Chapter Two: Blackbird Singing
“I’m tired,” Vincent croaked, biting into the blackbird’s wing. He mangled the hollow bones underneath its feathers, cleaving them with his teeth. The blackbird had gotten too close; the tip of its beak had tapped the membrane of Vincent’s left eye. His central vision grew soft, distorted, and blurry.
“I’m tired.” Involuntarily said as he bit deeper. Vincent spat out blood and feathers.
“I’m tired,” he laughed, feeling a short sharp shock against his cheek.
A black mass fluttered in front of Vincent; two more whisked overhead. He stood, again the words “I’m tired” levitated from his cracked lips. As the dropped “…d” moved away, Vincent surged backward, knocking over the chair he had been affixed to.
The wood clattered on the concrete floor.
A door slammed open, then shut.
A whooping assault of sound. Vincent felt shoved, pinned, his back pressed against a rock-hard surface. The noise pelted him; he repeatedly repeated, “I’m tired,” his voice modulating in tone, speed, and volume.
Rain, he thought. I wish it were raining. The sound of it falling; swallows harshness, makes things softer. It patterns against the windows, a tapping of drops. Not always followed by the clap of thunder, which can break the dulling.
Snow, maybe. Yes, it is always quiet when it snows. Big, white constant drifting of snow. Cold enough that it coated everything. Yes, I wish it were snowing. Dead of night. It would cover the blackbirds, a glaze of white over their wings, chilling their breaths, cutting off their voices, preventing them from flying, freezing them, immobilizing them, until their innards iced over, their parasites in stasis, easily caught, necks twisted, my being able to gouge their eyes out, my hands…
His head dropped to his chin, eyelids closing. Vincent took in a breath for a count of five, held for four, then expelled for a count of eight, jaw fully extended.
“I’m tired.” Barely audible.
A lighter claw alit on his shoulder.
“I know, Vincent. I know,” a demur cackle, guiding him back, pushing him down onto the again upright chair. “I know. Would you open your eyes, please?”
He acknowledged this voice. Different.
“I’m tired, Maria.”
Picking up his head, his eyelids followed the trajectory. “Dr. Maria.” He nodded his head to the doorway.
“I sent…asked your lawyer to leave us for a few so we could speak. And yes, the guard as well.”
Vincent took it as truth.
“Vincent, she doesn’t know you.”
Maria put her arms on the table between them, nodding.
“Why do you think that?”
Moments filled the eight-by-eight room. The HVAC clicked off, taking the underscore of humming with it.
Vincent shrugged. Mimicking his doctor, Vincent placed his arms on the table. He felt his hands were sticky. Looking down, he saw they were dripping black-red.
“Why do you think she is afraid of you, Vincent?”