Luisa hefted Chan up on her hip again and sighed. Everyone else had cleared out days before except this single mother, who had never owned a vehicle, and her small child. Their neighbors had packed everything into their cars and driven away, tires screeching, with no extra room available. The threat of the world’s most massive earthquake had a way of causing this type of reaction, but Luisa still felt rattled though the real shaking hadn’t even begun. 

They topped the hill. Luisa noticed an old crop dusting plane and a man loading supplies into it.

Luisa ran to him. “Sir, can you take us with you? Wherever you’re going. Anywhere away from here.”

The man’s dark face was sorrowful. “This is only a two-seater. I have my mother.” He squinted at Chan. “I could probably squeeze him in, but not both of you.”

“Yes! Yes, take him, please.”

“We’ll leave early. You can sleep in the barn tonight.” He wiped his forehead wearily. “I’m sorry I can’t take you both.”

On her way to the barn, Luisa was interrupted by a small voice calling from the window of a weather-beaten house. 

An old lady peered out. “What is your name?”

Chan answered, “Her name is Mama.”

The old lady smiled. “Really?  That’s my name, too! The most lovely name in the world. But some people call me Dorotea.” She reached out a gnarled hand to Chan, who took it without hesitation. 

Dorotea gestured toward the man. “My son. Julian. He loves his Mama, but he needs much more than me. In the morning, you’ll have a place on the plane.”

“But he said there’s no room.”

“I’ll have my own set of wings soon enough. I don’t need his, dear.” 

Luisa tried to understand the woman’s words as she settled Chan in the hay. 

Inside the house, Dorotea smiled and swallowed some extra pills before bedtime. She fell into a peaceful sleep from which she would never awaken. 

In the morning, Julian flew away with Luisa and Chan beside him as the world below began to quake.

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Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago

I love your story, Danielle! Two wonderful mothers and the promise of a beautiful future thanks to Dorotea. I’ve got goosebumps 🙂

David Drew
David Drew (@david-drew)
7 months ago

Danielle that is extremely moving… Beautiful. I’d say it could actually work better in a slightly longer format in which you develop those wonderful characters more deeply.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

A beautiful and very bittersweet story, Danielle. Luisa’s prayers are answered when she is ready to sacrifice what’s most precious to her. And, as you say, Dorothea soon receives her wings.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Such a bittersweet story Danielle, both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. Such a selfless act by Dorotea, a woman who has already lived her life and recognises that it will soon come to an end, even if she does fly away. It would be nice to think that Julian, Luisa and Chan could make a life together once your story comes to a close.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Pass the tissues Danielle. Every story I read on ”Wings” seems to get better and better, every story has a style of its own. Your style in this story is so matter of fact – by that I mean, it could easily be a true account of an event, for in times of crisis, people can show the most extraordinary acts of kindness. Loved this story Danielle.

Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi (@brigitta-hegyi)
7 months ago

Wow! Your story brings tears to my eyes. I wanted to get to the last lines so fast to see what happens to the mother, but this ending is beautiful.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hi Danielle, I never expected the ending that bring tears to my eyes. Good job for your very touching story.

Last edited 7 months ago by Lotchie Carmelo

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