Wings - A Short Story -What Would You Do If You Were Bored Too?
What Would You Do If You Were A Bored Angel?
This hilarious story is written around the town of Piddle and is a tale of angelic mischievousness. Have you heard the saying 'The Devil finds work for idle hands'? Well, 'Wings' is not only a short story that will make you laugh, but will make you ponder on what bored angel's can really get up to!
If only something different would happen...
"Heaven's alright, but it does get a little boring at times," complained the first Angel to his friend, who sat beside him on a rather damp cloud. "Not really a lot to do," replied the second, plucking at his harp rather half-heartedly. "I could never get all that enthusiastic about harps, never did have a very musical ear, even when I was alive," he said.
The two friends gazed across the expanse of heaven, to the other pink clouds, each with its quota of Angels. Some of them dangled their legs over the sides, pretending that they were splashing their toes in water. Others just lay, gazing over towards the Golden Gate, with its long lines of people waiting to be checked in by the Gaffer. "If only something different would happen," said the first Angel. "Yes" yawned the other. "I say, I wonder what year it is back on earth?" "Oh it must be coming up to 2020 by now," answered the first. "Isn't that when something is supposed to happen?" queried the second.
These angels were just a little bit bad... they scrapped through to get to heaven!
Now Angels are Angels, because they have been fairly good when they were alive, but some only managed to scrape in, like this pair. They say that even in the most evil person there is a little bit of good, so it is the same with good people. Deep down, right in the centre, these Angels were a little bit bad. Nothing terrible you understand, just a touch, right down inside where it doesn't show up.
"You know," said the first Angel, " I've got an idea."
"You know," said the first Angel, " I've got an idea." They whispered to each other for a while, and slowly an impish grin settled across their faces. "Just little wings, just one or two, here and there," they giggled. They flew down, passed all the other clouds, carefully avoiding the other Angels. Passed the Golden Gate with it's long queue, and on towards their old world, and a little innocent fun to pass the time away.
The pair thought that they had gone unseen, but a set of beady eyes followed them as they flew on golden wings, down towards the Earth. The owner of those eyes chuckled, his long tail swishing in pleasure and anticipation. He rubbed his green bony hand together in glee. "Soon my little friends, very soon we shall meet."
Out sprouted two golden feathers...
It all started round about the time of the spring bank holiday. Bill had been in the garden, clearing away the remains of the winter’s debris. Wearily he came into the kitchen, very ready for his mug of coffee. Slumping into a chair, he complained to his wife Sally, of a terrible itch on his back, asking her to scratch it. Nothing very unusual in that you may say, for anybody's back can sometimes itch, but when Sally started scratching, she felt two little bumps protruding from just below his shoulder blades.
"You're growing wings Bill," she gasped in horror and disbelief.
That night Bill tossed and turned. He just could not get comfortable, his constant fidgeting keeping Sally awake, until in desperation she finally got out of bed, and prepared a tray of tea. Placing the tray between them she proceeded to pour out the hot liquid. Bill sat up ready to drink the brew, and as he sipped he told Sally that he could feel something sticking into his back. So to keep the peace and put her husband's mind at rest, she pulled up his pyjama top to see if there was anything there.
The tea tray
leaped a foot into the air, as Sally let out a yell. On each side of his back
were two large bumps, and from them sprouted tiny golden feathers. "You're
growing wings Bill," she gasped in horror and disbelief.
Do you know she only ties her shopping trolley to her two little mites...
Bill was only the first of many. At the beginning it was mostly children that sported wings. They found it great fun showing them off to anybody who cared to see them, but it became less of a joke when infants were seen gliding over roof-tops with distraught mothers desperately chasing after them, the distracted parent watching her offspring sailing high above the ground, while she had her feet planted firmly on the pavement.
"What do you think of that Mrs Sparrow down the road," said Mrs Turner to her next- door neighbour one day. "Do you know, she only ties her shopping trolley to her two little mites, and makes them fly the week-end groceries home while she walks behind, with never a thing to carry." "She's a wrong-un alright," replied the neighbour, "you can see why there is no suggestion of wings on her back."
It was becoming a matter of pride now to grow wings, indeed some people had even gone to the length of strapping a pair of brassiere's filled with old socks to their backs, just to appear to be as good as their neighbours.
Only those people, who were obviously bad, had not sprouted wings.
