Cornelia’s Birthday.

Cornelia’s Birthday.

A Story by Danny Metcalfe

  

EVER SINCE CORNELIA came out of her mother’s womb, the windows to her soul were always open. The four winds of heaven blew the dust from her shadows and her shadows glowed like rosy stars. Her voice had the tendency to redden the cheeks of the air and turn the pale of the evening into wine. Her parents were proud of her but felt also that she was a little odd. The oddness was something that made itself more known when someone looked deep into her eyes. The soul is always odd when the windows to your own are closed.  

‘Don’t sit next to her!’ the children at school would say.  

The teachers did not feel much different; they were just not as honest. In the playground, Cornelia played on her own. She amused herself by sitting under an apple tree, closing her eyes, letting her spirit fly and playing with the angels. When the bell rang, she opened her eyes once again to the solid dream of earth.  

At home she fed the peculiar birds in her garden. The birds were odd like her and so a bond was formed. She fed the bird’s nuts and seeds and sometimes berries and others fruits. Her mother found it all a terrible business and found the birds ugly, shewing them away whenever she had the opportunity.  

‘Cornelia, please stop feeding the birds.’ her mother often pleaded. Her father was indifferent to the situation and was deaf to such pleas.  

On weekends Cornelia visited her grandmother. Her grandmother was of an ancient origin and like her granddaughter, was something of a black sheep. She was teaching Cornelia the language of the trees, which was as her grandmother told her, like music as it is always translated in feeling. She took Cornelia out into the woods and they kissed the wind with the vows of their hearts, in honour of the trees which painted the landscape. She was teaching Cornelia the important lesson of respect. Her grandmother learned respect as a little girl when she was playing in the countryside and came across a pale horse with a golden mane, grazing in a meadow. She went up to it and started tugging at its golden mane. The pale horse shrugged her off and snorted in a warning fashion. She kept on tugging at the pale horse’s golden mane and so the pale horse kicked her across the meadow and into a family of trees. She was knocked out cold like a confused distant star. The family of trees slowly woke her up, raised her to the sky and bathed in the stars. After the bath, the trees explained to her that Mother Nature is not to be teased and instead must be honoured. Cornelia was told this story many times by her grandmother.  

‘Remember Cornelia, do not tease Mother Nature.’’ her grandmother often reminded her. Cornelia listened to her grandmother and treated Mother Nature like a grand wise ancestor. An Ancestor who was looking down upon her, protecting her with the power of supernatural enchantment. She felt this power within herself. It was felt from her chest to her stomach. She felt the butterflies that tickled her insides sleep in the twilight of her gut, dreaming of the sunless sunset that rose out from her mouth. The dreams of the butterflies sometimes entered her own and invoked within her a sense of anxiety. It was not something Cornelia was unfamiliar with. She understood that the wind that shakes the leaves is nothing but the breath of God. Because of this she did not block off her intuition and people often said she was psychic: Predicting the fortunes and misfortunes of the world. Her grandmother possessed the same inward awareness. When the two of them were in the depths of nature’s bosom, they could occasionally communicate telepathically, speaking to one another in the silent language of light. Others felt uncomfortable when this occurred because it changed the energy in the environment and they could not understand the fresh dimension emitted in the space. At times people would vomit it made them so uneasy.  

Cornelia would laugh and surrender to the moment. Her mother would tell her off for laughing, telling her not to be so rude. It was a case of eating silent words and coughing up noise, which her mother often did.  

It was something Cornelia had come to terms with. The dimensions that they both inhabited were different and the sad dawn between sits dormant. There was darkness between them but there was a bridge being built. It was being built from flowers from the silent garden, which Cornelia visited nearly every night, planting the seeds that would eventually grow between mother and daughter.     

      Her mother was unaware of such travels. She had travelled no further than her eyes would allow, unlike Cornelia’s eyes which were like the moon and affected the turning of the tides and with that travelled in all directions.  

People could not look into her eyes for too long because of this. A boy in the schoolyard looked into her eyes for too long, fainted and awoke with his memory like a broken mirror. Cornelia was accused of being a she-devil. She tried to explain it was not her fault and that the blame lay in the metaphysical sea, that to dive into her eyes, one must be an expert swimmer. She was told this was nonsense and was expelled from school. Her mother and father were disappointed, unable to understand their daughter’s condition.  

