Black Sparrow

With the rain lashing down against her limbs, she floats with her hands pressed against the window, calling to the girl inside the apartment. The girl doesn’t hear, however, and merely continues to sit before the glowing logs, tilting her head as if listening to some faraway sound. For a second, Gretchen is tempted to rap her knuckles on the pane of glass but thinks better of it for fear of waking her mother. Turning her head, she eyes the rainy sky and the horizon of distant lights, and although she doesn’t want to, she begins to move toward them. Like Peter Pan, she flies through the night sky as free and as delirious as a bird. At first, she’s scared that she might fall, that she’ll drop like a stone and splatter on the ground, or that a strong gust of wind will get the better of her and throw her into the side of a building or under the wheels of a bus. It’s always like this, though, and the longer she’s airborne, the more she remembers how it is. It was like riding a bike. Although it was nothing like riding a bike, not really, because she’d never ridden a bike, and she wasn’t riding a bike, she was flying through the air, a dozen feet up. As a flash of lightning briefly illuminates all, she zips about like a black sparrow dancing upon the surface of a lake. For a moment, she thinks about travelling to the lake behind her grandparents’ old house, but something holds her back. What that something is, she can’t say, but as another flash brings to life the darkened town before her, through the droplets of rain, she eyes the tops of the trees in the distant woods, and the tickle in her belly makes her cry out like the stray dogs in the alley below. The dogs respond in kind, and as their howls carry in the wind, so the secrets of the trees beckon her forward.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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