It started slowly, as most Awakenings do.
She would hum as she brushed her sisters hair, and sparks would fly from the brush.
She would whistle to her hounds, who would race to her side with the speed and silence of ghosts.
She would gaze across the stormy sea and scream her frustration into the wind.
Then came the song. And the feathers. And the fury.
But when she sang people to throw themselves into the crushing tides, only the cruel ever listened.
Image by Noupload from Pixabay.… Read more
He hurried home across the park, hands thrust deep into his pockets. The moon was too sickly to light his path, leaving the lake a looming void.
The sound startled him. He tripped over a root and barely caught himself.
The duck waddled to his feet and glared up at him.
‘I don’t have anything,’ he told it. He’d had no notion that ducks could be nocturnal. He turned away, only to come up short when faced with another pair of beady eyes.
‘Shoo. Go on.’ He waved it away with his briefcase. He liked ducks, normally. Found their brazen begging endearing.… Read more
There is a boy who can read the birds.
He throws crumbs to the town pigeons and in the pattern of their pecking, sees illness coming to his school.
He spreads seed across the garden and watches garden birds flit in and away, and sees that his mother will get a promotion.
He watches a plume of rooks rise from the trees below and sees that though folk think he is strange now, the world will one day have need of him.
It is good that the birds taught him kindness as well.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.… Read more
The cat turned its back to him and started grooming. After a pause, he pinched the end of its tail.
It hissed and spun, swiping at the empty air where his hand had been.
He looked guiltily at his mentor.
‘Tail pulling is not an appropriate human behaviour.’
He sulked and crossed his arms. ‘Tail pulling is not an appropriate human behaviour.’
‘Neither is mimicry.’
He groaned and flopped back on the ground. ‘Can I go back to being a crow now?’
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay.… Read more
‘We await your response by sparrow?’ I murmured, reading the letter again. Something about destiny, the fate of many, and ‘answering the call’ …
I turned it over and looked at the wax seal, now broken; it looked like a penny had been pressed into the wax.
The letter weighed on my mind, however. When I left for work the next morning, I stopped by the gently chittering hedge on the street.
A little brown head poked through the leaves, followed by four more.
They stared at me with their button-black eyes, then launched into the air in a cheeping flock.… Read more
‘It’s just a pigeon,’ said the girl. ‘Let it die.’
The boy lifted it with gentle hands. It was too weak to struggle. He could feel its heartbeat against his fingertips. ‘It just needs help, that’s all.’
He nursed it day and night. Warmed it by a lamp, cleaned its wounds. Fed it from his hand. Every day it grew stronger. And larger.
After a week, it was the size of a cat. A month, a dog. It gazed at him with adoring eyes. And one day, it would carry him into the sky.
Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by congerdesign from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more
‘I don’t know if I can do it.’ The ground fell away mere inches from his feet, a chasm of rock walls and thorny brambles.
‘You can!’ she called from across the fall. ‘I know you can!’
‘How?’ His voice was hoarse.
She smiled and spread her wings, the feathers catching the light with an irridescent shine.
‘Because I didn’t think I could do it either.’
He shuffled his own wings on his back.
All there was left was to breathe in, wings out, and make a running a leap.
Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay, used under Pixabay license.… Read more
He made it to the rooftop, fingers slipping on the rain-slicked tiles, skin cold and stung by the falling sky.
She huddled by the false chimney. Her arms hugged her knees to her chest. Gull-grey wings shivered tight to her back as she gazed up at the storm-laden clouds.
He settled beside her and placed a hesitant hand on her shoulder.
‘I was going to do it,’ she said. ‘I was really going to do it.’
‘There’s always tomorrow,’ he said.
Always another day to fly.
Another microfiction for Mastodon. Image by Pezibear / Petra, used under Pixabay License.… Read more
A longer microfiction for Mastodon.
People were cruel to the girl with chickenfeet. ‘She’s hideous!’ they would cackle in her face.
‘The poor, ugly thing,’ others would whisper behind her back.
She bore it all with hunched shoulders and a leaden heart.
At night, she would stare at her feet and flex the long, scaly toes with their talons, and she would try to picture them smooth and bland and ordinary.
Every time she did, she grew a little smaller, choked by silence and shame.
She could pluck her feathers and hide her arms in long sleeves, but nothing could disguise her chickenfeet.… Read more
A collection of microfiction written for Mastodon.
Every night, woken by half-remembered dreams of cracked bones and dripping saliva, she saw the eyes. Two burning pinpricks within a boiling shadow, dark against the darkness.
Every night, she would close her eyes, and when she woke both eyes and shadow were gone, leaving only a lingering unease.
Tonight, she kept her eyes open. Her head tilted left, then right; the eyes followed her.
‘You’re really there, aren’t you?’
‘What — what are you?’
She licked dry lips. ‘Then — why are you out here?’
–I scared myself–
She considered a moment, then lifted the other end of the blanket.… Read more