Days of the Macaw
The air on the island of Barbados was remarkably clean on that Sunday afternoon. It was blended perfectly with the emanation of the nearby banana trees and the soft sour scent of salt water from the beach. The breeze that day swept a warmness across the skin that made it feel as though it were comfortably rubbing against a sheet of silk. The clouds were beginning to turn to an oilish orange color as the sun began to set upon the infinite amount of sky and water.
A young girl by the name of Nadine Shake sat upon a swing on her front porch that blew in the tropical wind, fluently and with a sort of comfort that is rare in any other part of the world. She sat, swaying ever so slightly, with a book in her hand; She was studying for an upcoming Chemistry test. Her light brown eyes grazed each page, absorbing every bit of data they caught a glimpse of. Her short brown hair acted just as smoothly, slowly coasting on a blanket of air. She appeared to be busy yet displayed an aurora that felt as though she hadn't a single worry in the world.
From the nearby sound of a bird she was interrupted, blasted back into reality and forced away from her studies. It was coming from the beach just up ahead, over a small hill that decorated the view of the blue ocean. She cautiously marked her page in the book and sat it down. As she hopped up from the swaying swing it rebounded forcefully. She began to run towards the beach, her bare feet splashing in the sea of green grass, it felt delightfully cool in between her toes. When she finally reached the beach a single palm tree trunk, approximately 20 feet high, had been dismembered of it's leaves, leaving nothing more than a brown ugly stub. At the top of this bare, lonely tree sat something beautiful. Something that totally dwarfed the unattractiveness of the stubbed tree and transformed it into a unique piece that almost seemed like an abnormal decoration from mother nature herself.
Upon this trunk stood a Macaw. It's bright red, yellow, and blue colors beamed from the golden rays of the setting sun, it blasted the light brown eyes of Nadine and sent a shiver up her spine that made her quiver. A smile gently appeared on her face. It was a rare sight - seeing a parrot all the way from the Caribbean islands on Barbados, but she wasn't about to let it pass her by. She sat cross-legged on the sandy shore and looked up at it. It's head blissfully turned every which way, gazing over the beautiful, lush, island. Nadine felt goose bumps rise on her arms, she could sit there all evening looking at this bird. It reminded her of what her grandmother had always said to her as a child, with her sweet yet experienced voice, she would murmur meaningfully, "Whats the point in being perfect? It's boring. We should specialize in one category... Remember that sweety, and you'll go far." And she would lay her soft and wrinkled palm on her forehead.
The bird then began to speak. It did so with utmost confidence, not allowing for any slurring, or misconceptions - it spoke with meaning, it acted and released what appeared to be thoughts. It echoed an energy of intelligence that added a new wonder to Nadine's curiosity. Without the wind or the waves interruption she listened, and with a beautiful tone is recited its knowledge.
In the fore time, the sky was wet and the dirt was cold.
He skipped along the path of exposure, not sure on his choices.
He grew angered and raged and struck out with force, cutting himself along the neck.
And like that, he died, soaked in what was his own timid fear and pain.
It's of this I tried to prevent, It's of this I bear no malice.
Dare what you want.
Nadine, now exposing a face of astonished disorientation, looked upon the bird with a new view. The words that had egressed from its perky beak was not beautiful, not comforting, but was instead terrifying. It spoke of death, not life. It whispered not of happiness but of gloom. This was not what Nadine had expected. Sure, she was amazed that it had spoken, but she was sure that whoever it was reciting from was in deep depression, needed desperate help, and it's of this she felt dreadful.
With it's red wings opened widely in the dense air if fluttered off of the stubbed tree, leaving Nadine there by herself, in her own bubble of curiosity and wonder. Out towards the ocean it left, out towards the Caribbean where it had came. Nadine stood, her goose bumps still stood alive on her arm, and she shivered there. Not from the breeze, not from the oceans affect, but because she was completely transferred from a state of happiness to a state of gloom. A transformation of feelings she had never felt this sharply about. She turned and ran back to her house, over that small decorated hill, past the swinging swing, and beyond the screened front door. She ran to her bed, and went to sleep.
