The Mending of the Broken
by Lee Hughes
Melvin picked up the midnight feather. He monitored the sky for its owner. He wondered if it was broken and needed mending.
He put it in the pocket of his dungarees.
"Caw." A bird the colour of Melvin's shadow was up in his tree.
"Hey, you broken?"
Melvin took that for a yes. There were so many things that needed mending, most were missing pieces.
Melvin filled his cheeks with air, exhaled, glanced at the shoebox and reckoned it would be mightily unfair if he were to put the bird to the front of the queue to be mended.
He picked up a stone. People called him dumb, but he could throw.
One shot got the bird down. It struggled as he picked it up.
"It's okay, you're gonna be mended up. But gots to be fair, others been waiting longer."
He sat and opened up the box. He took a few bits of bone and some skull and began taping them together, borrowing bits from the bird he'd stoned.
"I mended you, go fly." He held out his hand but it wouldn't take to the wing.
Maybe it wanted to stay.
He taped it to one of the low branches; the leaves were taped on too.
He put the leftover bits of the bird away. He pulled out a small skull he'd found buried in Mr. Merewether's yard, Melvin reckoned it was from people kind, not animal kind.
"I'll get you mended next."