When I was born…
“When I was born,” I repeated. He walked around the table, never standing still for very long. My mind was blank. All I could focus on was the increasing tightness in my throat. He stopped and stared. “I was given away. That’s all I know.”
“So, you don’t know who your real parents are?”
Silence filled the room as he came to stand next to me, towering over me making me feel more uneasy.
“How did you know to sing to the dragon?”
“I didn’t, sir.” He stopped and raised his eyebrow. I don’t think he believed me. “I just wanted to live.”
The problem with going through life one day at a time, each in order…
The problem with going through life one day at a time, each in order is that my life is very boring. I get up, I eat breakfast (always sage pork sausage and toast) and get to work. I gather all the washing that needs to get done for the day from everyone in my area, and lug the heavy baskets back home, where I dunk everything into the large bath to start washing. The only time I deviate is when some nobleman’s maid gives me a linen shirt stained with wine. I hang everything up to dry in my house and backyard, before folding it all and delivering it back to the homes it came from. I’ve accidentally given the garments to the wrong families, but for whatever reason it’s always overlooked. And by overlooked, I mean I don’t get any sausages to eat for a few days. I don’t understand my life, or the endless loop of sausages and laundry.
I don’t understand.
She could hear seagulls crying. Or were they laughing? – The sunsets were dazzling…
The beach was mostly empty, save for a lone couple huddled together near the water. With each wave that reached up to greet them, the girl screamed and they would burst into laughter. She walked off until the laughing was drowned out by the breaking of the waves and the song of the seagulls congregated on the rocks. The sunsets were dazzling here, but it was cloudy that afternoon. Masking the time behind the grey dreary curtain. She could have been there a few minutes, or hours. She wasn’t sure anymore. The wind just ushered in more of the same.
The seagulls’ cries were becoming louder. Melody stopped. Or were they laughing at her?
The seagulls went quiet. She walked forward, and their cries came back to life like someone was playing with the volume. She stopped, they stopped. She continued, they laughed.
She looked around. She was alone. It was as if the couple from before never existed. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe it had always just been her. She couldn’t be sure anymore. It was difficult to think sometimes. Everything was… fuzzy. But the seagulls. They were there. Really there.
Melody picked up one of the many smooth rocks that littered the sand. Her father never had a son, so he had to teach her everything. She was never any good at fishing or fixing engines, but she could throw rocks, and make them skip over the water far longer than her father ever could.
She held out her arm, closing one eye before she threw it. The rock skid over the water seven times, until it reached the rock. The flock flew up, making a white mark on the sky. Then they came after her. She tripped and landed face first in the sand. Melody covered her head, trying to protect herself from the birds.
But nothing happened. She waited a little longer, before she lifted her head.
Before her stood a seagull. He threw down her rock before flying off.
They started laughing again.
It was the smell that caught my attention first…
It was the smell that caught my attention first. I stopped, holding my nose, as I turned to dumpster where it was coming from. It was different from sour rotting food, but not the same as rotting meat. It couldn’t have been anything from the restaurant it stood against. I couldn’t walk away.
I sucked in my breath, trying to make myself brave for what was to come. As I pushed back the lid to look inside, I saw two tiny eyes.
My stomach knotted as I reached in, and the small dog coward from my hands. I held out my fingers to him, waiting patiently for him to calm down so that I could pick him up. The smell made my eyes water, but I wouldn’t leave him there.
I thought he would never step forward and that I would have to stand there all night, but he came closer. I quickly pulled off my jacket to wrap around him.
I hurried to my car, where my husband was waiting.
“I thought something had happened to you,” he said as I opened the door. His first reaction was to hold his nose and recoil from the shivering pile on my lap.
“I know. He needs our help.”
He nodded. “We’ll go shopping tomorrow then.”