Pigeon's Eye View
The filthy ground in front of him was nearly invisible in the lightless hole. Hell, he wouldn’t be able to tell it was ground except for the fact that it was covered in small pebbles. He glanced side to side, hoping to see something, anything. It was dark.
Reaching out, his hand grazed the side of a tunnel, smacking against it painfully. Perhaps it was stone? He couldn’t tell. When he reached up, his fingers brushed against the ceiling. There was no room to stand. Instead, he sat, eyes glued open, breathing uneven.
“Where am I? He muttered. Unlike a normal tunnel, the sound didn’t echo or amplify; instead it seemed to be swallowed by the darkness. It was unnerving, and his heart beat sped up.
Wanting to find something familiar – anything familiar – he touched his own clammy skin. His hand – trembling softly - rested on the phoenix tattooed on his arm. It was too dark to see it (Hell, it was too dark to see anything.)
Through the gloom, sudden bright, vivid colors assaulted him. It lit up his surroundings in the claustrophobic tunnel and seemed to be coming out of a hole at the end.
It was filthy. Dirt stained the walls. They weren’t stone, but he couldn’t tell what they were. Looking at the ground, he realized that what he had assumed to be pebbles were actually shells.
It was bird seed.
“What the fuck?” he exclaimed, then quieted, not liking to hear his voice drain away and disappear without answer.
Finally focusing on the picture before him – a long way in front of him – he saw an alley.
He was looking down on it. The alley seemed surreal, out of reach, and inappropriately vivid. Even from his position in the air, he could see each speck of grime and dirt dotting the concrete ground. There was graffiti on the walls of the long abandoned building. Nothing special, just the generic: Cass loves Nick and Fred was here.
The scene was moving, quickly. It focused once more on the sky. A flock of shadowy shapes – birds – flew by. He swallowed hard, hating the irony that choked him.
They were free.
The damn birds were free.
He wasn’t. Reaching out in rapt hope, his hand, once again, brushed against hard walls. They trapped him, attacked him, holding him in the premise.
Suddenly, he had to go closer to the scene. For where he was, it appeared like a television. Small, never seeming large enough. Though, he had to admit, it was quite clear and so wonderfully vibrant.
He climbed forward, knowing he couldn’t stand but crawling instead. His heart was thudding. Then, suddenly, he stuck a hand into a pile of goo. Looking down in the faint light derived from the scene, he saw a mix of white and black caked onto his hand.
He was disgusted, his face melting into a mortified expression. It was a cruel irony. Hadn’t he been envying the birds only seconds prior? Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he continued on, through the seeds, through the grime, until the scene began to grow larger.
It grew brighter, too. Now, he saw the dirt caked onto his hands – apparently the walls were dirtier than he’d first thought.
Finally, he looked at the scene before him. It was huge, as if he was standing before the screen of a movie theatre. He reached out to touch it, and at once he let out a cry of shock. His hand had just gone through it. Glancing around nervously, as if expecting another person to be there, he looked at the scene more closely.
At once, he noticed that there was a feather falling inside of it. Dull and grey, it was probably a pigeon’s. He wondered why it was so sharp. Surely, it was nothing important.
Why did the picture – which he quickly realized was moving – focus on it? Looking at the rafters in the view carefully, he could see a few outlines of birds.
They looked enormous. Whatever the hell those birds were, they were big. In fact, on the large screen, they seemed to be larger than he was.
One flew, wings manipulating the air and causing a heavy breeze – which he saw but didn’t feel. The lack of feeling worried him immensely, and at once, his wonder with the picture before him faded, replacing with anxiety.
Turning on his heel, he could not see a break in the tall walls that rose into black oblivion. There were no holes, nothing he could escape through. There weren’t even any boarded windows.
He turned back to the view. Reluctantly, he brought a grimy hand up. Slowly pushing it before him, he watched as his fingers grazed the screen and disappeared. Determined, he reached farther, until his entire forearm was out of view, behind the brightly colored illusion. Then his hand brushed something. To his utter surprise, it came off into his hand. He pulled it back quickly, unsure and nervous about what it was.
It was soft, silky, and small, but what the hell could it be? When he saw it, his mouth dropped open.
It was a damn feather.
The small thing was pale grey and about an inch long. It wasn’t anything special. Oh, of course not. It just freaked him out.
Now completely annoyed at himself, he practically jumped through the scene. A shocked cry left his lips as his momentum carried him through, slamming him into the ground. Looking around, he saw that he was in scene he’d been staring at.
He looked up from where he came from. It was a rafter, and the wood was old and sagging. Actually, he was surprised that it was still holding together.
Inhabiting the rafter was a lone shape. A pigeon.
Remembering the birdseed and feathers, he couldn’t help but wonder where he had been before jumping through the screen.