “That’s the Imperial Amazon”, his dad said.

He slowly stood up from the place they were laying. He grabbed his son by the hand and walked to the car. They got in and closed the door. “You can sit in front this time” his father said. Smilingly he climbed to the front seat from the back. He buckled his seatbelt and the got off the driveway.

They drove for one hour until they reached his parents’ house. His parents opened the door and welcomed them with a big hug. They walked to the basement and looked around. The stench was still there. And there was one box left. The father let out another tear as he grabbed the left over box. He opened it and looked inside. It was still full of the most beautiful feathers. He closed it and walked back upstairs to the car. He opened the backdoor and put the box on the back seat.

He called his son to come back to the car. The little boy came running with a big smile and got in the front seat and buckled his seatbelt. They waved his parents goodbye and started driving. After 2 hours or so they arrived at the city. They stopped at a hotel as the father booked a room for one night. The boy was wondering what the big idea was, but he brushed it of as some kind of surprise.

That night the father took his son to the roof. He locked the roof door and opened the box with feathers. His father had a screwdriver with him and started to stab himself in his arm, then his legs, then his face and his chest. The boy was screaming and crying to his father to stop stabbing himself. His father smiled at him and said he was fine, and not to worry. Then finally he stopped stabbing himself and the boy was sobbingly sitting on the ground looking at what his dad was doing to himself.

He took the feathers and started pushing the feathers in the holes he made with the screwdriver. Blood was dripping out of every single hole as he did. His son had stopped crying, and stared at his dad with a dull and emotionless face. Once the box was empty and all the feathers were sticking in the father’s skin he said to his boy barely smiling “hop on”. The boy got up and climbed his back without saying a word.

The father ran as fast as he could to the edge of the high building and… jumped. He spread his arms and started crying. “Aren’t we beautiful?” he said to his son. His son clung on to his dad as he squeezed him, “yes dad”

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