"Birdie": A Short Story
Start writing a post

I've wanted a doll to myself ever since I was a young boy. I asked only once, and ended up cowering in the kitchen cupboard after Pa went red in the face and hollered something about me being a faggot. I didn't ask for anything again after that.

Mama says that Pa ain't a bad man, he just does bad things sometimes. That's why she doesn't cry when he pushes her, doesn't say a word about the splotchy bruises that litter her body in violent violet. Her dark eyes were sunken and tired, but she still sang. Mama sang like one of those ladies on Grammy's records, her voice strong and smooth like good cognac. Sometimes I can see the ghost of the man Pa was when Mama harmonizes - he strokes her hair, holds her like good china and calls his little bird, his Birdie. You can see he loved her once, almost believe that he still does.

Almost.

I was playing Spy one day, peeking in through windows in the neighborhood. Mostly I just saw other kids playing with store-bought toys, their bellies flat on the living room carpet or grown-ups sitting comatose on the couch, basking in the soft glow of the television. So I trudged back home, but not before peeking through the front window and seeing Mama hunched over on the floor, small hands picking at the shattered glass strewn across the floor. Her face was paler than winter morning, her bottom lip quivering ever-so-slightly. Pa hovered over her like a vulture, grabbed a chunk of her hair and yanked it viciously, forcing her to face him.

"You goddam bitch, there you go, fucking up everything in this house," He spat venomously in her ear. "You waste of fucking space. I should've let you and your bastard son to rot on those streets. That's where you belong."

And then Mama did something she never did before. She started to cry, releasing a guttural sob from somewhere deep in her chest as juicy, glistening pearl-drops rolled down her cheeks.

Pa snarled. "Don't give me those crocodile tears, bitch." He slammed her head against the wall with an inconspicuous thud. The tears stopped. Everything stopped. It took him a minute or two to realize what he had done and flee the house without a second glance. It's just me and Mama now.

With her eyes taped open like this, it's almost convincing. I propped her up in her favorite chair, brushed the tangles out of her blonde hair. I make her talk by opening and shutting her slack jaw, and I learned to tie strings around her wrists and ankles for easier movement.

I can pretend it's Ma, but I know it's not. I couldn't clean the dried matted blood on the left side of her head. Her eyes are coated with a glaze of something beyond living. Her rose perfume isn't strong enough to mask the smell.

She doesn't sing anymore.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

444
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

234783
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

90019
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments