(Or My Life as a Bird)

By Oliver McDonald


Chapter 5 - Nothing to Wear.


The first store we went to was “Big & Tall – Ms” Apparently devoted entirely to the larger than average woman. At least half of the store was devoted to those whose size was, to put it frankly, a matter of personal choice. No sooner had we entered than an overweight security guard ran in, panting for breath.

Eventually he puffed out “Didn’t you see the sign? No animals allowed.”

Mom replied “I saw a sign about dogs.”

“That sign means animals,” he said, fingering his nightstick. “Take your pet and get out of here.”

We left the mall and tried a few other stores most would threaten to call the police if we did not leave.

At last we found a place that didn’t threaten.

“Ma’am,” the manager said, “I wish I could help you, but I can’t.”

“Why not?” Mom asked.

“Because if I do, I’ll be out of business. A bigoted group that calls itself ‘Soldiers of Humanity for Animal MORF Extinction’ will target me and the store, I’ve seen it happen.”

“What about the police?” mom asked.

“Against SHAME? Somehow they never get there in time to do anything. I’m sorry, I can’t.”

We drove home resignedly. Wasn’t there anywhere?

Supper was somewhat sombre. I was somewhat depressed.

“This sucks,” I complained between bite of my first steak. “We can’t even buy clothes.”

“Son,” my father said. “Don’t give up hope, there’s bound to be somewhere that will sell to us.”

“Yeah, and even if there isn’t, I’m sure we’ll figure something out.” Mom chimed in.

“What if SHAME follows me out here?” I asked.

“That would be trespass. I would be within my rights to shoot them, I don’t think they will dare.” Dad responded angrily.

“Now now, dear,” my mother said, patting his arm. “I don’t think it will come to that.”

“I hope not,” I sighed.

“Perhaps this will cheer you up,” Dad said. “I’ve arranged for you to take flying lessons starting Wednesday.”

“Do they know I’m an animal? A freak?”

“Ben! You are not an animal or a freak.” Mom admonished. “The do know, Juan?”

“Yes, they know he has wings. In fact you won’t be the only one there.”

My eyes brightened. “Another student? How old?”

Dad chuckled. “No, your instructor is a flyer. He said he would teach you how to fly, as well as the rules of the air, and how to handle a plane.”

“Cool!” I exulted. “What will I wear though?” I asked a little dejectedly.

“We’ll work something out.” Dad said. “Now off to bed, it’s been a long day.”

It had indeed, it wasn’t long after my head hit the pillow that dreamland took me.


To be continued….



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