Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #60

The Caged Bird
by Michelle McMurry

Birds steal shiny things, I muse, shaking my head. Sunlight glints off the small collection of faceted stones he’s used to attract my attention. Loosely nestled among twigs and grasses, they flash like a rainbow of mirrors under the sun. A beacon. Clever.

I wait. Impatient until a shadow obscures the cliff face. The sun blinks out. My neck cranes higher and higher until one more inch would have me toppling backwards. It is him.

Air leaves my lungs in a rush. Finally.

He’s watching, hovering directly overhead, and I smile. I feel small. Frail. Too human, even though I’m not—not entirely.

For him, I will give it up. This time I will stop pretending.

My eyes flutter closed. His wings make wind. It rushes through the clearing. I feel it brush across my cheek, feel it tangle my hair. I let it take me.

The change happens, natural as breathing. Why do I fight it?

Muscles flex, instinct, and then I’m weightless. Soaring towards him, I watch his eyes, the beat of his wings. Slow. Relaxed. I have hope.

Closer. Higher, where the air is thin, I greet him. A shrill sound. He circles and descends, lighting upon a sharp edge of stone. The air shimmers around him.

Heart racing, even knowing I won’t be able to climb down, I still follow. To see him transform, it’s worth it. I snare myself in his trap.

He changed for me. I will change him back.


PJD said...

An interesting situation, kind of a love triangle with only two participants. I like your description of the stones especially.

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle

Nicely done and an interesting take on the prompt!

I think it's the first truly shifting tale. I also liked the line "I snare myself in his trap." Is this a trap she set early for him or a trap he's laid expecting her?

Dottie :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the whole description of climbing, how it's used to show how difficult it is to truly change someone; We all know you can never truly go back.

Aimee Laine said...

Ah, such naivete ... to think one can change someone. ;)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I love the descriptions in this-so vivid.

Laurel said...

That first paragraph is a beautiful take on the prompt. The whole piece feels poignant to me; the sad notion of chasing something in order to change it.


JaneyV said...

It brings home to me the futility of changing your self or trying to change another. Surely loving someone for themselves is the key to making a relationship work.

I have to add my voice to the others and applaud you for your incredibly beautiful descriptions.

It is a very pretty piece.

Deb Smythe said...

Who says people can't change? This was a wonderful love story wrapped up in a shifter tale.

J. Elis Morgan said...

Beautifully written! It reminded me of the movie Ladyhawke, with Michelle Pfieffer, which was a tragic love story in a similar vein. Enjoyed reading.

Vincent Kale said...

Makes me wonder about their shared past and what their future holds. Intriguing!

Catherine Vibert said...

Great metaphor there! I like your take on this.

Kimberly B. said...

Oh, I like it! One of those that definitely makes me curious and eager for more!