The Golden Bird

The Golden Bird

The March sun wasn’t yet warm enough to slump the snow when the Evening Grosbeaks descended on Louise’s feeding station. She was watching out her kitchen window, as she always did, a cup of strong coffee in hand, her reward after her vigorous bird walk at dawn, a habit of forty years that she had not yet given up, even on the cusp of ninety.

The flock of black and yellow birds that mobbed her tray of sunflower seeds was larger than she had seen in years, hordes of them. For decades, she’d been collecting data on the Evening Grosbeak for her ornithologist friend Doris—how many came to her feeder, male or female, when and where they nested, how long the eggs took to hatch and the young to fledge. She made a mental note to check her records to see if the numbers this spring were truly record-breaking or just an impression sparked by the thrill of such an influx of birds massing in her forest.
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Dust

Dust

Lydia would never admit it to anyone, but she loved to dust. Sometimes, although it pained her, she left her dusting cloth inside the cupboard for three days in a row, just for the thrill of seeing that shiny, dustless track when she stroked the cloth across a table.

She was never happier than she was on dusting day. She marked it on the calendar with a happy face so her husband, the only surgeon in the town, would not make fun of her small joy. In her heart, she believed that the satisfaction that welled up in her at the sight of a shiny surface was as meaningful as what she imagined he must feel every time a wound healed over in a smooth, pale line.
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Passages

Short stories are often a welcome respite from the intense concentration of writing a book. They can feel like play, and sometimes they become the seed from which a longer work grows. You’ll find fiction and nonfiction posted here: jottings from my writing past and raw excerpts from future manuscripts. To me, they are all stories—a word that embraces events both real and imagined. I leave it to you to decide which are more true.

 

If a story has been previously published, you’ll find a credit and link at the end of the story.

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