Chapter 1 – The Warrior

Part I


bird-wing-structure-bigHer shoes dragged on the fractured cement floor. The light shone palely yellow on her, and flowed through the riverbeds of years that settled on her face. The buildings, a pile of minuscule lives enveloped in concrete and ragged paint, rose defiantly towards the darkness, as if shying from the light that could bare their miserable condition, as if in darkness there was redemption. Electric wires wrestled and strangled the buildings and lampposts, and jumped to embrace of each other across the starless sky. The flashing blue windows spitted fragments of soap operas, game shows, and sports events – life through a box in a box – defended by black steel grid molded into flowery shapes. A constant stream of water tried to escape the maze, guiding the rats who listened intently as the president promised another lie, the mayor lied another promise, and then scurried away – the president, the mayor and the vermin – into the sewers.

She was an old warrior. She belonged to a different time, a different place. Fifty-seven years of grime and pain and anger and police batons rested icily on her shoulders, giving her an arched, heavy stout walk. Each step took concentration, effort. Each movement had to be calculated, measured – a warrior only has so many moves in her.

She had a terrible day in the City, and now she just wanted to rest. She had gone down to the hospital to check on this acute pain that emerged on top of her shoulder blades a couple days ago. At first, she attributed the pain to her body finally realizing that it must protest against the abuses that it suffered in the past fifty-seven years, but after a while, when the pain would not subside even after she had assured her body that the worst of it was over, she figure it must be something else and went to the hospital.

She didn’t trust white-coats, and they sure as hell didn’t trust her. A woman like her, from her origins and her complexion, to challenge their educated guesses and well-intentioned mistakes, it’s outrageous. So when the doctor with the square face and the unshaven brick-shaped chin approached her, her eyes made really clear that she would take no bullshit.

– “Mrs. Luz?” said doctor brick-chin.

– “That’s me.” She said, but the name still made her skin tingle oddly, a sensation of strangeness and longing for her real name. But while some names were just bothersome, some could get you killed. Luz wasn’t such a bad name after all, and her original name wasn’t good enough to die for.

– “Well Mrs. Luz, you have us all really intrigued here, I will tell you that. What is happening to you is quite incredible. The medical ramifications of this…we are all quite excited…

– “Doc?” She interrupted in her soft yet commanding voice.

– “Sorry. What we have here, Mrs. Luz, is an abnormal growth on the bone tissue of your shoulder blades, That, coupled if some other bone fragments, gives us the impression of the forming of a new joint, based right behind your shoulder joints. There also excess muscle tissue, both around the bones and also on top on the pectoralis major muscle. The whole thing is quite incredible, really. It appears to be some kind of late member development, which in itself is, well… impossible, but the more interesting part it what kind of member you are developing.”

She was just tired of his chattering and patronizing.

– “Are you going to tell me, or will I have to guess?”

– “Wings, Mrs. Luz. It looks like you are growing wings.”

* * * * * * * *

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