A tree stretches its branches toward the sky like a child reaching for her mother, crying to be held. Meanwhile, a bird flaps her wings, flying above the leaves rolling across the lawn. They’re pushed by a zephyr stalking the yard for hungry breaths, like those of the bird, who darted toward the window like a mother to her child only to find out she was answering the whimper of a hard reflection. The scene would be tragic if the gentle breeze didn’t pounce on her last gasp, then roll the bird like the leaves, urging her to fly again.
My inspiration for this 100-word piece of flash fiction:
At different times, a bird has flown into my picture window. I used to look down, onto the driveway, after I heard the bang. That way I could see if the bird flew away or not. Some did. Other times, I couldn’t find the bird, so I assumed it had flown away. And, sadly, there were times a bird didn’t make it. Usually, it would leave an oil splat and a feather or two on the window, evidence of its crash.
The last time I heard the bang, which always breaks my heart, I found a tiny feather floating before the window. The bird was semiconscious, but it (she, I think) eventually died. By now I had a wrought iron window box extending across the bottom of the window, so the bird didn’t fall far–she had landed on it. That’s a whole other story, a sad one. However, I hope “Zephyr” delivers a hopeful message whose interpretation is as unique as the individual reading it.
P.S. I try to make a habit out of drawing the shade halfway down so the birds get the hint that they’re seeing a “hard reflection.” But alas, I’m human. At times I forget to pull it down after my husband lifts it up. In his defense, the window offers us a beautiful view.