Tuesday, April 5, 2011


     “Look at them all,” cried Atalanta as birds spilled from the cliffs in a black, swirling mass, skimming the river and back to the sky.
     “What’s going on?” asked Hermes.
     “Well, it’s been said swallows hold the spirits of dead children and so can never stop flying, except to nest. Their legs have shrivelled to little hooks and their wings have grown so long they can’t beat them well enough to take off from the ground, and so they must throw themselves from the cliffs . . . and now you’ve got to tell me what kind of bird you would be.”


     “I don’t get it,” said Hermes. “Who would want to be a bird?”
     “Ask the guy who ploughed his father’s sports car through the guardrail up there and into the river—they got the car back, but never did find the boy—or his poor sisters who waited forever on the riverbank with the paramedics. Or ask his boyfriend,” said Atalanta, “who dove right in after hearing the news and searched all night until they had to drag him away. By then, they say, he really believed he’d turned into a swan.”
     “Must be a homo thing,” said Hermes.

Painting by Marina Moevs.


  1. lol....yeah wanting to be a bird about the time the car is flying through the air toward the water for sure...a sobering scene but i felt the need to chuckle at the thought...

  2. Fresh, innovative, different take on the prompt...

  3. Brilliant write...I thoroughly enjoyed this...still giggling at the last line...


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