birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Boy with Wings


The girl sat down and wept, a freshet of morning tears. Then she slept. Her nap could have lasted 10 minutes or 10 hours, she could not tell, but she woke to the feeling that someone was watching her.

Someone was: a boy with wings. His wings were covered with soft, white feathers flecked with brown and were folded neatly behind him.

The boy watched her intently, yet another stranger appearing from nowhere on the girl's long, strange journey to find Pearl.

The girl was grumpy after her nap and spoke rudely to the boy "Where did you come from?"

"From your tears," he replied. "I belong to you."

The girl pondered this for a while and then asked, "If you came to me from my tears, then you must know why I'm here."

"I do."

She waited. He waited.

She grew impatient, "So?!"

"You are searching for a great treasure, a pearl of great price, as your Nimi calls her."

The girl was surprised that he knew this, but she persisted, "Where have I been?"

"Many places."

The girl was frustrated by the boy's reticence. "Why are you here?"

"To help you."

Silence. The girl and the boy with wings waited.

The girl listened to the wind whisper through the tree above her. She observed a patch of light dancing with a cloud near the sun. She hefted the stone she had been tossing from hand to hand and carefully returned it to the earth.

She had made up her mind. She would trust this stranger who said he belonged to her. She would trust the boy with wings.


"All are Welcome Here"