From the west, over the far reaches of the ocean, it was clear something was approaching. The gloom of dark clouds was apparent as they began to sweep across the horizon, revolving over each other again and again. The air was cooler than yesterday, but only by a little. The humidity still danced across the pores of your skin as though you were bathing in a sea of atmosphere deep in the heavens. It was truly a magnificent day, one that came rarely, and one that forewarned of a coming storm, but hid its secret darkly, only showing it's angelic exterior, and leaving the rest for the awed admirers who would soon be consumed with dark feelings and gloomy tenders.
Nadine Shake found a day like this to be perfect for an outside activity such as soccer. She had just joined the team at her school, and though she was an excellent athlete, and probably the best on the team, she warmed her thoughts with the breath of her wanting to get better; to stay good. She kicked the ball around in that mid morning sun, its rays beamed down upon her and gleamed across the drips of sweat that had seeped from her brown forehead. Nadine was truly enjoying this day, she was enjoying it as though it was her last.
With one final kick she destroyed the ball and it flew high, bouncing over the hill that decorated the ocean ever so gently. She jogged after it, rising over the hills and becoming weak at heart when she saw the view of the ocean, the waves slowly crashing onto the decrepit piles of rolling sand. A smile splashed across her face as she giggled, engulfed with joy at the sight. She seen the ball and ran after it. When she had finally reached it and bent down to pick it up she heard a familiar sound. The croaking of a parrot.
She peered upwards, now standing under the same stubbed palm tree as yesterday. At the top sat the large and brilliant view of the Macaw, its feathers appeared differently in the morning sun rather than they did last evening. It startled her and at the same time permeated her with the breathless awe that made her jaw slowly drop. The colors seem to make the eye feel warm, it was almost like she had slipped into a dream. With the soccer ball in hand she sat, again cross-legged like yesterday. She sat and stared up at the bird.
The memory of its song rang out in her memory, and though she was nervous that it may sing it again, she thought to herself that maybe it had just heard a drunken sailor or a depressed life ridened person walking the beaches. She truly admired this bird, it was the most alluring thing she has ever had the pleasure of sinking her sights into. At first she could only hear the weak crashing waves and the slow cool breeze, but then she heard it begin to sing again, it's voice seemed to force the words out, but it still gave off the essence that it was meaningful, important - as though it needed to say these words. The bird spoke as though it was itself a record of someone else's thoughts. It expressed them carelessly but at the same time cautiously.
From the fore times warm breeze and the suns glistening rays I have heard another.
Not through exterior but instead through interior did she perish.
Not from blood but from pain did she vanish from our world.
Cocaine still pulsing in her dead system.
Poor Miss Justice, she hadn't intended to take that much, no.
It's of this I tried to prevent, It's of this I bear no malice.
Dare what you want young one.
The feeling of yesterdays fear and sorrow had entered the heart of Nadine yet again, even more astonished from this rhyme than the last. Not because it spoke of death, not because it spoke of her being the young one, but because the name Miss Justice was indeed familiar to her. She felt as though she was hearing the words from Death himself, as though the bird had flown to the depths of hell just to eesdrop on Satan himself and to report it back to the lovely, innocent soul of Nadine.
She grabbed the ball and ran over the decorated hill, past the swinging swing, and beyond the screen door. The bird, however, flapped it's enormous wings carelessly and fluttered like a mid summers breeze back towards the Caribbean where it had came. Nadine ran to her mother who was sitting at the table, sipping carelessly at a small elegant cup of tea. Trying to adumbrate her fear and confusion she spoke to her mother.
