#211 Feathers

by Joanna Schroeder

Every night, as Liz sat down with her microwave dinner and her laptop, a G-Chat window would pop up and there would be Dale, asking something lame about work. Did she get any info about the T348B yet? Had she seen the rep’s new tools? How about Jonathan’s mustache?

She always invited him over. And they always ended up naked, sticky and somewhat embarrassed, Liz wondering why she liked a man who was so unimpressive at everything other than fucking her.

She didn’t want anyone at work knowing she was sleeping with Dale. He was a decent systems maintenance tech, but not as good as her, and she couldn’t imagine anything much worse than people thinking they were in love.

One morning, as Liz and Dale popped open the trunks of their separate sedans and tossed in their separate bags of tools, something soft and white landed on Liz’s hand. Then another on her bag. Dale spun around, locating the source of the fluff.

They stepped toward a budding maple where a crow perched, pulling at something between its claws.

“It’s a baby bird,” Liz said.

They watched for a moment as feathers fell around them.

“It’s actually quite beautiful,” Dale said.

Liz popped her trunk back open, picked up her bag, and plopped it next to Dale’s. He slammed the trunk shut and they climbed into his car. As they drove off, dozens of tiny white feathers flew off his windshield and into the air behind them.


Jen Harvey said...

I really enjoyed this. The clarity of the voice. The brisk language. The nice decisive ending. Well done!

DIno Parenti said...

I love her certainty of how clueless he is about their relationship.

Sandra Cormier said...

I don't know. I see, "Let's stop pretending. Someday some crow is going to eat us."

Unknown said...

Great story. I keep changing my mind about how i interpret the ending, but ever interpretation works.

I enjoyed the authenticity of their relationship.

I think that Liz got into Dale's car because of his comment. I think it revealed that there was more to him than she had got thought. I like, however, that there is no explanation or judgement of the comment aside from her decision to ride with him in his car.