The pigeon was perched on the ledge.
It may very well have been the world’s edge. The human megacity was spread out below. A haphazard obscene maze of human settlements and overpowering human presence. It extended all around. Covering the planet in entirety. Leaving no land uncovered, no water body unexplored and no air space unclaimed. This was it. What it’s forefathers had long ago predicted. The complete human possession. Leaving no room for any other, except the species chosen by humans to be used as per their whims and fancies.
The pigeon took a shuddering breath as a pervading sense of gloom threatened to choke it. The transparent string bit into its foot. This is the farthest, the bird could extend and stretch it. Its tethered existence hurt. Endlessly.
A gale swept past, carrying in its invisible embrace a brown leaf, dry and withered. The moment slowed down as the pigeon observed the movement of the air-bound leaf. As if it had sensed the bird’s thoughts, the leaf floated closer, propelled by the wind, till it plastered itself to the startled pigeon’s face, blindfolding it. A green shimmer briefly teased its vision before pitch blackness descended. The pigeon’s despairing thoughts came to an abrupt halt as it’s sense of sight, smell and touch were claimed by the vagabond leaf.
It blinked and the darkness was replaced by a rich forest green. It looked around perplexed. A cacophony of forest sounds filled the air along with a host of strangely familiar smells…mossy, damp, fresh, a blend of the old and the new. A forest in its prime.
The leathery texture beneath it’s feet was that of a tree bark brimming with life and not the grainy lifelessness of concrete.
It was gripped by an intense urge to fly and explore this place from its lately recurring dreams.
“I am free!” It breathed.
“Not yet. But soon.” A deep voice boomed, wrapping around its mind.
“Who are you?” The bird chittered. “Where are you?”
“Turning point, the Green Beyond. I am all around you. Inside you.” The earthy voice rumbled.
Hope bloomed into a multitude of emotions ranging from relief to happiness.
It felt a sharp tug and the next moment it was in a free fall. The green world was mercilessly ripped away from its consciousness to be replaced by the oppressive reality characterized by its monochrome landscape, grating metallic noises and stale smells and strong fumes. It felt a swift pressure bear down on its neck and its vision faded. A pop. Then oblivion. Freedom.
The chef whistled as he cleaned and prepared the bird, before dropping it into a large pot of boiling stew. He didn’t notice the green glint moving in its lifeless eyes, as the organism dislodged itself and found its way into the seasoned wholesome stew, multiplying rapidly, then lying in wait patiently…to possess the possessors.