"Mother, do you know of any deaths? Anyone of whom you may know?" She stood there, out of breath, out of hope, and lastly out of patience, she had to find out if the Macaw had some kind of sense to it's horrifying words. Her breath flowed in and out like a pulsating beam of blood from a deep wound. Her mother, now surprised by the sudden and strange urgent question now layed upon her, layed her tea down and spoke with a tone common of a sweet mothers voice. "Baby please, must you be so loud? Tell me now, what is it that is wrong?"
Nadine felt the impatience seep up her back, along her spin and then into her hair that stuck up on her neck. She repeated the question, now that she had fastened the belt of calmness around her heart. "Has anybody passed on mother. Did anyone lose their life yesterday?" Though the question was raw and thoughtless her mothers expression did indeed change. It went from confused into complete understandment. "Why yes, poor Misses Justice passed yesterday, her husbands tore up at her untimely death, your fathers attending her funeral tomorrow... Honey, did you hear from somebody? Why do you look so scared?" Her mother reached out and put her warm tender hand on Nadines arm, feeling the pulse that was being echoed from her heart into her veins.
Nadine, with a shock of terror realized the bird spoke of the truth, but where was it hearing this from? She was sure, in her doubtful state of mind that it was listening in on somebody that reported these deaths, it surely couldn't just know how and when people died, could it? She ran into her bedroom, closed the door, the window and the blinds. She went to sleep on that Monday morning, fear and puzzlement instilled in her heart.
The dark and dreary clouds had moved even closer on this Tuesday afternoon. They appeared to have a set destination, like they were eagerly striving to cover the small Island of Barbados with it's tenebrous overcast and frigid tropical precipitation. This was to the west, but to east it was different. Eastern the sun from Sunday and the sparkling white clouds were still visible, slowly retreating as the evils came nearer. It still looked just as beautiful, but it was bitter that they were no longer above the viewer and instead were out over the horizon, like an oil painting and nothing more. The wind was a bit colder from yesterday, but it still contained within it's mixture the taste and feel of a humid, dry Sunday afternoon. The breeze was the same except it contained alittle more sorrow and bleakness as compared to yesterday.
Nadine, however, lay on her bed, her face mashed into the accumulation of pillows. She wasn't outside kicking a soccer ball upon the grassy seas of splashing mounds, or swinging harmoniously on her wooden swing that she had fallen asleep on so many times this summer. No, she was not enjoying the day like she had every summer day afore - she was thinking, she lay in her own fear in sorrow pondering the words of the Macaw like she had been doing all last night, losing every bit of sleep possible to obtain. Her window was opened fully and she could smell the scent of joy and elation and she knew she was missing out on it but she mustn't let it get to her, she had to lay there, she wanted to forget about everything for alittle while. She wanted to be forgotten for once.
Just as her eyelids grew enough weight for them to enclose together did she hear the Macaw. It was, however, different this time. It wasn't from afar, it wasn't from over that decorated hill, it wasn't on that stubbed tree. No. This time it was closer, it was right next to her. She lifted her head from out of the crater of pillows and there it stood, perched on her window, gazing around curiously at the interior of their small, delicate home. It seemed to be looking for something, while at the same time ignoring Nadine completely. It felt purposely however, and she shuddered. Tears, sealed deep inside of her eyelids, were beginning to make their next appearance in a long time. Never, not in years had she felt this way. She felt... Sad. The tear, the one single tear she managed to set free, slowly crept down her cheek, sinking deeply into her brown skin, and leaving a glistening trail of agony.
It spoke again, like yesterday and like yesterday's yesterday. It spoke with intellect, with meaning, deep, uncorrupted, harsh meaning. It's eyes uncontrollably moved as it's beak opened enough for the squawks of emotion to poke through. The words it spit were also like before, filled with nothing but hardship, filled with nothing but horror and affliction. Nothing but raw tribulation.
Can you hear me? Am I speaking clearly?
Listen you - listen you sweet little girl.
Listen carefully - more than carefully.
