A seagull drifted overhead, mewling after scraps, and Angelo watched it disappear with a wistful expression. The darkening sky sat sandwiched between one row of terraced houses and another. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he retreated back indoors to where the voices of his housemates echoed down the corridor. He was about to open the door when a voice stopped him short.

“I dunno about Angie, though. He’s been pretty quiet,” said Sam.

“Angelo’s the quiet type anyway,” said another.

“Maybe there’s something wrong.”

“Just because he’s stopped singing show tunes in the shower, doesn’t mean he’s fallen on hard times,” Sam joked. His comment was met with murmurs of assent and scattered laughter.

Angelo sighed. Climbing the narrow steps, he retreated into his room where clothes had been cast across the floor. Pictures and post-it notes overlapped on the pinboard. One of them read: release after 8 hours.

Wrestling with his shirt, he took it off and met the eyes of his reflection. Light blue. A piece of material was wrapped around his chest. With a steady hand, he reached back to unravel it.

Two limbs unfolded themselves from under the cloth.

Muscles strained.

Bent feathers moved back into formation.

Angelo paused before the sticky notes stuck to the frame. Then, he ran his finger over one of them.

“Day Twenty-nine: Feathers are starting to emerge. I don’t know why, but I know that if I go to A&E then they’re going to cut them off. I’ve decided that I don’t want that.”

The sticky note drifted to the floor, as light as a…well, that was obvious. Picking up the pad of post-its from the desk, he grabbed a pen, pulled off the lid and wrote: “Day One hundred and twenty-five: Still bound. It sometimes hurts. Managed a stretch. I am able to flap a little. I was considering revealing them but-“

He stopped and chewed the end of the pen.

“Not yet,” he said and stuck the note onto a patch of untouched mirror glass.

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