Friday, January 31, 2014

short story: flight

I was going to say, "One more post and then I'm finished with January!"  But, honestly, Ry has some photos on his phone from an outing with the kids a couple weeks ago.  He's not home so those will have to be put up later. :D

I've been doing some creative writing this month.  This is a piece I did for an owl-themed swapbot short story exchange. 


Flight by Tasha M, 2014

The path beneath Eva's bright red boots was rough to the touch and curving to the eyes.  It was a snake with coarse skin and a body that twist-tangled-swayed far into the distance, through this clearing and a patch of woods ahead, behind the old Smith's farm, through more trees, and then to a rocky spot next to a creek.

The wind poured through the trees, the moonlight played peek-a-boo, mud squished underfoot.  Eva felt her heart hold its own drum circle with rhythm and dance.  It wasn't the first time she had felt the Tug, yet it still felt fresh, a newness that lingered far beyond first touch.

When Eva reached the creek, she could hear the gentle rush of water, the call of nighttime birds, the buzz-hum of insects hoping and mating, a silence thick with noise.  The trickling light made everything an outline of itself with an occasional burst of dim spotlight when the clouds, moon, and swaying trees shifted just right.    

 He was only here in the darkest part of the night.  She had never felt the Tug at any other time.  It hadn't stopped her from trying to see him at other moments in the day.  She had visited the area when early colors streaked the sky, when the sun shone fiercely overhead, when sunset made the world pause in shredded clementine awe, when twilight turned things to bolder silhouettes.  During those times, there wasn't anything unusual about the area, nothing that whispered of what happened on certain nights when the darkness was nearly an invisibility cloak, when night song was the only song, when she sneaked from the warmth of bed into the breathe of night.

 Eva sat down on one of the large rocks and waited.  She took deep breaths, in and out, in and out, imagining herself becoming the rock, the moist soil, the trees with arms stretched high and roots burrowing, the water that sometimes vanished and sometimes moved like summer molasses and sometimes gushed.  In and out, in and out.    

And then:


A quiet fury of white feathers, piercing eyes, a hunter's mouth. In the trees, then in the space right in front of her.  A melting away of the feathers, wings turn to arms, owl to man.


In human form, his face looked maybe 25, but his hair was white with streaks of black.

“Eva.”  His voice the sound of forest air, crunchy leaves, first frost.

“Sven.  Hello.”  Hers a whisper, a freshly opening rose, a monarch floating lazily, textured hope. 
He placed his hand to her heart, and she to his.  In the span of one eye blink, they were off, still somehow looking human, above the tree tops, against cool-velvet sky, looking down at the patchwork of land.  Eva always found this part exhilarating, the rush of flight, the world so miniature and washed clean of blemishes. 

Then, they paused.  The first time this happened, she had feared she would fall, but now she knew: she was cocooned by something connected to Sven, something she couldn't see, something that felt like silk and kindness and love. 

What he would tell her during this span was never anything mind-blowing, time-bending, a philosophy book in the making.  Yet, soaked in the moon's glow high in the sky, the meaning seemed to burrow into her soul, seeds to springtime soil.  This time, eye to eye, he simply said, “Live fully, Eva.”  And they were off again, air against their faces like water on a swim.

Later, when both her feet were on soil and Sven had flown away for the night, she slipped a lingering feather into her hair.  She smiled the whole walk home, taking flight with each step.