The one who bares you, the one and only one who claims you.
He shall cease to breath, he shall breathe ones last.
Never will you see him again, never, do you hear?
It's of this I tried to prevent, It's of this I bear no malice.
Dare what you wish, you, but I speak the truth!
And then it's wings splashed a gust of air that swept anxiety into Nadine's face. Tears similar to the first began to pour from her face, each one glistening with the shock of fear that had just been instilled into her soul. The Macaw, like it had came, fluttered from the window carelessly, off to the Caribbean where it had came. Nadine lay with her pillows soggy from her own trepidation and shock. She knew what it meant, she did indeed. The thought trampled her mind like a horse would to a western valley. The horoas grinding of fate mutilated her skin. She felt as though she wanted to die, as though she needed to die.
Her mother opened the door to her bedroom and quickly dropped to her knees next to Nadine and her bed. Her face already red with fear and anguish, her eyes already pearl from the tears, and her face etched with the simple horror she had been inflicted with. This made Nadine's heart almost stop. She bent her head back onto the pillows and without a cry or a tear she closed her eyes, hoping to herself that this was all just a dream. That her father had not really left her.
The clouds that shuttered over the horizon yesterday had finally arrived, and with much less anticipation than that of which they've disserved. It, of course, was inevitable however, so the islanders boarded up their houses, clouds their thick wooden doors over their screen ones, hung up their swings, and packed away their swim shorts. The storm that oh so many had seen in the near future had finally indeed arrived. All of the tourists had left on their steel boats, all of the fishermen had tied up and stored away their poles, and all of the children had sunken into their cottages early.The air had lost all of its humid comfortably, it no longer felt anything like cotton or silk, but instead felt of rough stones of vexation. It truly wasn't a sight to behold, it made everyone who had an ounce of happiness left in their hearts to shudder a shiver that run right up his or her spine and then attacked the skin to fill it full of goose bumps that sprung up like a desolate daffodil.
With the soft peddles of rain splashing onto her closed and locked window, Nadine stared out into the wilderness of sorrow and stared at the repulsive exterior with watery eyes. Her face was expressionless, sealed tightly were the grips of unbelievable stress. If you were to have glanced into her eyes you would have seen blankness in their color and emptiness in her pupils. It appeared as though she had not any sign of life within her, and if it wasn't for the steady stream of tears, you would guess she was dead. Nadine sat with her body completely exhausted, she hadn't gained an ounce of sleep the night before and she had the dreadful image of a blood soaked Macaw burned into her. This nightmare she was living was indeed unbearable.
Nadine jumped in reaction to a large thud on her bedroom door, as though someone had pounded a nail into it with a sledge hammer. She turned her view towards it, and had to wipe her eyes due to the convulsion of tears creating a deep blur, distorting her sight. The pounding didn't stop. It would thunder and then hold for a few seconds and then strike again, even more deafening with each one. She felt it pierce into her ears like a needle of aversion. Then, as abruptly as it had came, it stopped. She sat there weeping. "What-!" She screamed at the top of her lungs. "What do you want from me!" Her sobs echoed against her oak door, trembles of fear splashed across the atmosphere around Nadine. The silence was almost unbearable until it was broken - broken and ravened not with force but with absolute horror. The sound struck the drum that was within Nadine's ear and it pounded forcefully, causing her to shudder and close her wet eyelids closely. The sound was the Macaw. Fierce and stern it howled from outside of her door. How it had gotten in was a mystery but it was there. After it howled a few times it spoke it sincere tone, almost as though it was apologizing.
My dear, I perch here penitentially, with my heart opened.
I tried my dear, it's not my malice to bear.
Dare what you wish, however.
