A congregation of dark clouds watched over the priest as he muttered his final few words and scattered a handful of soil onto the coffin. The assembled few stood in silence save the occasion sniff and whimper.
High in a nearby tree sat a bird. A black bird. They say birds don’t cry, but I swear it shed a tear.
The priest gently closed his book and the family and friends turned to leave. He stood for a moment, his white cassock fluttering in the breeze. He gazed up at the bird as it flapped its wings then flew skyward.
As night fell, the mourners reflected on the day before heading for their beds. The priest, unable to sleep searched for a book in his study. In it, he’d read of an ancient belief whereby the recently departed sometimes returned as birds. Black birds. Despite the Good Book not referencing such an idea, he often reflected upon it following a funeral.
In the darkness of the churchyard, a bird flew down to the grave. A black bird. It stood upon the freshly turned soil preening its glossy feathers.
At the crack of dawn, two birds sat in a tree, whistling joyfully. Two black birds.
Together again, at last.
Several years ago I wrote a piece along a similar theme which was published in a book of short stories. Unfortunately, it’s now out of print but the tale lives on HERE if you are interested in reading it! It’s called The Stranger.
Thank you, Donna, for hosting. The picture is from Pixabay.
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