WIP Wednesday | Bird Curse Excerpt 2 | 9/26/2023

Snippet from a short story below that I posted another bit from way back in March.

In miscellaneous news, I am going back and forth a lot about whether or not I would like to do Nanowrimo this year. I’m not sure whether or not it has been ultimately helpful for me overall. I have a lot of drafting amassed from last year and the year before that and a couple of years before that, but I ultimately felt like I got burned out working on those projects and left them in the dust. I know I’m not alone in that experience. Then comes the question of whether or not I want to instead work on something short, revisit one of my old projects, or do something new altogether that may or may not also end up abandoned. Hmmm.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.

One of the birds spoke to Raymond on his second night with the princess.

He didn’t know enough about birds to tell what sort it is beyond identifying it as a pigeon, the kind his mother would use to send messages to her sister in the east reaches of the country. It stood at the foot of his bed.

“Fly.” The pigeon’s voice warbled soft and low.

He swallowed. Had the bird gained the power of speech, or had he gained the ability to understand it?

“Fly?” He repeated.

It spread its wings and flapped them once. “Fly. Fly. Fly.”

“You can fly all you like.”

The bird fluffed up until it was three times its original size as if aggravated or cold. Still, indignation did not show in its voice.

“Fool,” it murmured, gentle. “Fly.”

Raymond reached out and smoothed his index finger over the pigeon’s head the way he had seen the princess do. “I am sorry, little friend. I don’t understand what you want.”

Flee,” the bird cooed.

After that, the pigeon flew away. He tried to identify the odd one out from the other pigeons the next morning. It had a greenish goldish spot on the breast, just below the neck. He can’t find it. He wondered if he dreamed the interaction. After all, none of the pigeons spoke to him now, just stared and rustled their feathers like muted whispers.

She didn’t say what the pastry contained. He could taste the meat, though, cradled in the flaky, buttery crust and warm gravy: gamey and fatty, too rich to be chicken, too pale to be beef.

He did not ask. Would she answer even if he did?

Speaking with the princess seemed difficult, but he found himself understanding the birds more and more. One word sentences became

She smiled broadly and took his hands and told him that was wonderful. He didn’t notice how fragile his hands feel in hers, how light.

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