Red Bird in the White Room

She came on a whim, and the boy that slept beside the patio when he woke to find her at the head of his bed was beside himself. That she stayed was nothing short of a miracle. She practically lived in his heart. For a week at first, and then more, and more until he believed - and thought she felt the same - that she had made her home there.

It seemed she had. She began nesting with all the mess and fire of a wild, wind-scattered raven. She practically painted the white walls black with her scratchings, feathers and blood.

She slept beside him in the nest he allowed her to build. He woke to see her nestled in darkness and blessed himself with the luck of having found her, or her having found him.

As time passed she began to fly again. Presumably she had plenty of other birds to visit, whistles and songs to unwind. Before long she was staying whole nights away. At first the freedom was freely given: she had come as a gift, there was no reason she should not have remained freely held and free to fly as the breezes rose and fell. 

But the wind had an increasing habit of taking her and this became an increasing source of pain to the boy.

But who can keep a red bird?

One day he found all as it should be but for the red bird. And didn’t see her again. He kept the the nest’s remnants, the marks of her claws. He even painstakingly guarded the stains of blood.

But he couldn’t keep her.