Friday, January 08, 2010

Entry #43

For Eliza
by Kristin Fouquet


I tip my fedora to the sky which will bring me prey. My face is struck by the sting of the frigid wind, forcing my eyes to squint and my cheeks to wince in self-defense. Today, I must make my heart cold as I am not a killer by nature. I must play the part of the hunter.

My eyes catch the sight of black velvet; my hearing is piqued by the sound of wings flapping at the air. This one will do nicely. I aim my rifle and release the trigger. The victim plummets earthbound. Dried leaves crunch under my boots as I find the location of the fall. There it is, lifeless. I’ve derived no thrill-- no pleasure from this stalking or the kill. My motive was love. I have done it only for her, for Eliza.

The reward will be when I see her face after receiving the gift. I am a milliner and these fresh plumes are for my lady’s hat. One lovely wing will drape over the side of the satin brim, a feather gently touching my beloved’s cheek. This bird could never be more beautiful than on my Eliza’s lovely head.

30 comments:

Bernita said...

An unusual perspective.

Leatherdykeuk said...

An odd choice - I want to know the species

Lena said...

I feel sorry for the bird.

Preeti said...

Hmmnn...love makes one be even what they don't want to be. I liked this for the sheer fact that here's a man who's in love with a woman for whom he could do everything and be anything. Simple. Beautiful.

Four Dinners said...

'This bird could never be more beautiful than on my Eliza’s lovely head' - yes it could...when it was alive!

I like this. It sends me back into a distant past when a gentleman would do this sort of thing.

Paul D. Brazill said...

An unexpected take and beautifully written.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh. I don't like this, but only because it's so well written. I feel sorry for the bird and could punch this character. And yet, I've been in that kind of love before.

Good job.

pjd said...

I found this creepy... because with the final line (which is excellent) I got a chill and wondered if perhaps Eliza is dead and he's keeping her body back home... I think this occurred to me because I tied it back to the photo and the fact that so many entries in the contest use the crow as an omen of death. The black wing touching her face... seems almost like a mourning veil.

Aniket said...

I am in love with the last line. It leaves so much for the reader to imagine, yet satisfies him completely.

I too wonder if its just the head of Eliza that remains.

quin browne said...

yay!! this is written in your usual 'eye of the photographer' style.. good news for all of us who read this piece.

Craig said...

I liked the subtle message that people don't often know what actually goes into a moment. Eliza has no idea what it cost the bird or the man so she could recieve that gift.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Egmont

JaneyV said...

Actually - I imagine it's a pheasant or some other bird with interesting plumage. I think he is motivated purely by the wish to give his love something spectacular that will make her feel even more beautiful. Some would buy some jewelry but as a milliner he's driven to frame her beauty with exactly the right feathers.

This would be thought of as the an act of deep love or even chivalry in that time. It's amazing how our sensibilities have changed. That last line is stunning. In a modern setting we're horrified by the thought of an animal being killed for no other reason than our vanity but I can see that for this man it is a deeply romantic act.

I'm so glad I live now. Beautifully written.

Kristin Fouquet said...

Many thanks all for reading and commenting. In the spirit of separating the dancer from the dance, please know that I don't kill birds- just an idea that came from the photograph. I truly appreciate the feedback. Thanks again.

Aimee Laine said...

Hunting (for any purpose) is not to my liking, but I can see why he did it -- love can make anyone do anything. :)

Kartik said...

Shucks, now you know why they say anything for love!
@Aniket: "only her head remains"? Are you getting back to your serial killer vibes? :P

Kartik said...

For Eliza based on "Fur Elise"? Considering how the opening scene of "Inglourious Basterds" used this piece in a chilling, ominous manner, I just *had* to point out the eerie coincidence!!

laughingwolf said...

very haunting kristin...

Michael Solender said...

luscious and as previously noted, haunting!

Chris Eldin said...

This piece feels harkened back to a more romantic time when chivarly would make such things possible. I also love the last line.
Nice job!

kashers said...

Has an anti-contemporary feel to me. Kind of harks back to a less critical period where there'd be a milliner's shop on every high street.

catvibe said...

Yikes, makes me never want to wear anything with feathers again! Nice writing.

Laurel said...

I'm reminded of the Graves poem about the young birdcatcher.

This is somehow sweet and creepy but the historical feel to it makes me lean toward sweet.

Beautiful image of the feather on her cheek.

glwwurm said...

Who wouldn't want to be the recipient of a love such as this?

Jimmie Vee said...

From the language and the fashion styles (bird plummage on a hat) I'm asssuming this is not a present day setting, and for this reason I really enjoyed it because it provided a wonderful insight into customs and cultural trends from a different era then I'm used to (unless I'm way off base here).

Deb Smythe said...

Eerily chilling.

Carrie said...

This was seriously unique and I found myself nodding as in aha. Yes, that did happen, birds and leopards had much reason to beware. Well done!

Addie Hurst said...

Your writing is very sharp and clear visioned. I really liked this!

james r tomlinson said...

Oh, the sacrifices some will make to please their love. Nicely portrayed here.

Aerin said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Cheers,
Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like the new Starbucks paninis or the people over 35 who are exclusively on MySpace