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The Bird Cage

Our next submission comes from Alyssa Seegmiller. Alyssa takes us on a fascinating journey into an old house and a lonesome bird cage.

They always said to me a feather could hold the weight of the world. I always believed their words because I never had a reason not to.

It was some years ago, I couldn’t remember the actual amount since I’d rather burn the memory than see it again in vivid detail. Plinth Street, that’s where it happened. I lived in an older house, built around the time when spires in houses weren’t uncommon. My own house had such a spire, where I kept an office. It overlooked the street below, the view of grand on sunny days. But even when it rained the water against the window always made these beautiful shapes. Shapes that I could never describe in detail, and when I did, it never came out right or people just never understood what I was talking about. Within that spire were many things, things I’ve chosen to forget, but one always stood out beside the window. A bird cage left behind by the previous owners of the house. I’m not sure if anything ever lived inside that cage, but its golden hue and curved roof gave me the impression that it wouldn’t be comfortable if something did.

That bird cage sat on the window’s edge. I never dared to move it since when it rained, the shapes from the water lined up so perfectly with the intricate designs of the cage if you looked at it from the right angle. It was something I looked forward to each time water fell from the sky. Even on my walk home from work, as I was getting completely soaked, my mind could only focus on getting home and standing in that perfect spot. Watching water dance around outside on the window and line up with the orange designs of that cage. It was rather engrossing to the point that one weekend, when it forecast to rain, I stood in that spot for 37 hours. No food, no rest, nothing. I don’t know what overcame me during that time, but I remember it as a fond memory. Do I regret doing that? Part of me does, but something much deeper down wants me to do it again. Standing in that spot, watching so closely that I won’t even blink for minutes at a time. I can’t miss it, if I don’t know how I could forgive myself.

So I did. I scheduled an entire week off of work, and the first morning of that time off, I walked up that staircase. Up and up until I reached the top of the spire, even though the rain wasn’t predicted to start for another few hours. With my feet planted into the floor, I stood, and stood, and stood. It was for that entire week, I truly don’t know how I managed it. I should have gone hungry, fatigue should have overcome me, but nothing ever did. I stared at the water dancing in line; I had to- no- I needed to.

After that it’s more of a blur, something I can’t quite remember so clearly. I woke up on the floor of that office space, my mind was fogged during that time. I couldn’t remember anything, and truthfully- I still can’t. I don’t think I'll ever know what happened after that week, or was it even a week? It might have been longer, as I had lost track of when I first stood in that spot. If I truly had to guess it was only a week, I’ll just go with that it was. Besides how unclear that event was after I had woken up, there is something that has stuck with me to this very day. I swear on my life that I saw a bird in that cage. It had the most beautiful rainbow feathers, it must have been a Macaw or something similar. It only stood there, staring at me with eyes that seemed sad, so very sad. The bird’s feathers, all of them, were soaking wet. It wasn’t even just its feathers, it had to be the entire bird. Then again, I must sound crazy, since I’m certain that there was never a bird in that cage before this. I didn’t own one, and the former house owners didn’t either.

You understand where I’m coming from, right? The house was old, it could have been haunted, but I really don’t think it was. Whatever happened, I don’t know what it was and don’t ever want to know. Thankfully I'm in the process of moving, I’m actually going to be touring the house later today. The realtor told me one thing though, on the top floor the owners of the house left something behind. Seems like a common thing these days, but I’m not against it, free stuff is free stuff. Perhaps it will be a nice trinket I can put on the mantle to decorate with. Hopefully it isn’t another bird cage, I’ve always been allergic to them- do you hear chirping?

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