Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entry #153

Midnight Feathers
by Jodi MacArthur


I don’t like the birds that fly at night. When I close my eyes, I feel midnight feathers tickle my throat, teasing like blades. Blades, sharp and short, like the ones Goliath throws at me when I am all tied up on the spinning wheel. I ran away to the circus, missed it by a day, and found the carnival instead.

The wheel spins around, around, around…the mess of velvet sky mixes with sharpened steel. Knifepoint misses my skin by threads. Air tickles my throat like feathers, midnight feathers. And when the show is over, when the gawking crowds go home, Goliath cuts me loose and I fall into the hay behind the tent. I hear the birds, their screech echoes across the velvet sky. My tongue searches the hollow rut at the back of my mouth. I wish I had found the circus. I don’t like the birds that fly at night.

31 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is excellent, you've packed a huge amount into such a few words. Very good descriptions

peggy said...

Jodi, as always, perfect.

lena said...

Great!
Like the use of metaphors and the repitition of the first sentence in the end. Sometimes it is redundant, yet feels like it fits here.

Laurel said...

Wow! Sharp. I love the comparison of feathers to the blades of air pushed to her throat by the nearby knives. The rhythm of the words and repetition call to mind the repeat of knives hitting the wheel.

Good job!

Michael Solender said...

Creepy to the max, Well done Jody, well done.

Bernita said...

Conveys a sense of numbed innocence and helplessness.

Carrie said...

Quietly posting an entry then? Excellent. Related but not. Stretching the limits of where to go with that picture. Sharp like knives and I can see the spinning wheel. Good to have you around.

laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, jodi :)

pjd said...

This made me think, and I love what I discovered. Aspirations detoured. Sort of a "Stuck in Lodi Again" feel to it. Great work.

McKoala said...

I like this; definitely different.

David Barber said...

A great piece, Jodi, and in so few words. Excellent.

Regards, David.

catvibe said...

What a dreary existence, if not on the edge of adrenaline 24/7! A lot here, in just few words. Subtle but packed with things to contemplate. Nice.

Angel Zapata said...

"And when the show is over, when the gawking crowds go home, Goliath cuts me loose" I love the finality, the helpless vulnerability of this line. Beautifully crafted prose, Jodi.

Craig said...

There are some reallt cool lines in this one.

CJT said...

excellent jodi - I continue to look foward to reading your pieces.

Erin Cole said...

Excellent language in this and such a unique 'spin' - a top entry for sure.

Deb Smythe said...

Great use of metaphor, wonderful writing and a story. Niice!

venusvulturenews said...

Jodi MacArthur wows again. Extraordinary work. ;-)
Sean

Barry J. Northern said...

I dig the bookends, and the blend of circus, knives, and birds -- all great horror elements.

truevoid said...

good job!

JaneyV said...

Jodi - a chilling story skillfully told using powerful imagery.

quin browne said...

oooohhhhh!!!!

James R. Tomlinson said...

Definitely a good piece of prose here. Bravo! You're on my short list.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Wow, guys. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Sarah Laurenson said...

What great characterization. You've got so much packed in here. Awesome.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Quality writing!!!

Preeti said...

loved the imagery. the narrative kept me hooked.
very well written.

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

Repetition was used effectively, not as filler but more as a tightly woven net that simply pulled everything into one dark pouch. Amazing.

Something I Might Tweak

I got caught up on tickling feathers teasing like blades - sharp ones - after I read it a couple of times, I was okay, but it pulled me out of the narrative a bit.

Chris Eldin said...

I also love your metaphors. Nicely written!

Harper said...

Yep, it's quite a common problem running away to the circus and ending up in a carnival. We veer off course, become human pin cushions rather than lithe ladies doing flips on the back of white stallions (no sexual innuendo implied). Night, when all is quiet save the relentless screech of night owls, we reflect on what our lives might have been.

Jim_Wisneski said...

Jodi. . .

SWEET. I love it. Your voice - perfect - as usual.

Jim