In the wake of the incident, she stayed in her room, only coming out for dinner. Her parents barely spoke to her, not knowing what to say. She still fed the peculiar birds in the garden, who by singing their unique song also fed Cornelia.  

In her room she closed her eyes and entered the realm of the angels, where she swam in the depths of her visions.  

After a month or so her parents broke their silence and communicated with their daughter. Her birthday was coming up and so they wanted to show in their own singular way that they cared. They asked her what gifts she may want and if there was anything, she truly desired? She answered by saying: I would like a kitten. I want a kitten that can look into my eyes and enjoy the waters of my soul.  

 

A few days before her birthday, she was at her grandmothers, walking in the countryside. The sun was surrounded by ghosts, haunting the sky with their dark tears. Cornelia wandered with great affection for her surroundings: sniffing the flowers, skipping in delight over the green green grass and tasting the crowning of the air. She soon found herself upon a meadow where a pale horse with a golden mane was grazing. In that moment her mind heard the sounds of her grandmother’s story and she felt respect for the creature. She walked cautiously over to the pale horse, standing a safe distance from it. The pale horse lifts its head and meets the eyes of Cornelia and in that instance the pale horse gave birth to a foal.  

Cornelia was surprised, stared for a few moments and then went on her way. She decided not tell her grandmother, knowing she would know in her own silent way.  

 

On her birthday the family gathered. The house is decorated accordingly. Cornelia is adorned in a long white dress. She looks very pretty.  

 Her parents bring out her gift which is a small ginger kitten. Immediately she was in love and holds the kitten in her arms, stroking and kissing the new bundle of joy.   

 Food is enjoyed and music is played. At one point her grandmother sings a silent song. Then the lights are lowered and the cake is brought out. They all sing happy birthday; Cornelia is told to make a wish before blowing out her candles: She closes her eyes and thinks for a moment…Her family wait in anticipation. She blows out the candles before opening her eyes…The smoke rises like an old memory and as she opens her eyes, thousands of butterflies shoot out from the windows of her soul and fill the room with their essence.  

© 2021 Danny Metcalfe


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Surely this was born to become a myth. There are so many tangents to and in Cordelia's character.. ' 'found her fascinatingly different. Why should she be like every other young girl, why not be accepted as merely special Her behaviour regarding the birds, butterflies, the pale horse and surroundings, suggests to me a spirit that came into being with out of earth traits _.ones that others could learn from. For some reason I see her becoming an oracle. But, who knows what the future holds. Her grandmother is there to teach and inspire Cordelia.. for me that suggests an acknowledgement of ancient awareness of what has been but what is now being lost

Your finishing words create the most beautiful and graphic memory...

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

There truly are many different realities that we live through - the main one being one that people view as being grounded, tethered to reality and the pessimism that often comes with it; the other reality being one that only certain people can ascertain let alone live and that is one of creativity. To live alone in that reality can be stark and cold, but when you find a mentor such as the grandmother, or the kitten, as the companion that reality becomes so much more magical and spectacular. Amazing story, always with the beautiful imagery, and always leaving me wanting more

Posted 6 Days Ago


Surely this was born to become a myth. There are so many tangents to and in Cordelia's character.. ' 'found her fascinatingly different. Why should she be like every other young girl, why not be accepted as merely special Her behaviour regarding the birds, butterflies, the pale horse and surroundings, suggests to me a spirit that came into being with out of earth traits _.ones that others could learn from. For some reason I see her becoming an oracle. But, who knows what the future holds. Her grandmother is there to teach and inspire Cordelia.. for me that suggests an acknowledgement of ancient awareness of what has been but what is now being lost

Your finishing words create the most beautiful and graphic memory...

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 12, 2021
Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Author

Danny Metcalfe
Danny Metcalfe

United Kingdom



About
I am a writer, poet and playwright. I am interested in sharing works that I am unsure about and getting feedback on said works. My favorite writers are: Arthur Rimbaud, William S Burroughs, Claric.. more..

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