The first time it worked, Ashlen cried and buried the bird behind her family’s small apartment complex, under the shelter of a thick, hoary bush with gaudy white petaled blooms.
It had been amidst the hot, sun-baked tang of slow wheeling summer, late July pressing headlong into the front end of August. Time to immerse in books. In leisurely walks to the local Library.
The magical submersion into a realm with new and fascinating prospects but with familiar, age old questions. Literature.
She had been more than willing to settle with that.
To hover silently through frigid and snappish family dinners between her divorcing parents and solely herself. To put up with the cranky eye rolls and the words which, at the seemingly most random of times, would sling out at him like weapons.
"Hey asshole! Why don't you grow a little chubbier and take all week while you're at it?!" Fatalistic process of micro explosions, a phantom spinal pulse of agony that was the shock of Ashlen's pain having disappointed his father.
"Vanity doesn't suit you dear. And, neither does that shade of red, dear. Now take that lipstick off before anyone calls you a hussie. Now, move, Ashlen!" Burrowing and threading submersible rivets of excruciating bitterness flecked through her like ice.sharpening her gaze. Lengthening her stare wickedly and not a little unkindly.
She had just been so angry, so hurt. She–Surely, she hadn’t actually meant to kill the bird.
What evidence was there to prove that she had, after all, when all she did was… Well, nothing really.
Except that wasn't exactly true, now, was it?
She could remember staring at the bird, a dusky grey pigeon with a bobbing emerald head and orange beak, but she–it couldn't have been her that caused the bird first to startle, flapping its lurid wings in preparation to take flight.
And then falling thickly and dispassionately still. Twitching once, and somehow she could feel its tiny heart beating it's final featherlight hum behind her eyes…
Before it passed. No.
It couldn't have been her.
But, that didn't matter because secretly, deep down, she was so afraid that she knew-It always, much like one forgets a cell phone hiding in their own back pocket, she knew, that somehow, some way…
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