Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Freedom
My books and my practice are my only companions.
It's hard to live up to a standard of something you are not. A chainsaw without its blades is not a chainsaw. A vampire without his fangs is not a vampire. I am a bat...
...a bat with no wings.
Transylvania is haunted by the bat families that dwell in the castles which overshadow the city below. This citadel which my father, Malachi Grosvenor, created is no longer a refuge for me. Once I reached the where I was capable of caring for myself, I was shunned from the family, away from any sort of contact. Many rats moved here after the plague of many decades ago and live below the mountains in which my family casts over. My house resides amongst the since I (deprived of wings) look like a rodent myself. I blend in well. The life I live down here has provided a lot more for me than living with my kin ever would have.
My deformation, which I was born with, has opened passages to a new spiritual passion and life for me. I went to medical college and got my doctorate degree in medical sciences. My deformity triggered the deep yearning I have to answer and fulfill medicine's greatest questions. The money I receive as being the head director of the blood donation department of the Transylvania Hospital goes mainly towards saving up to own a personal lab for medical practices. Until then, I have to keep my head up and care for myself. A fraction of the blood donated goes to my own personal food bank (since I have to feed myself somehow without the rats in the community finding out).
I keep a very aloof and strict profile. My communication with others is limited. Interaction is not a huge part of my life. My books and my practice are my only companions. The only acquaintances I have are those in my office as well as the donors.
“Doctor Nosferatu.” the young donor began. “What kind of name is that?” I stared blankly at him with a feeling of déjà vu in my mind.
“I get that a lot,” I smirked.
“It's not a traditional-sounding rat name—OW!” He jerked as the needle punctured into his arm.
“It's from a silent film from about thirty years ago. It was one of the first horror films and essentially it's the movie form of Dracula,” I explained with an annoyed tone from the constant repetition of that question. “My parents grew up with silent films.” Blood continued to spill into the little plastic bag as the patient watched it flow through the tube like a vein, thirsty for more.
“All set,” I said, wrapping his arm. “The nurse outside will take care of your royalties. Thank you.” His hand shake was limp from the lack of blood just taken from him. He left as I picked up the blood bag, my lips fighting off the urge. I poured half of it into a new bag for dinner later on, cautious of anyone walking in and noticing.
“Oh doctor,” my nurse, Priscilla Swiss, said in a seductive voice. “That was the last one of the day. You are free to go now if you would like.”
“Alright thanks,” walking away, I was overcome by the strange feeling of eyes watching me.
“Or you and I could go somewhere for a while.” Priscilla, in her usual ways, attempted to convince me. My eyes rolled back into my head. I never found anything attractive in her, much less any female like her. She was just another desperate single mother and as for me, I was just trouble.
My supply of food had been shortened due to the lack of donors and the fact that it was winter. The cold weather drains your body of heat, thus looking for more and more food as the source of that heat. Every winter is the same. I always run low during this deprived season, which forces me to either go out and obtain the blood on my own or just take a larger portion from work. The only thing is though; the temperatures this year have reached an all time low. The snow has grown in its invasion. The community is forced to stay home.
“Another two gallons are gone from the bank!” Priscilla proclaimed right as my foot entered the building. I quickly checked the data sheets of donors and amounts of blood donated this month, just to seem as if I was unaware of where the blood had escaped off to. Still in my wore-out trench coat and suffocating scarf, I walked into the fridge room where the blood is kept to pretend to count the gallons left. The room smelt of its usual sterile scent except something fishy was in the mix. My shoulder twitched right as Priscilla's paw landed on it. Swiftly turning back, my eyes widened like a crater. Knowing it was her, all I could assume was that it was another one of her attempts to seduce me.
“I saw you stealing blood. I always see you steal gallons of it each month,” Priscilla had a grin upon her small, petite face. Why was she smiling? My back hit one of the shelves after being thrust back by her.
“I know your secret now doctor, but there's no need to tell anyone,” She bit her lip and put her paws around my neck. “We could make amends and not let anyone find out.” I threw her off me. I knew all she wanted. My business was my business and I didn't have to deal with anyone like her just so I could get the food I needed. Storming out of the room, all I left was Priscilla, let down and alone once more.
It's morning and I am wide awake. Still distraught from yesterday, my anxiety levels were rising. My office looked so run down, more than usual. Just as I walked through the doors, the walls were telling secrets. The roof was caving in. There is an empty spot on my office door where my name plate once hung. I took the hint and packed up all of my personal belongings. I could feel eyes watching me like vultures on a dying animal.
My house was lost from my reins due to the lack of work I possessed. I am a bum, a slouch. No one wants me, not even my own family. No one will take the time to even search for my identity.
