Elementary Plumage

by Wynne Hungerford

Kemper Wray had a name like bird. Her mouth was similarly shaped like a beak, and her thin arms could easily have sprouted feathers. We all waited for her to grow up, for her legs to get dry and orange but she just wanted to play the piano. When we came back to school after summer vacation and entered the fourth grade, she hadn't gotten any taller. There was a waiting list for who would get to go flying with her first, Kemper Wray didn't know about it though. She ate worms and insects in her closet at night, suppressed her hunger, and tried to live like the girl she thought everyone wanted her to be.


Wynne Hungerford goes to the Fine Arts Center for creative writing in Greenville, South Carolina. Woody Allen is her inspiration, along with natural things like dunes, tumbleweeds, and bones.