By Laura

“Not much of a view,” he guffaws—again—crunching open Corona with his teeth, allowing the cap to skitter away. He hates how much time you spend at this window. 

He hovers, insect-like in curiosity, but you’ll never tell him: that the industrial warehouses are shaped, at each end, like Crayola drawings of an archetypal house, or about the— 

“Poor bloody bird.” His gaze follows yours, dirties it. 

Adorning an adjacent block, the ripstop nylon silhouette shudders violently—seems to convulse in artificial flight. 

“Fly or fall,” you whisper to yourself and wonder. 

Once he’s catatonic, you steal away into darkness with a serrated knife, teeter up an external fire escape. Perching precariously, you hack through line.  

The bird hovers, uncertain, and then—you can scarcely believe it—carried by a gust of wind, it swoops skyward, disappears.  

Summoning courage, you prepare to leap. 

Laura lives in London with twenty-four houseplants. She works in a secondary school pastoral role and relishes sharing the therapeutic potential of creativity with young people. She has recent work in The Phare Literary Magazine, Retreat West, Pure Slush: Love – Lifespan Vol. 4, and The Elpis Pages. She tweets at @laurarose_13.