With no small amount of trepidation, I have entered the writing contest at Clarity of Night.
Instructed to create a piece of fiction of no more than 250 words in length, contestants were told to take their inspiration from this photograph.
Here is the result of my effort.
It was an enjoyable exercise.
Through an opening in the green curtain he could just see the garden, asleep in the wintertime sun. An unclosed curtain through which a vertical stripe of morning light occasionally touched his shoulder like a knighthood.
Don’t let them close the window, he thought.
You won’t require an open window, the voice replied.
He didn’t try to turn his head this time. He knew no one was there.
How much longer?
Not long now, I should think.
He wished he could share what he knew with those gathered around him. They all seemed so pale now, almost invisible.
As the afternoon weakened he could once again hear the paper soft flutter of wings. He closed his eyes to see them. Feathers. Feathers of white, blue-black, grey, falling and flying like snow. Coming down from the ceiling, drifting in through the windowglass. He liked the black ones best. He secretly wished for the black.
Soaring up on the wind currents, flying out over the oceans, glissading through the glen. He had coveted that casual liberty since his boyhood. To run and run, to lift away. An unspoken longing buried deep in his soul.
You can go now.
I can? Where should I go?
Anywhere that you wish.
The silhouette of a hawk casts a violet hued shadow into the dimly lit room. The bird briefly hovers outside the window, then spreads its black feathers, lifts over the bare tree tops and is gone. To glide on the winds of December.
Painting above by Sir John Everett Millais