I was inspired to write a piece of flash fiction. It’s simple, perhaps too simple, but it was good to write it out. Doing so gave purpose and provided satisfaction of a sort. Herein is the story:
A man sat at his nook, or at least that’s what he called it. He labored over the keyboard of his laptop, thoughts wandering listless in his head. He’s a writer, an author, a finisher of words, a creator of worlds and races without number. His laborious task is to put into words the thoughts that swim through the fog in his head.
A midnight creature of brilliant black, with wings fit for an eagle, settled on the rustic white ledge of his opened window. An orange red tuft of feathers fluffed out at the crown of her head.
She perched and crooked her head from side to side as if surveying the scene before her. Without effort, as if buoyed by some unseen force of magic, she circled the apartment and settled on the easy chair adjacent to his desk.
It was his thinking chair, where he went to lose himself in thoughts hoping to find something to latch onto amidst the tumultuous ocean of his mind.
The newfound feathered friend, or at least he saw her as such, only looked on him. The abyss of her gaze swallowed him, sending him into beautiful thoughts of serenity. He didn’t know what kind of bird she was, so he named her.
“Hello sweet lady bird.” A simple name, but for the time being it would have to do. “You remind me of a vivacious island bird, without the colors of course.”
He chuckled to himself. His greeting sounded as awkward as it felt, washing over his spine like tar oozing from a street repair truck.
She cackled and it reminded him of some cross between a giggle and gurgle. The bird was curious at that. Yet there was something about her that drew him to her, a magnetism he couldn’t explain. His curiosity swirled as her determination to remain by his side became evident, apparently devoted to him. She seemed at home in his environment.
He drew his attention back to his blank digital screen, playing his fingers on the keys like a pianist to his masterful craft.
She continued her unbridled conversation as he typed, like a chatterbox without an off switch. It didn’t bother or deter him. Truth be told, he liked it. The chatter inspired him and soothed the tempest thoughts of his mind. There was a power of enchantment and swelling colorful emotions that emanated from her countenance. It reminded him of home, the warmth of a glowing fireplace and the sweet aroma of apple cider.
He looked up at her as if acknowledging her ramblings, smiled, and returned to his work. She offered a giggle, or whatever it is she does, that shook her feathers and jiggled her torso. This brought a smile to his face that spread wide like a harbor bay welcoming the ocean into its arms. His smile then faded as he slipped into a dark countenance and wandering thoughts of inadequacies.
Her eyes penetrated, peering deeper into him. She could see into the depths of his soul as if understanding his plight. With a hop and strut, she wandered to his desk, nudging the crown of her head against his hand. No words were shared, except her continuous chatter. Although he didn’t respond, the conversation was hardly one-sided. A growing connection developed between them where words were not necessary to understand one another.
“My day is going good. I struggle deep within. I don’t know what’s real or what’s not. Most days, most hours, I can’t sort my thoughts. My emotions hit peaks and valleys, and everything in between. Some days I’m even numb.”
He talked as if she’d respond in kind, but she only chattered more. He continued.
“I feel alone, in a world of madness. I’m lonely among a throng of people.
“Today, I wrote a few words down. They were just words, nothing more. Well, maybe there is more. They’re a bunch of mesh pot ridiculousness.”
She shook her feathered head and fluffed her crown up as if exclaiming to the world of his worth. Then she plopped down on the desk, nudged his hand again, and watched. It was her way of encouraging him to continue his stories.
He turned back to his computer and typed furiously, the story unloading uninhibited to the page. Nothing wavering, no holding back, he wrote like he’d never written before. He smiled and shook his head hardly believing success would be this easy. It really wasn’t, but whatever exchange or connection he held with lady bird opened the channels of creativity. The words flowed like a roaring river during spring runoff.
Upon completion of his story, he looked at his friend, folded his hands and only nodded. She cocked her head in return and they both relished the moment of completion. He laughed a deep laugh and thanked her frankly. His muse, or at least for this moment it seemed she was. A writer, a bird, and a beautiful story woven like a grand royal tapestry.
Whatever it is that drives you, whoever it is that inspires, don’t lose hope. Don’t feel despair. Often what is unsaid in voice is more reassuring and strengthening than that of the spoken word. All is understood and absorbed, and is reciprocated in silent waves of emotions.
Press on, be strong, and know that all will be well.