He stood at the edge of the building, a terrifying fifty-seven stories up. The wind buffeted his jacket and blew his hair in twists. It was so high, higher than he had expected when he first ran out onto the roof. The sun peaked through clouds, sending little beams of light in all directions. He remembered his mother telling him that those beams were little parts of Jesus shining on the earth. Yeah right, he thought, Jesus had nothing to do with this. This was crazy, and it was, wasn’t it.
He looked at his shoes worn from years of use, situated a mere two feet from the lip of the building. A feeling of dizziness started in his head and traveled down to his chest were it sat, waiting. Over his shoulder he could see the rooftop, it was scattered with little pebbles clustered around vents or antennae jutting up from the flat surface. This was certainly a crazy idea, and that was what had driven him up here in the first place. The thrill of not knowing.
He turned back to the abyss in front of him, staring at the ground below. What was it that people said in times like this? Don't look down. As soon as he said it, of course he trained his eyes on the ground below. It was a beautiful sight to him, he noticed how the people and cars looked much more like pawns on a huge game board. Nothing was really discernible at this height; lines moving, and blobs of different colors dancing in the distance.
At that moment he heard an explosion, it was as if some kid just tossed a M80 to the ground behind him. He jumped a little at this, not enough to unbalance him, but he did shoot his arms out to the side just in case. He spun his head and saw that the door he had just came through was flying through the air. It crashed with a thud about ten feet away from the door frame. In the exit stood the one person, if you could call him a person, that had haunted his dreams for years now.
Michael stood in the doorway of the roof top exit, legs burning and breathing deeply. He had ran up all fifty-seven stories after him never slowing. This was not a hard feat for him, nor was this the first time he had been lagging behind. Sweat popped out in drops along his brow and his clothes, the plain clothes of any man; jeans and a cotton tee shirt, were drenched with dark circles. He looked at him now standing on the edge of the roof, looking proud and arrogant as ever. Oh how he hated him. He had caused so many problems in Michael’s life. There was no time to waste, no time to get caught up in the memories, he needed to act now before this deplorable creature escaped his grasp yet again.
He dashed forward, Shoes kicking up the pebbles beneath his feet. He wanted to scream his name, but that was too good for him, so instead he opted for a guttural scream of all the hate in his heart. He crossed the distance in an instant, moving with quick steps, and perfect balance. He shot his arm out reaching for his throat and grabbed nothing but air. Where just before was the man he sought now was nothing but air. He had jumped.
With Michael dashing towards him he had no time to think about options, he had to act. In his mind he knew this would be trouble, but what choice did he have. He leapt, gracefully flipping into the air and toward the ground. Instantly the sound of the wind covered his ears. He looked at the ground below and saw it rising quickly, he wouldn’t have much time before becoming a pancake down there among the dancing colors. He twisted his body in the air using his arms to catch the wind and use it to his advantage. Now facing up towards the roof he saw Michael flying through the air to meet him, his hair flying out wildly.
“So, you’re going this far Mikey? Didn’t think you had it in you,” he shouted. The only reply seemed to be an inhuman scream, his face contorted in rage.
Michael screamed, caught up in the frenzy of being so close to his prey. He hadn’t given a second thought to following him, so he jumped. He was too close to give up now. He was totally focused, completely oblivious to the fast approaching ground, or to the sound of the wind as he plummeted to the earth. And then it happened, something so offensive that it enraged him more than the act of chasing this abomination to begin with.
Michael watched as wings unfolded from behind the man. The bones of the wings, bloody and smooth sprouted up from his shoulders extending outward. The wings grew out like spider legs, with the patagium thin, stretching between the boens. It made him shiver to actually see this. He never thought that those ancient laws would be broken so casually. The wings ratcheted into a full wingspan expanding over twenty feet. The flaps, made of the gaunt skin caught the wind and bulged from the pressure. The wings were reddish in color and were covered in tiny black veins making spider webs across the whole surface.
He stretched his wings, wind catching in them and filling them with pressure from below. With one small adjustment he flipped and the wind, now being caught by his massive wings stopped his falling and shot him straight up toward Michael. He smiled, his grin extending just to far to both sides to be human. It felt good to have his wings out, and why shouldn’t it? Who was around anymore to enforce those archaic rules. He was created with wings, why should he keep them hidden? It was ludicrous to keep such majestic things hidden.
He shot up passing within a foot of his hunter. He looked for a brief moment as they passed and saw the look on Michael’s face. After years of only seeing hate, anger, and rage what he now saw was foreign to him. Michael's eyes were closed and all of the rigidness had went out of his body. He looked, to him anyway, to be free falling now, spinning like a rag doll in the wind. He passed quickly avoiding the falling man with ease.
He soared upward, beating his wings at a rhythmic pace. His strength was returning now, and the familiarity of his true form warmed him. He shot up over the rooftop, stalling in the thermals, and turned to look at Michael.
Michael fell, and he didn’t care. He could not believe, even as terrible as that creature was that he would break the laws that were written for them all so long ago. The sight of those wings in this realm looked unnatural and, abrasive. He closed his eyes and released the muscles in his body, spinning into a free fall. He could not bare to look at it anymore, better to embrace the slumber. He felt a rush of wind as the creature sped past him in the opposite direction.
Michael felt the crushing weight of failure. He no longer cared about chasing him, and more importantly he was filled with such a great sense of defeat it was almost overbearing. He wanted to crawl inside himself and stay that way, be closed off from the world again. Things were easier then, were they not? He fell with no concern of how close the ground was, or what would happen when they collided.
“Stupid, Michael,” he shouted down at the falling figure. He knew he couldn’t hear him, but it made him feel better none the less. He floated above the roof casually beating his wings watching Michael’s decent. A leering grin spread on his face as he saw Michael make impact. Dust sprayed out in every direction pulsing out from the point of the impact. He saw cars rocking and then flipping onto their sides from the force. Small debris flew from the crater like bullets, pieces of asphalt and metal becoming deadly weapons. The whole scene became covered in a rising cloud of the dust and debris in seconds.
“No time to waste, Michael, none at all. I have work to do, have fun with your slumber,” he said, turning east, always to the east.