A Woman and her Bird
In a house so run down it looked abandoned the old woman paced back and forth working an obvious path in her 70’s style orange shag carpeting as she flattened the pile. The walls were covered in paisley wallpaper and 2 china cabinets full of knick knacks gleamed and juggled as she stomped by. Instead of pictures of Jesus or Elvis on her walls there were framed photos of wood nymphs and trees, of oceans and mountains.
Each time she changed direction she would shake out her fingers and there would be an audible pop as her knuckles snapped. She paid it no mind and continued to pace relentlessly as her thoughts felt unsettled and she had never had a feeling of dread so deep inside of herself before.
“Something’s wrong…” she mumbled to herself even as Jack the Blue Hyacinth Macaw sat on his perch preening himself and could have provided an audience. “This isn’t right…” continuing as she walked a solid track across the floor and couldn’t shake the feeling that she needed to do something, that something unexpected was about to happen. As the long time guardian of the goddess in the stone, for what was going on for centuries now, she watched over the vessel that housed Georgia ( as the goddess chose to be called ) and as the long time caretaker she knew that this time things felt different than they have in previous years. Just as she protected her charge Gertie also knew that what she herself called a pack of thugs watched over Skye in much the same manner except that when her mistress was released then the her watchers job was over.
This time she worried although she didn’t exactly know what she was worried about.
So often she would hear the goddess in her head, talking to her and keeping her company in her solitary world, the two of them alone and yet still having each other. Gertie knew that when Georgia took hold she was out of control, causing trouble while she was free, making the Thugs jump and skitter to clean up her messes before she drew too much attention but for her it was a simple duty and she missed it whenever her time was over. For so long she would see Skye and each time she had a different name but always the same face. Sometimes she would meet Skye face to face just like at the flea market and pass on the white oak box, other times the box found its way to it’s vessel on its own.
Gertie had always felt that it was safe... not this time though…this time she felt strange and knew she had to find the box with her mistress within it. If she had been released Gertie knew but she had to make sure it was alright because her job was to keep her charge safe until she was in the right hands again. To lose that meant that she would lose the magic that kept her alive all of this time.
“Changing of the guard!” the Macaw’s shrill voice had startled Gertie out of her trace. As she turned exasperated and looked at him… he chattered again “Changing of the guard!” the old witch couldn’t help smiling as she watched him and he had a cobalt blue feather stuck in his beak that he was trying to shake free. She shuffled towards him, put her arm in front of his perch and held it there until he stepped forward. His claws pinched her skin lightly while he got a better grip on her and she liked the feeling.
Gertie reached up and plucked the feather out of his beak, tossed it aside and stroked his head. He pushed into her dry boney thumb. “What do we do Jack?” she spoke softly to him nuzzling him with her knuckle. “Without her…we die…” As if understanding her sudden sadness Jack tilted his head and looked at her with one small yellow rimmed eye, extended his wings, proceeded to wrap his wings around her head and pecked her hard on the bridge of the nose before he quickly jumped back to his perch.
At first she was angry, it subsided quickly as her mind continued to worry and the air around her vibrated slightly. She had never had to go on a long trip before and yet she knew that at this moment she needed to pack and leave…for how long…she didn’t know…all she knew was that she had to leave right away.