Monday, January 11, 2010

Entry #112

Feathers
by Pamela Terry


Through an opening in the green curtain he could just see the garden, asleep in the wintertime sun. An unclosed curtain through which a vertical stripe of morning light occasionally touched his shoulder like a knighthood.

Don’t let them close the window, he thought.

You won’t require an open window, the voice replied.

He didn’t try to turn his head this time. He knew no one was there.

How much longer?

Not long now, I should think.

He wished he could share what he knew with those gathered around him. They all seemed so pale now, almost invisible.

As the afternoon weakened he could once again hear the paper soft flutter of wings. He closed his eyes to see them. Feathers. Feathers of white, blue-black, grey, falling and flying like snow. Coming down from the ceiling, drifting in through the windowglass. He liked the black ones best. He secretly wished for the black.

Soaring up on the wind currents, flying out over the oceans, glissading through the glen. He had coveted that casual liberty since his boyhood. To run and run, to lift away. An unspoken longing buried deep in his soul.

You can go now.

I can? Where should I go?

Anywhere that you wish.

The silhouette of a hawk casts a violet hued shadow into the dimly lit room. The bird briefly hovers outside the window, then spreads its black feathers, lifts over the bare tree tops and is gone. To glide on the winds of December.

39 comments:

Bernita said...

"morning light occasionally touched his shoulder like a knighthood."
I love that line.
A gentle death, gently done.

Tessa said...

Sublime imagery, beautifully paced - the ambience silky soft with a peaceful melancholy. What a writer - I'm in awe!

Aniket said...

Excellent writing. It maintained a light feel to it with peaks of deep sad emotions. Loved it.

Courtney said...

Pamela certainly has a way with words-- her descriptions are so vivid. What a beautifully crafted story!

Pinecone Camp said...

I felt like I was sitting in that room with him. So beautiful.

Meghan said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

onipar... said...

Bernita picked out my favorite line as well. Beautifully written.

Stephanie said...

Beautifully written.

lena said...

Beautiful writing. I can't stop myself from rereading the piece again and again. Loved it!

PurestGreen said...

"He secretly wished for the black." Beautiful and dream-like.

Pam said...

I can hear "the paper soft flutter of wings" right through this writing Pamela...such a gentle piece. The softness and surrender is conveyed beautifully.

Tara said...

Such a flowy dreamlike quality. Beautiful writing!

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful...

Anonymous said...

From a "mechanical" point of view, you were absolutely on the money for not using direct quotes. Interesting story. --JR

Four Dinners said...

Beautifully sad. Amazing writing.

laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, pamela...

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Pamela's writing is more like a painting. You can see the haunting scene as you read her words. I like how she leaves enough room for your imagination to add it's own detail. Beautiful piece.

pjd said...

There is peace in this. My favorite part: He wished he could share what he knew with those gathered around him. They all seemed so pale now, almost invisible.

Four years ago I was with my wife and her family as her father passed away. "You can go now." I think those might have been the exact words spoken. This is quite touching, very real, and intensely personal.

acornmoon said...

Pamela always writes with a unique voice, she has a great talent for creating an atmosphere of mystery and beauty.

I agree with the comment above, it brought to mind a similar experience.

Debra said...

Pamela has the capacity to make you feel as though you are right in the room-seeing as she describes.

Derrick said...

Pamela's writing is always rich in detail and imagery; she paints with words. This is beautifully done.

Laurel said...

I'm with Pete. They all seemed so pale now, almost invisible really stood out for me in the middle of so many glorious despcriptions. I loved the juxtaposition of the person dying seeing the living slip away instead of the other way around.

This is such a peaceful description of passing. I'll carry it with me for a long time. Thank you.

steviewren said...

We seem to see everything more clearly in the darkness of night, don't we?

Deb Smythe said...

Ooh, that one got me in the heart. So bittersweet. Beautiful prose as well.

Kartik said...

I remember the line "morning light occasionally touched his shoulder like a knighthood" for a long time!

Cait O'Connor said...

Very moving piece.
I loved the knighthood line too.

Sarah Laurence said...

Lovely, your writing soars. Great texture!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I had to read it twice as the first time was so enchanting. Lovely, tender story. I adore Pamela's writing.

Annie said...

I just stopped by for the first time after visiting Pam at Textilosophy Oz. What an extraordinary introduction to your lovely blog. The tenderness of your story reminds me of the death of each of my parents; gentle, quiet, surrounded by love. If for no other reason than that, I wish you the best in this writing competition.

catvibe said...

The writing is like a prose poem, so lyrical and descriptive. I want to transform into a bird too. What a lovely dream... don't we all wish for the ability to escape with wings on occasion? Beautifully rendered.

Craig said...

Romantic in the classical sense of the word. Brings beauty to something usually frightful.

Arija said...

Pamela, at long last you have made a start. I'll be your first customer for that slim volume of short stories and breathlessly awaiting that first novel. Your writin, as ever, is so deliciously evocative.

JaneyV said...

Pamela - your piece has such enormous depth and beauty it's impossible not to be moved by it. I adore the gentle dignity of his death. Bernita and Peter have already mentioned my favorite lines.

So much richness and texture imbedded in such calm. It reminds me of the intricate white embroidery they used to do on cotton pillowcases - subtle and beautiful.

Brigitte said...

Perfection. So much beauty in so little words! And you used them with such grace and delicacy.

looking-glass-fables.blogspot.com

Angie Muresan said...

Pamela if there is anyone who can captivate in a mere 250 words, it is you. Thank you! And I'm eagerly anticipating your stories and poetry in print.

Sarah Laurenson said...

That is supremely *sigh* worthy.

Thank you!

Chris Eldin said...

A beautiful, dreamlike quality about this piece. Nicely done!

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

some lovely phrases - glissading through the glen, winds of December

Something I Might Tweak

Not using quotation makrs was a clear choice, but it threw me a little - maybe italics or some other creative way of setting them apart

Marie said...

Brilliant!