Sunday, January 6, 2008

Three Rams of the Beckwith

by D.N. Drake

She mixed the biscuit batter slowly in a reflective metal bowl. Her eyes were nowhere special, they just found something to do as her mind went to work.

Gnawing and gnashing at angry images. They’d been put there. She never wanted this life.

“Hey sweetie.” A man in a dark grey suit came in and gave the back of her head a kiss.

Yes, the back of my head. Don’t look me in the eye like a human.

“Work really smacked my ass today.”

She kept on stirring. I’m peaceful. I’m alone in here. He’s out there.

A bird swooped and hit the kitchen window in front of her. It dropped to the ground outside and rustled down through the bushes.

“Damn, that scared me!” Her husband stood up on his toes and leaned passed her to glance out the window, “Poor little guy.”

Blood flushed her face like she was hanging upside-down. Her stirring motion became that of a loose jointed animatronic doll.

“Should I go check to see if...”

A cutting board hit him in the face. He stumbled backwards into the stainless steel island. His eyes tried to rationalize the pain.

Again! The board hit him in the face. This time his nose was bent sideways. A red ooze came from his visible nostril. He wiped it and looked at his wife as her arm stretched back far over her head.

Again! The board broke in half with the final hit and the mans head was flung back on his neck like a hinged counter-top. The body fell forward onto its knees before hitting the linoleum.

The woman dropped the remaining bit of the cutting board to the ground. She walked out from the kitchen into the living room and sat at the piano.

A tune, she thought. Her fingers found the keys that had been burned into her mind so many years ago.

“Play the song you wench! Play it!”

Moonlight sonata. It eased no tensions nor raised any questions. It kept it the moment at bay. She looked up at the Wysocki on the wall. What a whimsical world that man lived in. Where were his dead birds and bludgeoned men? Where? Maybe on the other sides of the buildings.

The phone rang. She stood from the piano bench and picked it up.

“Mrs. Beckwith?”

She didn’t answer.

“Mrs. Beckwith?”

She remained silent.

“Mrs. Beckwith! Answer me!”

She hung up the phone. What? What do you want, she thought. She stepped to her dark leather sofa and sat, hands folded on her modestly clad legs. A house-dress with a flower print. She turned her neck to face the big picture window to the left.

The bird. It was in the middle of the floor and moving ever so slowly. One slight motion of the wing. Slide. One slight motion of the other wing. Slide. The neck of it was twisted so its head was backwards. It came closer. Closer to her feet.

“What?” she shouted.

It stopped and turned its broken head to look at her.

“What!” she shrieked as her legs curled up under her.

Its beak opened slowly as if it was going to utter a reply, but Prometheus, the family cat, snatched up the bird as he passed through the living room.

D.N. Drake recently sold work to PostScripts SF, FoliateOak, and 6S. He is also the editor of The Courier, a quarterly PDFmagazine.

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