"Shut up you damn bird!" The scream that fluttered so eagerly from her throat caused to her sob extremely. Now her tears were not full of fear but instead of anger. The bird had shown weakness and this new feeling dawned over Nadine with passion. She was no longer afraid, it was, after all, just a bird. Her cheeks red, her eyes as red as the contents of the holy grail, and her veins as full as a summers sun she busted open her closet door to retrieve her baseball bat. Signed by the whole team from last summers championship. She then fragmented her bedroom door, only pouring out darkness she starred gruesomely into the darkness of her house. "Where are you!" Nadine screeched, her fist now white from the heavy grip she had on the silky wooden bat. And then out of the corner of her eye she seen the bird flutter through her front door, heading out into the desolate, rain drenched world outside. She ran after it. She seen it flutter over that decorated hill that hid the see. And there she ran, fallowing it, passions of anger circulated through her veins like torrents in a river. As she reached the top of the hill she seen it flutter to the beach and there she followed it, rain soaking into her hair and washing down over her face, hiding the tears she had just summoned only moments ago. Finally, once she reached the beach she seen it flutter to the top of that stubbed palm tree. She seen it land upon it and then with a flash of lightning she caught a glimpse of its horror, it indeed was afraid. Its large eyes were filled with caution and its wings were wide with anticipation, and finally it's beak was open ready for a failing attack. This made Nadine grin in anger as she walked up to the palm tree.
"You!" She was looking up at it with unbelievable eyes. Only days ago was she the happiest girl alive, but now, anger was her only passion, revenge her soul objective. She wanted to kill that bird. "Get down, get down now... Or I'll climb up and get you!" She said these words as tears fell off her face, along with the tropical rain.
You misunderstand me my lady!
I bear no malice!
Nadine screamed at these words insanely, she wanted the bird to be held responsible, she wanted to do something about her fathers death. Killing this bird was the only way out. She held the bat as waist height and swung. It bashed against the skinny trunk, shaking it rigorously. The Macaw chirped ferociously. Again and again Nadine smacked the tree stub, and after each hit it wabbled back and forth even farther. Soon, it would break. But it didn't. The bat, hitting the trunk at about the tenth time shattered. Splinters painted with the marker of her friends signatures exploded in every direction each as sharp as a razor, and each passing through the dense storm air with bullet like speeds. Nadine dropped to the muddy oceanic sands below. Pellets of rain splashed upon her now lifeless body. The Macaw looked upon her body and bloody face dementedly and then it flew off, headed towards the Caribbean where it had came from.
The old women worked in her garden eagerly and with patience that could only be gained after years and years of sorrow. The soil was moist, the flowers had bloomed brightly over the nights storm. The air smelled of sweet vinegar but also had a dense smell of freshness to it, the clouds and precipitation must have cleansed it entirely, it smelled like a brand new atmosphere. The sun was shining intensely, it rays blasted the island and the ocean surrounding it with intense force, it was a sight to behold. But not for this old women, she had her sights set on her garden and she worked vigorously, her hands drenched in soil and her knees padded with mud. Her gray thin hair blew in the slight breeze, both calmly and also soothingly.
Now that the squall has passed, and now that the rain has fallen
we can breath peacefully once again.
However, in the fore time, the poor young lady
failed to dare and so she passed, with shreds of her own anger jammed into her neck.
Do you hear me old woman? Am I enunciating clearly?
It was of that I tried to prevent, It's of that event I bear no malice.
Dare what you wish But I do indeed speak the truth.
The old lady looked up from her garden and looked upon the beautiful Macaw with wonder. Delighted that it was singing to her. She stopped her gardening for just a second and sat down on her knees in front of where it was perched. She looked up at it waiting for it to say another sentence. The macaw however peered around carelessly, not even acknowledging the old women. It sat upon the old lady's close line and would for the next four days. The old lady, on the opposite side of the island from where Nadine was, had not a clue of what experiences lay ahead of her and she sat with her eyes gleaming in wonder, beautiful wonder at this incredible sight. The sight that was the Macaw.
© Copyright 2017 Gonzo. All rights reserved.
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