Thursday, May 7, 2009
The Birds in the Darkness
In her sleep Aderyn could hear the birds chirping outside her window. Her dreams were filled with the echoes of birds chirping and singing back and forth to one another. Of course, this made her hours of rest much less restful than they should have been. How can a body perform the necessary functions of sleep with a constant chorus of songbirds outside the window? Aderyn's days were long hours spent aching for the rest of sleep, knowing that it would find her and leave her unsatisfied, like so many lovers.
In the daylight hours Aderyn had the habit of singing. She sang songs with out words, sometimes without melodies, and more often than not songs without repetition. She would sing fluidly from one song to the next, never knowing when or where the music came from.
When her therapist, who happened to be an avid amateur ornithologist, heard her singing one day he instantly recognized the song of the common Bewick's Wren. He then asked her a series of thinly veiled questions about the fauna and insect activity surrounding her house. After responding to the question "What mood do the azaleas, that is if you have azaleas, put you in, in the morning?" she answered "sleepy." At this moment, Aderyn realized that her therapist was an idiot. Despite her immediate disappointment in his skills, the fact remained that he had identified the, until then, unknown source of her problem.
She hoped with the birds gone that lethargy and crankiness would leave her, and she could continue on as she had before, blissful and rested. An exterminator was called. It is surprising the sort of things people will do for money. The morally flexible exterminator proceeded to send a cloud of poison into the nests and branches of the trees outside Aderyn's window.
Her nights were silent. Her days too fell silent. She found that instead of brighter days and darker nights her future consisted of grayer, duller, days, and an endless series of forgotten dreams. She sang no songs and ached to be tired again.