A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Two owls disguised as statues perch on a gateway leading to a small brick house. 

Shadrach: "Why are we here?" 
Igor: "To keep watch. In case she tries to stay." 
Shadrach: "Would she do that?" 
Igor: "Wouldn't you?"

The moon is rising. Serena wears a simple cotton dress and her feet are bare. Her hair is long and loose down her back. She crosses a schoolyard and feels the dew wetting the bottom of her dress, making it cling to her legs. 

She reaches the sidewalk. The concrete is rough under her soles. She sways a little, unsteady as a colt. Its been a year since the last time she walked. 

Serena approaches the house and can see Shadrach and Igor guarding the gateway. They are watching her, making sure she doesn't do anything rash. There are rules, after all, even in these strange times. 

Serena climbs the stairs and stands at the front door. Through the pane of heavy glass, she can see a living room decorated simply, with a couch, some potted plants, and a single framed picture on the wall. Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. 

Serena holds her breath. Her heart is beating very fast. She knocks on the door three times. There is movement in the living room beyond the glass. Then he is there, his blue eyes widening at the sight of her. He opens the door and she doesn't so much enter the room, as fall into it. He wraps her in his arms. She feels the bulk of him. How solid he is. How human. 

Dawn finds her lying with him as the rising light illuminates the painting of Venus on the wall. Outside, Shadrach and Igor are waiting for her. It is time to fly. 

There are many births in this lifetime, not just one. 

Serena remembers the morning of the accident. She hit his bay window and fell to the ground, stunned. He picked her up in his palm and stroked her feathers, calming her. Her bird heart was small as a pea, but right then she loved him with all of it. 

So she struck a bargain with Mother Owl. One night a year she is human.

Sometimes, anything is possible. 

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