Millie’s Story

“Move away from it!”

Prodding my ribs with the dragon’s barrel, Pa attempted to push me aside. I hunkered over Keme’s bloody, prone body, gripped his shoulders tight, knowing if I gave Pa a clear target, he’d shoot Keme again, kill him. If he wasn’t already dead.

“Damn it, daughter, I said move!” Another jab with the dragon.

Not looking up, I shook my head. “No!”

Silence invaded the shed, broken only by Pa’s raspy breathing. I felt a light touch on my bare shoulder, then the hand jerked away as if my skin had burned it. Pa growled, “Millie, what’s going on? Where’re your clothes?”

I looked up into a face that was more shadow than substance in the lantern’s feeble light. I opened my mouth, but no words came out.

“Did it…did it force itself on you?”

I finally found my tongue. “No, Pa…I…we…” And lost it again.

His eyes raked both Keme and me, taking in our nakedness; they narrowed, hardened. “Are you telling me it didn’t…you willingly had congress with this demon?”

“He’s not a demon, he’s—”

“It has wings, daughter, it is a demon, and I’m going to finish it. Then…” A loaded pause. “Then I’ll deal with you.” Continue reading

Blackbirds

Have you ever wondered about the lyrics of a song–the  story behind the words? I often do, trying to piece together what is told and what is left unsaid/unsung.

While browsing through Amazon’s Prime Music (I get this service as a part of my Amazon Prime Account) a few days ago, I stumbled upon an album–are they still called that?–titled: Blackbirds, by Gretchen Peters. I had never heard of this artist, let alone the song, but the cover looked intriguing, so I gave a listen to the title track.

The opening lines–“Blackbirds came at dusk and they roosted in the cane…caused such a ruckus that it shook my windowpane. And I’m covered up in dirt and I stink of kerosene, and no matter what I do, I can’t get clean.”–reached out and grabbed me by the throat, demanding my complete attention, until upon ending, I was released from its death-grip.
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