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Soaring

She ran. She ran so fast, that her calves burned. She jumped, using the tips of her toes as a spring, but she could not reach. Her heart beat faster, as the mounting panic and her quickened pace took its toll on her aching muscles. It was continually out her reach.

The bird flew low, surprised at its liberty. It basked in the cool freshness of the air, as it threaded through the bird’s majestic feathers. The sun shined brightly in the sky, inviting the new traveller towards undetermined skyward adventures. If it could smile, it would have.

Finally, she saw her chance. The bird had flown lower, its head tilted towards the sun, no longer paying attention to the determined girl. She lunged, taking hold of a some feathers. The bird shrieked, turned its delicate neck and looked deeply into the girl’s eyes. She shuttered as it seemed to try and read her soul. She tried to break the connection, but she could not do so. She felt drawn to its black eyes, that held so much sadness. She could not let go; she would be in so much trouble. She had to bring it back, could it not understand?

She wanted to pull it closer to her, envelop it in her tender arms. She was gentle, and always tried to be delicate towards the beautiful bird. Yet, she always feared it, with its strong body and large wingspan. It had never attacked her, nor given any inkling of wanting to do so. Then, why could she not let it go and enjoy freedom? It did not seem to be a ample sacrifice.

She saw a tear flowed down its ruby cheek, from those sad eyes. Her throat swelled with guilt. Her eyes filled with tears, threatening to fall, looked at her intrusive hand, clutching and rumpling the feathers of such a grand animal. Slowly, she left go. The bird shook its immense body, leaving behind a single feather.

She watched it fly. It soared into the sky, skimming the clouds with the tips of its wings. Like a beautiful dance, she was its special audience. It flew farther and farther, until it seemed to have soared into the sun. She looked down, rubbing her sore eyes. There, waiting for her, was a feather. It was not rumpled, but was long and beautifully coloured. She picked it up, feeling it with the tips of her fingers. She smiled at the gift, despite the growing hole of loss grew deep within her heart.

©Nadyne Kuhn 2011

 

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“Good writing can be defined as having something to say and saying it well. When one has nothing to say, one should remain silent. Silence is always beautiful at such times.”

– Edward Abbey

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
~ Bertrand Russell

Thankful Day

They woke up early, readying themselves for the long day of preparations. She had planned out their meal accordingly, and they were both sure there would be enough for everyone who came. Expecting no less than twenty people, they prepared the stuffing and the huge turkey they bought for the occasion. Luckily, the others offered to bring potatoes, vegetables, dessert and wine, so they merely set forth to the task of cooking the turkey.

They were both very pleased with themselves for having found such a large turkey at 32 pounds! They both starting mixing different ingredients together and rubbed them over the turkey. Then, they poured some wine into the pan, adding onions and garlic to the mixture. They were so pleased! They then tried to squeeze the turkey into the pan. What a tight fit! They crammed in the legs, which protruded threateningly in awkward positions. Luckily, their pan as made of aluminium, so they reshape it slightly for the turkey. They were very thankful that it managed to fit.

They preheated the oven and waited. They cleaned the kitchen as they waited, but their impatience grew. For what seemed like hours, they finally thought it was time to place the turkey inside the oven. It did not fit. The pan was much too large for their small oven. They panicked. How are they going to cook it for everyone if they cannot even put it into the oven? Luckily, he had calmed a little and realized that the bird was able to fit on an awkward angle into the oven. Again, they were very thankful for this prime illustration of comprehensible geometry.

As they waited, they prepared the dinner table, making it splendid with a fresh table cloth, place mats and napkins. They brought out their nice china and silverware. Satisfied, they cleaned around the house, making it beautiful for their guests. This took up a good part of the day, but luckily they still had time to clean themselves. They got ready, dressing beautifully. At around the appointed time, their doorbell rang. Excited, they ran to the door to greet their guests. Everyone was chatting and happy. They were all thankful for being invited!

