I wanted to fly. I lifted my arms and desperately stretched my fingers towards the burning blue sky, as if I could pull it closer. My stayed rooted to the earth.

A bevy of swans wandered across the yard before me, staring at me with judgemental black eyes. I asked them, "how do you fly? How do you grow your wings?"

They laughed at me in horrible trumpeting voices. "You don't deserve to fly," the leader said. "You flew your wings away."

I didn't mean to lunge. I didn't mean to wrap my hands around her long, perfect throat. But as the other swans trumpeted screams and fled, I kept squeezing. I squeezed until I felt the splinter of hollow bones, and she fell limp in my hands.

I woke up with my arms goosebumped and pin-prickled. My hands are bruised. I still can't fly.

Note sent to Adam:

There's a dead swan in the yard. It's still in one piece; only the ants have gotten to it so far. Do you want it for your study (or for the bugs)?