My Bleeding Robin Red Breast: A Short Story; A Transformation Spell
‘So, do you have any New Year’s resolutions?’
I looked out the window at the snow smattered patio. A small bird with black eyes was pecking at lip-red berries and hopping around on little legs. It shook its wings and took off, a streak of brown and scarlet in the white and grey afternoon.
‘I want to be a Robin. Or rather, I want to change my name to Robin.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean… I want to set my skin ablaze and rise from bed before 12PM. I want to feel the wind without wincing and tell the sun that I’m back. I want to soar to the beach and listen as the sand granules whisper about their life as mountains. Then I want to bury myself in their gritty embrace and be one.’
‘I don’t know what to tell you. I want to leave my old name behind like an out-grown coat. I want to cut the cord that still leads to my parents, and cry. I want to build a strong, spiral shell and call myself home. Then I want to feel good things again, like a book and a brunch in my favourite café, as the sun shines on the patch-work houses outside. I want to enjoy things like painting without perfection. I want to care less about the deadlines, the deadbeats, about wanting to be dead. You understand? I want to be me, but I want to be new. Now I’ve hit rock bottom, I want to try again.’
‘Why the name ‘Robin’?’
‘Because a Robin can be anything. Boy, girl, bird, human. As a Robin, I can take flight with the blood still stained on my chest and show everyone just how I’ve survived.’
When it was time to go, I rose from the chair feeling like a cave with a fire lit inside. My scars snaked their way under my jacket sleeve and tried to tempt me, but I wouldn’t bite. My pulse was still going. My heart was still aching, beneath my breast, and proved that it’s working.
‘See you next week… Robin,’ my counsellor said.
‘See you,’ I smiled, and I flew.