it was a pitiful sight – ragged wings stripped to geometric suggestion of function. its skin was almost translucent and you could see the pathetically slow and tortured beating of its heart knocking out a rhythm on a ribcage with little meat surrounding it. if it were what it seemed to be then it was in a state far away from ideal – there was no way that this sorry specimen was in any way a symbol of the glory of god. it mewled like a newborn cat, sputtering out some kind of language that sounded like shapeless florid vowels that rolled into each other. glossolalia? he couldn’t credit it. if it were what he hoped it was not then his chaining up of it like a stray or criminal would be a terrible act. he would look over at it and a pressure centred in the front of his head would begin to spread. he would shake the understanding from his skull; drape himself once more in the ignorance he needed to survive this ordeal. how long had he had this thing captured? how much longer would he have to suffer because of its presence? if it had been obviously a dumb animal, looking at its pain, he would have put it out of its misery, but it wasn’t, and so, the questions about killing it were many. he hefted the crowbar in his hands, swallowed nothingness, stood, walked over to it – stood there watching. it whimpered – the noise corkscrewed through him, pained his heart, bathed his stomach in nervous acid. like the first crack of thunder in a storm, something loosened as the metal in his hands transmitted the dull thud of a busted head into him. and he understood that the falling of those in the bible was preceded always by a choice – that they invited their own destruction, their own banishment. it was as if having started he could not stop though. each blow told him something about the creature he was murdering; each blow told him something about himself. stumbling away from the building he set alight to cremate his guilt he knew that he had not survived the act; knew he had just as surely killed himself as if it were his own skull he had crushed.


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