Masterpiece

So I discovered this website, Ink Provoking, which gives lovely prompts. The one that was put when I found it was… Write a short story between 400 and 800 words in which you use the words: masterpiece, bird, pool, brick, girl, and bodyguard.

It was about time I wrote another short story, so here it is, all 674 words.

Some could have seen the bird statue as rather elegant, with its neck stretched up to the sky, its beak open in song, and its wings stretched out for the wind to ruffle it’s feathers. And some could have seen the girl as dainty, with her hair twirling, framing around her little face, her lips pulled into a smile, and her tiny hands helping another.

But that was before. That was when the bird was a masterpiece of a carving, sitting on the specially-made perch in the family’s home. That was when the girl had been the child and precious of the family.

Now the bird was just a piece of furniture that was in the way. The girl was just another child who needed to be fed and clothed. Nothing special. Not that it really mattered to the girl. Because all she needed was the company of the little bird.

Some could have seen the bird statue as rather crude, with it’s neck stretching far too high up to the sky, it’s beak open in a cry for help, and it’s wings stretched out in an attempt to flee. Some could have seen the girl as distasteful, with her hair twisted, tangled around her little face, her lips thin and sad, and her tiny hands rough and calloused.

The bird was the girl’s bodyguard, and she it’s. They protected one another. When the weather crashed and roared, the bird’s wings would provide a shelter and the girl would keep it warm. When the sun shined, the bird would sing a silent song of joy and the girl would dance to the music.

And that’s what made the bird a masterpiece, in the girl’s opinion. It was a master at peace. It was always there, always constant. Even more so than the girl’s shadow, which flickered and faded with the lights around her.

Then came the flood. The rain came in turrents and bursts, the water puddling up and the air darkening in fog and clouds. The girl clung onto the bird, but the rain and water continued to pile up, until she felt like she was swimming in a pool. Her grip loosened and she fell away from the bird. She cried out, but it did her no good.

They, the bird and the girl, had been separated from one another.

The rain continued to fall down. The clouds continued to block any sunlight out. The wind continued to blow around. The girl continued to wait for it all to pass, so she could look for the bird, her only friend, once more.

And her patience was rewarded. A faint piece of sunlight pierced the clouds—not much, but just to see around her. But what the girl found wasn’t what she expected. The bird was… broken. Its stone pieces lay scattered across the ground. A clump of feathers here, a foot here, its beak here. Realization dawned on the girl. The bird had been dashed against the ground in the storm.

She fell to her knees, crying. How could she go on, without her friend? Without her bird? Her bodyguard and friend? Not only did tears fall down her cheeks, but they seemed to be falling from the sky as well. The entire world was grieving the loss of that little statue of a bird.

That’s when something seemed to shift. The girl found herself drifting away, from the rain, from the world. She wasn’t alone. A certain bird flew beside her, comforting her, helping her, protecting her, loving her.

She smiled.

And that’s what makes a masterpiece, the girl thought. Being a master at peace.

Some could have seen the bird as rather elegant, with its neck stretched up to the sky, its beak open in joyous song, and its wings stretched out for the wind to ruffle it’s pretty feathers. And some could have seen the girl as dainty, with her hair twirling, framing around her little face, her lips pulled into a smile, and her tiny hands helping another in need.

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