Dinnertime rolled around, and they adorned the table with bowls of the different foods everyone brought. Potatoes, carrots, beans, buns were found around the large table. Wine bottles were opened with enthusiasm. He took out the turkey for her, and she scooped out the stuffing after the turkey was placed on a big silver platter. Everything smelled delicious. Once everyone was rounded into the dinning room, he brought out the huge turkey and placed it in front of his plate so that he could began carving. She sat beside him, bringing up everyone’s plate.

Just as he was about to pierce the turkey, its legs moved. Her mouth dropped, but no sound came out. Everyone was gaping at the spectacle. He did not know what to do. They did not have a mouse problem, but they had just taken the turkey out of the oven. Nothing could actually make it move! She laughed nervously and said that perhaps a string broke. Everyone laughed as well, though seemingly still unconvinced. He dived to cut it again, but the turkey this time jumped up. It moved its wings into a credible martial arts stance, before breaking into an elaborate tap dance. Nobody moved. At the end of its dance, it clearly wanted an applause but everyone was too stunned to make any such movement.

With what seemed as vulgar movements with its wings, the turkey dismissively left the table and headed towards the open window. It jumped out unceremoniously, and crossed the road. Nobody dared move or speak, but Uncle George was unable to contain himself, and said, “so… why did the turkey cross the road?”

©Nadyne Kuhn 2011

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
~ J.K. Rowling, _Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire_, spoken by the character Sirius Black.

A Tragic Fall

She yelled, screamed and hollered, but to no avail. She could not be heard. She pulled at the drape, hanging listless. It was wet. It slipped through her fingers, refusing to budge. She tried to move, but pain shot through her body. She could not reach the tap, to stop the fall of water. It splashed onto her face, jumping from her legs and arms. She managed to turn her head towards the tiles; the awful pink tiles that openly mocked her with their wide-grinned smiles. Her lips quivered; they could not understand her pain.

The soap ceased to bubble on the tub’s bottom, but the slipperiness remained, determined to make her life much harder than it already was at that very instant. Shampoo flowed from her left hand, insulted that she was unable to reach her hair in a vain attempt at hygiene. She did not know what to do; she laid there, knowing not what to do, wallowing in self-pity. Tears flowed down her cheeks, mixing with the water.

She could not get up. She fell so hard, that her body rejected her in order to suppress the pain. That was her only explanation. How else could she just fall, after doing something as routine as washing herself with soap? She knew the others were in the other room. She imagined them, sitting on opposite sofas, with their headphones on, listening to music while typing mindlessly away on their computer. Or, even better, watching a movie on their computer at such a volume that the neighbours could even hear. She would not jump up, even if they heard.

Had the neighbours heard anything? Why had they not come and investigate? She knew the answer to that as well. Despite hearing the sound of a woman in distress, they would nevertheless believe that someone else would help. There is always someone else. Or, there is always nobody around. They may be alarmed, but their psyche concludes that they are fine doing nothing. Whatever lessens the guilt. She could not blame them; she most likely would do the same. However, she vowed that she would never take others for granted again.

Finally, she thought of a third reason, but she thought of it as the most likely. What if… what if she could no longer make any sound with her voice? She could hardly believe that her body would become a traitor of her own rescuing. She stopped crying at this thought; clearly, her functions still worked at a certain capacity if she could still let flow tears. Or, was she actually crying? The water was still splashing from the shower she wanted to take; it could easily be the water that was falling. Her heart raced. Thankfully, that still worked. She looked around, and then actually focused on her body. Her mangled body, which laid in awkward angles, pitifully objected to her mind’s commands. She could barely see the rise and fall of her breath, despite it quickening under her panic.

Finally, she heard footsteps outside the door. A slight knock. Her friend cautiously entered the bathroom, her glasses steaming. She took them off and gasped at the sight. She saw her friends eyes widen from fear. Her friend tumbled backwards, towards the door, letting out sounds that she could not identify. Her other friend came quickly over, raising her hands to her mouth, eyes also widening. Their lips moved quickly. Something terrible happened to her, she knew this much. Yet…

… she could not understand why she did not hear their words.

©Nadyne Kuhn 2011

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

~ John Jakes