Monday, 25 February 2013

Daddy's Little Bird

This web site is organising a flash fiction competition for stories of no longer than 250 words inspired by the above photo. Here's the effort.

Writing just a 250 story might sound easy. It really isn't. It's a bit like doing a crossword puzzle, fitting in all the elements just so, a phrase, a wrong word or a simple misplaced punctuation, making problems. Anyway, good or bad I don't know anymore, but it's done. 

When the security gate slid shut behind me for the last time, the hawk, as usual, was circling. Hidden behind secure walls, head tilted, she would be peering through a veil of thinning hair at that same hawk.

‘What do you make of it all, Doc?’

That question, asked long ago, remains.

‘What’s your name?’

Eventually, hesitantly, ‘Daddy's little bird.’

Three words. In twenty years, just three whispered words.

Discovered in her home, a wall of macabre art created from the guts of a mutilated budgerigar, the DNA tests showing how its blood had being mixed with her father's.

The best guess was that she’d been about fourteen at the time. With no trace of her in any records, it’s difficult to tell. I took a photo of this art and, much later, showed it to her. Her head had tilted and twitched bird-like as she stared. It was progress. I gave her paint, paper and brushes and she would reproduce her painting, her art, every day. Presenting each one as if it were her first.

In the end, medical, alongside my own psychological reports, offered enough mitigation for sliding a razor between her fingers and slicing open his throat.

Found outside, standing motionless, drenched in blood and staring into the sky, it hadn’t been hard to find where she’d been held.

I’ve kept her last painting. The angry colours reduced now to soft pastel show a kind of peace. It’s enough. It's all there is.   

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