Falling: Chapter 1 // Shawn Mendes
Authors note: I’m not a medical student so I apologize if anything I wrote is incorrect, also the wings at the bottom was what I kind of pictured but feel free to think of what ever.
I was bored. The kind of bored you get where you don’t know what to do. I turn the TV up louder, my gaze flicking to the wall clock that was ticking softly. 9:36.
“The meteor shower has proven to be one of the best that scientists have ever seen.” The news reporter states. I had changed the channel to some weather report and I was too lazy to change it.
“In particular, one meteor is believed to have crashed on earth, not too far from the town of Portland. There has been no reported damage and viewers are encouraged to not be alarmed.”
Portland was the closet town from where I lived. I didn’t mind living on 8 acre block, left to me by my my Grandpa which I had inherited when he passed. I much preferred the quiet country landscape to the busy bustling towns.
I sigh, pulling the blanket tighter around my body. It was a chilly night and my heater was broken. I had to remember to call the electrical guy tomorrow. I’ m pulled out of my thoughts by 2 sharp knocks on my front door.
I frown, I wasn’t expecting anyone tonight. Hesitantly rising from the warmth of my couch, my sock clad feet pad down the hallway until I’m in front of the door. There’s another knock.
Ignoring the voice in my head screaming that it was a bad idea I pull the front door open a fraction. My eyes widen at what stands in front of me- or more importantly who.
Only wearing a tattered pair of shorts, a tall muscular man meets my gaze. I gasp, the skin around his eye an awful purple color and his lip is busted. His chest was worse. He’s bruised and battered, most of him a dark shade of black and blue.
“I’m sorry to bother you at such a late hour.” He’s speaking, his voice a low raspy sound that sends a tingle down my spine. I raise my gaze to his face again, taking note of the slope of his nose and his prominent jaw line.
“Are you alright?” I ask, worry seeping through my words.
“I was in a.. you could say accident.” he falters before continuing. “There weren’t many other houses around, your’s was the first I saw.”
“It’s pretty deserted around here.” I pull the door open wider and the cold air rushes in. “Do you want to come in? It’s warmer.” I gesture for him to come inside and he hesitantly steps in.
Shutting the door, I lead him into the kitchen where I grab out some cups and turn the kettle on to brew some hot tea.
“You don’t have to tell me what happened but based on your injuries I’m guessing you’re going to need some first aid.” I tell him, faceing him again.
“Please.” He nods gratefully. I show him to the bathroom, grabbing the container out of the cupboard.
“You just stand there and I’ll fix you up.” Getting one of the cloths, I dab on some antiseptic. Holding the fabric over one of the deep cuts on his shoulder, the man groans, his legs visibly shaking and it looks like he’s going to fall.
“I think I need to call a hospital.” I frown, eyeing the other cuts on his back.
“No.” He growls, swaying where he stood. “Continue, please.”
I move the blood stained cloth to another cut and he lurches forward. Without thinking I reach out and grab his arm to steady him. His skin was so cold, almost like his whole body was made of ice.
At my touch he lets out a sigh, his back stretching so that the muscles ripple. I couldn’t get my eyes off of him. He stretches his neck, the smooth skin on his back making my stomach jolt.
I wash out the rest of the scrapes, focusing on the task at hand and not about how I could so easily run my fingertips down the length of his faintly scarred back.
“I think I’m nearly done, do you want to take a quick shower while I grab you some clean clothes?” I ask him gently, placing the supplies back into the green first aid kit and onto the top shelf of the cupboard.
“If it’s not too much to ask.” The man grunts, stretching his back.
“It’s fine, do you want me to call a mechanic as well, for your car?” He meets my eyes in the mirror, his back still facing me.
“Car?” He seems confused.
“Yeah, your car?” I say, chucking the used cloths in the bin.
“Uh… No its fine thank you, I’ll get the car tomorrow.”
I nod, walking out the room. Going into the spare room I find some red gingham tracksuit pants and a large white shirt. My younger brother often comes down to stay with me during his holiday breaks from high school, Hopefully these clothes will fit the male in my bathroom… who’s currently showering. I shiver.
Shaking the thoughts from my head I hear the water turn off, indicating that he was finished showering. I hadn’t given him a towel yet.
“Shoot.” I mumble to myself, grabbing the large purple towel from my linen closet and rushing to the door to find it already open. His back is to me again, the small bathmat the was once hanging off the side of the bathtub was slung around his waist.
His back that a few minutes ago was covered in bruises and cuts had completely healed over. My jaw drops. Then it gets even stranger.
His shoulder blades started to contract; almost like something was trying to crawl out of his back. I swallow the lump in my throat, looking away from the nauseating image. He moans lowly, hunching over the sink and I look back at him.
His spine cracks and he arches his back as something begins to push its way out of his skin right between his shoulder blades. It was one of the most disgusting things I had ever seen in my life- and being a nurse I had seen a lot.
His breathing quickens as he tries to regulate the air he was inhaling. Was that a bone coming out of his back? The blood was making it hard for me to depict what it was that was sticking out of his shoulder blades.
Then it suddenly became clear. They were feather’s. The white wasn’t bone but in fact red tinged white feathers.
He groans one last time, still unknowing of my presence, his body shaking, and the once bloody lumps on his back emerge into two white wings.
They were massive, they arched over his head and curved down, the ends of the wings brushing the floor. The large white feathers were slightly stained in crimson colors.
He looks at him self in the mirror, his back flexing as the wings flutter. I stare at him in bewilderment. How was this even possible.
He reaches a hand back to run it down the side of his wings. He lets out a sound of contentment. Then they start to move in soft sweeping motions, pushing him off the floor a few good inches until his head is nearly touching the roof.
I can’t stop the words tumbling from mouth. “Why are you flying in my bathroom?”
He falls back onto the floor in shock, the bathmat dropping and I blush, looking away and handing him the towel I was holding.
When I look back at him, he’s covered his lower half. The wings towering over his frame catch my attention. He’s moved closer to me. Close enough that I could see each individual feather as the sloped up into the arch and down to the floor.
My hand reaches out to touch them and the man freezes. Something was pulling me towards him, towards the glistening white that shined in the white. The pads of my right hand brushes his wing gently and the reaction was immediate.
His wings quiver and I gasp, my fingers trailing down the curve. Then I fall as my vision blurs, my hand trembling from where I had touched him. The last thing I see is he winged man peering over me as I collapsed, a hint of humor in his eyes.