As time went on, it became a common sight to see people flying over rooftops on their way to work, or the shops. Even the milkman delivered the gold-tops by air, leaving his milk float parked several streets away. He flipped over garden walls and fences, gaily distributing milk, cream and eggs, his feet never touching the ground. By high summer, most of the population were flying to their destinations, rather than using public transport. Only those people, who were obviously bad, had not sprouted wings.
The lights burned late in the House of Commons. The debate over the phenomena was endless, and to make matters worse, not one politician had the faintest sign of a wing. The member for Piddletown had demanded of the minister for health, that ore funds be allocated to the ambulance service, for the extra workload that the sky-crashes had put upon them. The inexperienced flyers were everlastingly bashing into each other, landing a tangle of twisted arms, wings and feathers.
the House of Commons was not a happy place...
The transport unions were turning nasty, for workers were being laid off in great numbers, as people used trains and buses less and less. The R.S.P.B. were up in arms. Boys could steal bird’s eggs without having to climb the trees, and people were landing in them, scaring the nesting birds out of their wits.
Farmers were sending so many letters to their M.P's that the unfortunate
members were in danger of drowning under a sea of paper. They complained of
young people swooping out of the sky, and frightening the animals half to
death. Hens that stopped laying, cows that stopped milking and ewes that lost
lambs. All in all, the House of Commons was not a happy place at the time.
closed by the hundred. Cars lay in garages, spiders spinning cobwebs over their
windscreens, and small rodents making a home in the upholstery. Roads became
free of traffic, save for the occasional lorry that was still needed to
transport for heavier items.
The unemployment figures grew. First train and bus drivers were no longer needed. Then garage mechanics, petrol-pump attendants, taxi drivers, school-crossing ladies, shoe repairers and car workers. B.P laid off hundreds, and had to cut its dividend.
The stock market
plunged. Any company remotely connected with the transport industry suffered.
Shareholders lost millions, even the big financial institutions had to dip into
the reserves to continue to make pension payments, and insurance claims.
The novelty had soon worn off, it was all very well to be able to fly....
The government were at their wits end. The Chancellor of the Exchequer shot himself. Millions of pounds were being paid out on the dole, but tax revenues and duties fell and fell, leaving a huge deficit in the budget that simply could not be filled.
Every day the list of company failures grew. The Nissan and Ford factories closed, British Airways had planes standing empty on runways. Very few trains ran on the nations network, although that was not very different from normal. Sailors on the channel ferries stood idle, watching lines of would-be passengers flying, like migratory birds high in the sky above them.
The novelty had
soon worn off. It was all very well to be able to fly, but that was small recompense
for lack of a job and money. The mood of the people changed, and little by
little, they turned ugly. The Society of Hire Industrial Relations
and Knowledge, (SHIRK) staged a marathon fly to Westminster. People flew
from all over the country to protest at the unemployment. The Civil Service
union called out its members as a protest at the government’s lack of
An egg sailed from the far reaches of the crowd...
An emergency meeting at Downing Street, held as police hovered outside upstairs windows, against flying pickets, failed to produce any satisfactory plan of action. The B.B.C broadcast speeches by minister after minister, reassuring the populace that everything would return to normal, and that even if wings on people did become the norm, it would not affect national security. Fear of invasion by foreign powers had taken hold of the masses, for how could this small island defend itself from hoards of flying soldiers? Bill and Sally hovered a few feet from Sir Edmond Plonkit, their local M.P.
They noted that he stood very firmly on the steps of the town hall, not a whisper of a bulge on his back. Holding up his hands, he called for silence, and after the jeering had died down, he could at last make himself heard. "My friends, I know that this has been something of a traumatic experience, but you must realise that in the long term it can only mean a more prosperous society for us all. A society that will adjust to the new circumstances, and one where all can achieve their most sought-after their aspirations. We must use this newfound freedom of movement for the good of all. To help each other in whatever walk of life that we may find ourselves.
An egg sailed slowly from the far reaches of the gently flapping crowd, to land with a thickening plop at the M.P's feet. A discontented murmur rose from within the crowd, and a voice to one side of Sally shouted, "what about my Bert's job, what are we supposed to live on?"
This plea seemed to stir the crowd. "Who threw the egg?" demanded a disembodied voice,
The P.A. system gave a tinny shriek, before the
M.P's voice could once again be heard. "Fellow countrymen, for the good of
England, please be patient. This gift, for that is what it is, will help us to
once again make this nation of ours great, if only we can pull together".