I built a refuge outside of all civilization since I couldn't call any other place my home. Living off insects for the next few weeks, I fell weak and flimsy from the lack of nutrition. No contact in the form of communication met me. Being deprived of social skills along with food led me to learn to accept the fact that I was alone. I could be easily classified as a hermit, living secluded, aloof and all I possess is my books. There is a life outside these woods, but I am just too afraid to face it once more.
Freedom was in my eyes and the pursuit to happiness could only be completed by providing me with an escape. I could run all I wanted, but that's all I have ever done my whole life and it has gotten me nowhere. I need wings. I need to fly. Birds have the ultimate freedom to go where they please, to whatever height. They can fly to the heavens and never come back. Look at me; I have never even experienced the feeling of flying. I've never been granted that freedom. Did God hate me? I need an escape to a world unknown, to place where judgment flees and love runs wild. Blueprints formulated and cluttered all my notebooks and my thoughts. I wrote and drew out plans to get myself to a brand new world. Seven full notebooks later, my road to freedom finally paved itself, but struggle still knocked at my door.
The plan for my escape was plainly laid out on the table, but how was it to be executed? How was I to build wings to fly up towards Heaven itself? Going out to find materials to build the one thing I never had was not going to be easy either, especially since I was inexperienced in any sort of carpentry or construction.
Collecting whatever I found out in the wilderness to use later led me to five large bird feathers. Thank God I did not see the actual bird (considering the size of the large feathers and the fact that I look like a rodent). These feathers stimulated the constructing process. I grabbed a hand full of sticks to go along with the feathers and headed back to my camp. A basic idea of where each element would go was seen in my mind, but I did not know how to hold all of them together. There were no sap trees around, nor did I have any sort of adhesive. This drove my brain into a ditch.
I sat here for two days, trying to come up with a plan to pull my wings together. I did not have the most important aspect of keeping it all together. Sitting, staring at the small creek that once flowed next to my camp, now frozen over, I was overtaken by its beauty. I turned to pick up my leather-bound notebook to write in it when I found the solution. I found my way of combining all the vital pieces of my project into one accord. The leather that covered my notebook was sturdy and could give my wings its finishing touch. I took the small dagger that I always kept on me and separated the leather from the book and cut it into long strips. Leaving the pages behind, I dashed to complete my experiment. Taking the leather strips, I fastened them around each segment where the sticks met, thus making a frame for the actual wings. Using only the small bits of leather I had left, I tied the feathers down to the frame, which didn't look as sturdy as it probably should have, but it was worth a shot.
Eagerness to try my experiment fell over me but was destroyed by the time of day. The moon was the only source of light left and it dimness disabled me from attempting to fly. My worn out eyes drooped as I was fulfilled from a hard day’s work. I set my wings down on the small mat that I usually sleep on and laid myself down on the cold ground.
“I will see you in the morning,” I whispered to the inanimate wings right as sleep conquered me.
I awoke right as the sun met the horizon with all its reds and blues. The snow still resided, like a slushy blanket covering the ground. I was ready and my mission was almost complete. I couldn’t take with me any of my belongings because I knew they would just weigh me down. Before I set out on my journey, I left a note:
“If you find this, read these books, for they will take you places.
Don’t ever let anything get in your way of finding freedom.
Placing it upon my medical books and journals, I felt a sense of serendipity was over me like water. Wings in hand, I set forth to complete my goal.
Finding a high place, I climbed up and grabbed a hold of the wings to test them out. My arms stretched upwards, still grasping onto the structure, high over my head. Taking a deep breath, there was no wind dancing around me. The air was dead still, but my eagerness did not stop me from running the test flight. I leaped from atop of the rock on which I stood and the wings glided me down beautifully despite the ill-presence of the wind. This triggered hope in the darkness that resided within me. The feeling of the aerodynamics when flying already presented me with more incentive to complete my mission. Even if it were to fail, the freedom that just flying alone gave, was enough to bring me joy and is completely worth it.
The sun arose higher above the mountaintops and lit up the earth like a candle. The daybreak awoke with heat and life. I could feel the wind breaking through the atmosphere and brushing my skin. Finally it has come to take me home. I climbed up the tallest tree around, that stood above the others like an adult amongst children. Stand on a branch, overlooking the forest and the town I once was unwanted in, I lifted the wings above my body like a powerful leader raises his staff. The wind blew harder at such a high elevation. I could feel my feet departed from the treetop, effortlessly and with grace. The breeze picked me up and flew me across the sea of dead trees, higher and higher like the hand of God. My cup was filled with serenity and a smile (something I had not seen in a while) landed on my face. I shut my eyes as Heaven came closer than reality or my imagination could have come up with. The wings took me away to freedom in the purest form that it can come in. I finally found the land of peace.