Writing Exercise: Flightless

Stupid missing toe.

He had a toe missing. He doesn’t remember how it went missing in the first place, but nonetheless, it was missing. He never really missed it though. He never felt incomplete without that third toe because being two-toed on one foot was just who he was, as if he was born two-toed.

But on this fine, sunny day he stared down at it with the most hateful bulging eyes he could muster. He despised being two-toed.

It all started when he saw her.

She was perched on the rails of a rusting balcony, cleaning her feathers and cooing happily. She didn’t have the most gorgeous body. In fact, she had a slight discolouration on her beak and an uneven wing span. Nonetheless, his eyes sparkled when he saw her. The sunshine hit her eyes in the most intentional, perfect manner. Her tail feathers were glowing slightly under the same late afternoon sun. Her body was basked in that golden light, making her look so warm and inviting.

So he plucked up his courage, puffed out his chest, and ruffled his own feathers, ready to fly over there and make her aware of his existence.

But the second he began to spread his wings to take flight, another guy landed beside her on the railing. She looked over at him, checking him out. He was a gorgeous one. His beak unblemished and black, topped with an oval-shaped white patch that resembled a delicious scoop of ice cream. His two perfect circles of black iris sitting in pools of alluring red. His neck covered by luminous green fanning downward above grey feathers. His wings were wide and strong, decked out in lustrous almost silver-looking feathers and a streak of black that curved perfectly upward, disappearing into the evenly greying out of his long tail feathers. You could practically see the waters rolling off its smooth plumage, leaving no traces behind. And his feet, both possessing three toes, the middle long, with two short ones to accompany it.

He caught him checking her out.

He chuckled.

He knew he was no match for him, what with his dull grey, short tail feathers and a toe missing.

She saw him looking over at him. Her eyes flickered onto him, trailed down his body and lingered on his two-toed foot. Her head flinched to the side, perhaps in confusion, perhaps in disgust. He didn’t have time to discern the emotion in her eyes, before they had moved back onto the handsome fellah beside her. Her eyes never came back around to him again.

He fluttered away just as the other guy began flexing his feathers and advancing toward her.

So here he was, huddled against a cold brick wall in some ubiquitous alleyway.

Stupid missing toe. He cursed miserably as he looked down on where it should have been.

Who would love him now? He pondered as he looked up to the vast blueness. 

Minutes later, he was pecking furiously for the bread crumbs that had just been thrown out from the back door of a local bakery.

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