Flowers Out Of Dark: Eagle Shadow

The shadow of my husband’s eagle form settled in my stomach as he disappeared into the sky that day. It stomps around in there, dances, fidgets, throws balls against walls. It comes out to play now and then, hovers over cracking dirt where I plant seeds in straight lines to escape from high pitch of violins and smells of burning flesh dripping on the flames below. My lover, Gronw’s celebration of the eagle leaving. The eagle has not left me. Its shadow stays, makes its bed and lies in it as my hair grows straggly and dry, my skin tightens and I press my sinking chest. Standing at the well with cupped hands, I drink until my fingertips wrinkle, but still I cannot soothe my throat.

The shadow comes out to play in the black of the night. I cannot sleep, bed curtains shiver as it creeps, ready to pounce. I feel a scream in my chest, let it escape, echo around the room. Gronw sits up, eyes wide in the dark. He strokes my sweat-soaked back, pulls me down, tucks me in. His face, hovering over me, is not the one I’ve kissed so many times. His hair is feathers, nose a pointed beak, eyes, yellow and sharp. A smell of eggs and blood seeps through his skin. I will my eyes to close, open them and there he is, head on the pillow, familiar features again. I touch every part of that face and keep my hand on him as I drift off to sleep; shadow tired, settles for now. Dawn comes and I carry buckets of water to my seeds, like presents.


First published in Three Drops from a Cauldron Issue 19. Written by Mel Parks in collaboration with Sarah Bell from @spoiltvictoriannchild. Image by Pam Tinning.

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