Around the country similar speeches were being made by M.P's to their constituents. It seemed to fire the imagination and restore semblance of stability to the people of Britain. If it was for the good of the country, and even the Prime Minister said that it was, then surely it must be for the best.
This plea seemed
to stir the crowd. "Who threw the egg?" demanded a disembodied voice,
from somewhere near the back of the undulating mass. "Yes, what the man
said is right", cried another. "It was that Mrs Sparrow",
shouted a woman who was not holding a baby as tightly as she should have been.
The baby, taking a fright at its mother's outburst, shot straight up in the
air, landing on top of the town hall clock. A pair of pigeons, who up to that
time had not been very interested in the proceedings, gave up their perch,
bombing the M.P as they made a hasty retreat.
All the pent-up
rage of the crowd was unleashed on the unfortunate Mrs Sparrow. In her wild
efforts to escape their fury, she half flew, half fell onto the town hall steps
near where the M.P was standing. One of her wings became entangled with his
umbrella, and in her efforts to disengage herself; her foot came into violent
contact with the pot -puree of broken egg and pigeon droppings. She slithered
and slid, her wing pulling the umbrella away. It was perhaps a little perverse
that the podgy M.P had his not inconsiderable weight balanced on it at the
time. Crash, thump went the pair, as their bodies sprawled together on the town
hall steps. Meanwhile, the baby from its vantage point on the clock chuckled
gleefully at the scene below. The pigeons, finding their perch invaded by the
baby, made off into pastures new, leaving a couple more messages to land with
maximum effect on the flapping crowd below.
Mrs Sparrow and
Sir Edmond landed in a tangled heap, just below where Bill and Sally hovered.
They knew that to leave Mrs Sparrow to the tender mercies of the crowd could
only lead to her further punishment. Bill took one arm and Sally the other, and
with a great deal of flapping and straining, eventually managed to slowly fly
her up and away from the mass of people that flapped around the prostrate M.P.
Only the puzzled eyes of the baby, still astride the town hall clock, followed
them as they made their way to the relative security of Sally's kitchen.
Mrs Sparrow just
sat, her eyes staring into the teacup as its contents cooled, the fat from the
milk congealing into a greasy pattern on the surface. Bill broke the silence by
remarking that his wings didn't feel quite right. Sally looked over to where he
sat, noticing that a few feathers had dropped onto the kitchen tiles.
"Oh no Bill, don't say you're going to malt now. Don't I have enough to do, without trying to get rid of feathers from all over the house as well?" Mrs Sparrow's damaged wing seems to sag, and with a gentle 'plop', dropped onto the floor. "Good heavens", cried Sally, "Didn't that hurt?" Mrs Sparrow stared down at the fallen appendage, "I hardly felt it go", she said.
All over the
country, feathers began to fall like autumn leaves from people’s wings. Women
in mid-flight found themselves unable to stay in the sky, having to land
wherever they could. It was not unusual to see a hapless housewife stranded in
the topmost of a tree, feathers streaming from balding wings in a steady
Within days not a feather was left attached to a wing anywhere. Then the wing themselves started falling off. People awoke to find a crumpled wing lying in the sheets, it's companion, like a child's loose tooth, wobbling steadily from side to side.
industry went into over-drive all the jackets and coats that had been cut to
allow for the wings, had to be replaced. Then the bus and train drivers were
recalled, the car factories re-started, and life as it had been, began again.
A few weeks
later, Bill turned over in bed to Sally, his arm encircling her waist. He said
very softly, almost apologising, "you know darling, I think I can feel two
little bumps on my forehead". Sally sat straight up in the bed and looked
down at her husband. "Oh no you don't" she screamed, jumping from the
bed and bolting downstairs, "wings I can live with but horns are going
just a little too far".
They found themselves plucked away!
The two Angels hastily departed the world of the living. In
their wildest imaginings they could not have realised the chaos their little
diversion would cause. Slowly, and by a very roundabout route the tried
returning to heaven, but before they could reach it they found themselves
plucked away, and in spite of all their cries and struggles, they were pulled
They passed the
Golden Gate, with the lines of the newly-dead waiting to be checked off, only
the slight raising of the gaffers eyebrow, let them know that he had noticed
Down, down they
tumbled, every second it grew warmer. Their wings started to melt as though
they were made of wax. Their cries of remorse drowned out by great gusts of
inane laughter, as they were drawn ever deeper into the waiting arms of
© This work is covered under Creative Commons License
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