A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




I’m almost done preening when Tenielle swoops over dramatically and perches beside me. I can feel the bough bend and sway as she ruffles herself in a perversely uncomfortable way, making irritable clicking sounds in the back of her throat. It’s with the self assured certainty of the wilfully ignorant that she chirrups bluntly into my silence. ‘If you ask me, there’s a reason for all those blackbird stereotypes.’ I bury my beak into the underside of my wing, imagining how very occupied I must look, knowing you couldn’t drown an ant in the depths of that girl’s mind.


I click my fingers at Laura, telling her to get the legs. The guy doesn’t look heavy but moves like a bureau, dead stained oak. We roll him into the tub and close the curtain on his face. Laura sighs with the effort and not the regret, her blood splattered chest ballooning with a sparrow’s slender plumage, flecks of the man’s red sparkling in her ash blonde hair. Preening back a lock, her burgundy hand leaves its mark upon her temple, consecration of the sweated brow. Glowing with the honesty of effort, smiling, she tells me, ‘I hate cleaning.’

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