Summer Owl

Adelaide closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet scents of summer moss. The heat didn’t reach her here, though occasionally she was reminded of her younger life, when she would run through high grasses in the heat, willy-nilly like a burrowing owl learning to fly.

She remembered the old days, the time before, but here in her memory spanned a blankness that she could scrabble against with her long callused fingers all she liked, but she would never recall what had happened before the way present was.

In the old days, she wore torn trousers and a tank top and she would kick up dust in the beating sunlight. It was dry, so dry, and her mouth was a parched desert, and filled with the stale taste of watermelon and lemonade. The hiss of cicadas droning in her ears, seeping inside of her skull.

Now, here, she listened to birdcalls and the sound of the river. She clothed herself in feathery sheets of black cloth, though here and now it was humid. Her skin retained no warm reflection of her past days in the sun. She sang her old songs on impulse, and her fingers were stained with her pen’s spilled-ink tattoo.

She looked now like a barn owl, sheathed in darkness, her white heart-shaped face accented by her small, sharp features and her dark, reflective irises. Her fingers, like claws, would twitch into fists and splayed reaches as she pensively watched the river.

The old days were gone; and she was alone.

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