Cradle and Grave


On a frozen lake in some town the world had done its best to forget, the feet of several ducks protruded from the ice, minus their feathered bodies. They’d fallen asleep on the water, and when the water had turned to liquid stone, the foxes came calling with them at their mercy. Showing her the grisly remains, she averted her gaze and sobbed on my shoulder, and although I felt bad for the ducks, I couldn’t bring myself to blame the foxes. They hadn’t done it to be mean. It was just one of those things; they couldn’t help what they were. Kneeling down, I shimmied across to the mess and collected several feathers before placing them in my satchel. It was something to remember them by. A simple act to show the universe that their lives wouldn’t be forgotten. Not by us, anyhow. She wanted to leave. Said the thought of it all was making her feel sad, and although I felt cruel, I made her look. Told her that until she did, we wouldn’t move an inch. With tears falling from her eyes, she gazed upon the little legs poking up at the sky, and although she begged that we move on, I told her to hold the ducks in her thoughts, for under the watchful eye of God, our lives and the lives of the ducks were of equal worth, and as such, their loss demanded our respect. Shivering next to me, she held onto my arm as we looked at the scene in silence, and it seemed to me that this slice of life was just what we needed. There was romance in a kiss, but this was a different kind of romance; not born of the merging of flesh and scent, but that of the magic of merely being. Such transient beings we were, and although beneath the stars that shone above the outcome of our lives was of little consequence, like two sparks, we were creating our own light in a darkness that was both cradle and grave.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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