The noise drew Beth’s attention. She had been watching a garbage reality TV show (two lovers were arguing about an alliance) when she had heard it. A bang from the next room.
She crept to the dining room, curious but nervous to see what had happened. There was no intruder or broken dish to be found, in fact nothing seemed to be disturbed. But after a moment, she saw it.
There, centered in the window, was something that hadn’t been there at breakfast. A white shadow the perfect shape of wings and tail feathers. The last moment of a lost bird, captured perfectly in the glass. The ghost of an angel.
This small creature could be living its life, perfectly content, probably as happy as a bird could be, then suddenly that life would be cut short because it made a bad judgement call. Beth wondered what bad judgement call would be her own demise. Perhaps she would turn right instead of left and be struck with a meteor. Maybe she would choose the wrong banana at the grocery store and get a flesh-eating bacteria. Or she could develop a severe allergy to her dog, Stuffing, and choke to death as he licked her face. Mortality was always there, waiting for her. Looming. Imminent.
As she thought this, the bird popped up from beneath the window, dazed but alive. It blinked twice, looked at Beth, then flew away. Beth knew that probably meant something, but couldn’t fathom what it was.