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Thursday, August 14, 2008

AVES

We raised birds, didn’t we, you and me. We crept out on those freezing mornings and plucked them, shivering, from the ice. It was all we could do, wasn’t it, to patiently wait for their tiny feet to thaw. You liked penguins, didn’t you, and for me it was pelicans. Even now, I strain not to write their names. We gave each one a name, didn’t we, chosen carefully from thick random books. We spent a lot of time in that library, you and me. It was the only place warm enough for the birds. We’d smuggle them in, under our jackets. Our pockets wriggled and our beanies squirmed. Nobody ever bothered us in Natural History.

And the Safe Handling Room. We both sniggered at its name. A place meant for reading precious books, just as good for egg incubation, cotton gloves and all. Nobody ever knew. We ratcheted the lamps right down to the table, and the little birds stretched out their weak wings in the growing heat. We loved this moment, didn’t we.

5 comments:

Furious Vaginas said...

$99.95 if you print it and frame it beside a Dave Smith picture featuring a bird.

LiteraryMinded said...

You're trying to melt the ice around a bird's heart, aren't you? It bloody works.

Christopher Currie said...

You know, a framed Dave Smith + story may have some merit. Just gotta convince Dave...

And, Ange, I should've definitely used the phrase "melting the ice around a bird's heart". 2nd draft...

LiteraryMinded said...

Oh! I'd like to think I helped along a story :-)
I recently wrote one called 'Birds' but there's no ice in it. I also have ended two stories lately with images of hearts in the final line. Maybe it's a cheap shot but the impact seems to work for those who've read them. So yeah! But I think your story is a beauty with or without.

Anna said...

Your work is incredible.
Everyone should read it.
Don't stop.