Friday, March 27, 2015

The Bird - a short

Today I thought I'd bring to the light something I wrote several months ago, which I've been rather puzzled about since.
I'm not sure what inspired it -  it's one of those things you write after midnight and don't understand the next morning, nor ever.
I've gotten several different views on what it [the Bird] represents, anything from a conscious to a Phoenix to Lies to Guilt. As of yet, I'm still not sure what I think it stands for (and I've always pictured it as more of an owl-like bird than a Phoenix?), but it still makes me wonder.
Enjoy (or don't) The Bird:

Day One:
The strange people who came here today forgot their little dead bird. Or at least I thought he was dead. This evening he opened his eyes and stared at me. I tried to throw him away (he seems to be frozen), but he just ends up back in my bedroom. I will give him back when they come again.

Day Four:
The bird is still watching me, it's little lifeless eyes moving back and forth as it takes in my features. Every once in a while it lets out a little chirp, making me jump. I wish it never came to me.
Everyone else stares at me in terror. They expect my shadow to start dancing, or at least to speak. Sometimes, so do I.

Day Six:
It's worse now that the bird is starting to move. First it flaps its puny little wings, and then turns its neck to follow me as I move. It flexes its talons twice every minute, as if reminding itself (and me) that it has weapons.

Day Ten:
I think it grew overnight.
Now it talks to me, in my mind. It begs me to set it free. Demands. Sometimes I dream of it, moving, flying, soaring. Diving. At me. I see its eyes glint in the sunlight as it dives toward me with beak open and talons wide. I wake in a cold sweat each time, shivering. And there it is, sitting frozen, staring at me with those calculating eyes.

Day Fourteen:
They came again, demanding to know where their bird is. I can't say anything now that will betray the bird. He is very insistent that I say nothing of him, and so I can't. If I so much as think of telling them my tongue glues itself to the roof of my mouth.
Every night I dream of him, tearing me to pieces. He's still growing; he can spread his wings a little, too. They reach as far wide as I am tall. The thoughts he speaks to me with scare me.

Day Nineteen:
Today I wish I was dead. The bird was gone when I awoke. There was a single feather left on his perch, and a note scrawled in dark red blood on my doorstep:
I will return for you.

Day Seventy:
The bird has not returned, even though I told them he was here, and gone.
They do not blame me, although they were angry. They know I could not have told them, even if I wanted to. Everyone in the village blames me, now. Crops are found scorched after only one night. A cool night. Fires rage even during storms, and those storms are infrequent now. I'm isolated from everyone. Even Dale, and I thought he loved me. No one speaks to me, and I am silent.
Silent forever.

Day One hundred twelve:
I'm living in a nightmare.
No one is left:
Kate, Dale, Greg, all dead.
Even of those I hate I am bereft,
And I can't make myself care.

Day One hundred twenty:
The bird came back today. He's as tall as me, and his feathers emanate a strange heat. The grass withers beneath his talons, each as long as my arm. He just stood there staring at me.
I'm naught but a shadow of myself: I've not had much to eat or drink, and no shelter. My clothes are rags, my once-long hair is knotted and disgusting.
I hate myself, and he hates me.
But I cannot make myself care. Never.

Day One hundred twenty-one:
He came again today, and stood staring at me for almost two hours this time.

Day One hundred seventy:
I hate him.
I hate me.
I hate the ground I sit on.
I hate the people who betrayed me.
I hate every scrap of decency left in this world.
I hate the darkness, the light, the sun, the moon.
I hate being wet, dry, hot, cold.
I hate, and yet he still comes.
I hate living, but cannot die.
I hate that the bird stares at me all day, now.
I hate.
Yet I live.

Day Two hundred:
At last he speaks to me.
"Why are you so desolate?"
The bird's voice is croaky, but very wise-sounding. I say nothing.

Day Two hundred two:
He asks the same question every single morning at dawn: "Why are you so desolate?"
I wish I was dead.

Day Two hundred ten:
I tried to kill myself today, with a sharp rock. I cut my own neck, and bled to death by noon.
I awoke this evening, with the bird still watching me, and my blood on the ground around me.
"Why are you so desolate?"

Day Two hundred thirty:
"Why are you so Desolate?"

Day Three hundred:
"Why are you so Desolate?"

Day Four hundred:
"Why are you so Desolate?"

Day Four hundred two:
I answer him today. My voice is far more raspy than his, now. I don't drink and don't eat, but do not die.
"Because of you," I tell him.

Day Four hundred three:
The bird is gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment