A Little Bird Broken

A Little Bird Broken

A Story by Preeti

A short story I wrote in response to a prompt ("a little bird broken") from a writing community



The wind rustled the leaves on the branches on the old oak tree as the little girl skipped along merrily, happy in her short pink dress with white ruffles along the edges. The same wind rustled the hem of her dress and the little girl threw back her head and laughed and twirled, allowing the unsettling wind to lift her dress and spin it around her body like a spiral of pink and white. Saturn’s rings.

            The girl stopped suddenly as the wind died and sniffed the air, wrinkling her nose as the stench of the dead and dying crept its way into her senses.

            “What is that Maria?” she asked. The wind turned over several fallen leaves on the ground in response.

            “But the leaves are already dead,” the girl pointed out.

            The fallen leaves moved again, a large and pointy leaf landing on the girl’s buckle shoes. Crimson against black.

            “No, Maria!” she called, “Stop it!”

            The girl’s legs took her close to the oak tree. The wind blew in response to the girl’s exclamation, moving the remaining leaves on the branches to uncover a small hole. A woodpecker’s nest?

            “Oh!” she cried, peering into the nest, “A little bird broken! Maria, it’s broken! Can you fix it?”

            A large gust of wind flew over the land, nearly knocking the girl over. It lifted the body of the bird and dropped it against the girl’s buckle shoes. Crimson, black and brown. Frowning, the girl bent down and tentatively grazed her index finger against its feathers.


            No wind, no breeze, no air.


            The body turned over on its back against the girl’s touch. She instinctively leaped back in revulsion.

            “The smell is here, Maria.”

            No wind, no breeze, no air.

            “I don’t like this game! I told you to stop!”

            No air.

            And the little bird that was broken twitched in an unnatural angle, jerking to one side and then the next and the little girl watched in horror as it struggled to stand up on its feet and when it did, it cocked its head and looked at her in indifferent interest and nipped at her finger, drawing blood.


            And the little bird spread its wings, still broken, still brown, and bit her finger again. This time, it tore a piece of flesh. White against brown. The poor little girl’s eyes were watery with pain. The bird that was broken rose up, up, up into the air and flew off towards the violet sky, where teal clouds were gathering. The sun was spinning and the world was illuminated in alternating beams of light and shadow. The girl jumped to her feet and shielding her eyes, scoured the sky for the bird. Its silhouette was fading, evading, dying, and it soon disappeared behind the teal rain clouds. As the first drops of green began to pour onto the pink dress with the pure white ruffles dirtied by the red stains the bird painted, the crimson leaf on the black buckle shoe rose and rose until it planted itself cozily on a low-lying branch of the oak tree.

            “Maria! My finger! It hurts!”

            Silence and screams, black and red, Saturn and Venus, rainbows and grays did nothing to alleviate the pain. The girl began to sadly walk away from the tree, sucking on her hurt finger, sucking on the blood like a thirsty vampire sucking on the flesh of a virgin. And the fallen leaves followed her, flowing and flying around her heels. Maybe Maria was back?

            The little droplets of blood ebbed neatly into the crimson color of the dead leaves but their shadows left a black mark that spelled out words. Terrible words that the little girl read as the ruffles of her dress fell away and the pink colors turned into brown. Maria wasn’t back. The wind was silent.

            We cannot see air without wind.

            We cannot see emotion without pain.

            We cannot see colors without grays.

            We cannot see light without shadows.

            We cannot see you, what must that mean?

            Do you exist or are we a dream?

            “Maria! It hurts, Maria! Make it go away! Make it better!” the girl sobbed. And through the blurry vision of her tears, she made out a shape coming towards her. Or was she approaching it? She ran clumsily, numbed with cold and pain, horrible thoughts flowing in her brain and out her heart when her shoe caught on a hard thing and she fell to the hard earth.

            Spitting out dirt and mud, she made a move to get up but felt a heavy weight on her back. She looked at the shadow on the ground.

            A bird was perched on her back.

            A little bird broken.

            Its claws dug into her pale skin and ripped her now brown dress as she closed her fists before seeing black.

© 2009 Preeti

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wow this was absolutely great. I loved it. It was extremely eerie and made a whole U-turn from the feelings in the beginning. And the portrayl of "Maria" was quite queer and bizzare too. Overall it was great. A few errors here and there, but when I finished reading it, the story left me baffled. Good job ^^

Posted 10 Years Ago

this work was pretty eerie. it was also a bit scattered -- is that on purpose? did you write this as a portrayal of some hidden meaning? the imagery was sometimes overwhelming -- the little girl nursing her finger, sucking it like a vampire on a virgin. i thought i saw a few grammatical errors (i think you're missing some commas), but there are no spelling errors. overall, good.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on November 11, 2009



San Diego, CA

College undergraduate with an inconvenient tendency to drift into imaginary worlds. Half of what I think isn't original (as there is so little these days which truly is 100% original) and the other ha.. more..

Chapter I Chapter I

A Chapter by Preeti

Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Preeti

Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by Preeti