The Feathered Fingers

Photo by H.F.E & Co Studio on Unsplash
Photo by H.F.E & Co Studio on Unsplash

There is an unfashionable feather tickling at my throat, not hard enough to gag, nor soft enough to seduce. This constant pressure delights at first, but soon irritates. I wish for it to stop. I hope for it to slice.

Beneath the moon, this weeping almost-woman rubs her throat like a pensioner might a knee. I feel the invisible noose, the fingers of the ripper, regardless. I know I shall always feel it. Destiny or fate, this truth is unavoidable. I retire to bed.

The next morning, and the pain is lessened. Time seeks to diminish what the feather seeks to impress. Time is my new best friend, and I celebrate with a walk.

Green shoots pepper the park. A few random daffodils make galaxies of the area, popping up between the dying snowdrops like blazing suns. I smile, then wish I hadn’t. The corners of a mouth better used to misery tug at my neck and throat. The discomfort returns. I run the rest of the way.

I have always had a thing for bridges, one of humanity’s least imposing constructions. Sometimes, they even improve the view, as does this one in its curved steel and towering stanchions. Strength, I think. It projects strength.

I sit all day like a lazy gargoyle having tumbled from a church, pitching to one side. The rabid traffic rushes past in blurs of colour. Every vehicle stinks.

Night. My second. The feather presses harder now. More dagger than lover’s fingers, the feather would cut if I’d let it. And I will. I must.

Midnight slips over me like a warm, favourite jumper. There are no stars and the moon is a celestial stranger. This night is as dark as that night. My mood lightens.

I jump without the rope this time. There are no mistakes. There is only a steep dive and a shattering liquidity. The plunge is less than I expected, but more than enough.

I lay in a crate some call a coffin. There’s a pressure on my throat, soft and continuous. And despite the darkness, the fact I am clearly dead and should feel and realise nothing, I do. The feathered fingers are mine. I’m almost home.

Thank you for reading

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.
Also Available:
The Eternals Series: The Eternals / Hunter Hunted / Into Eternity


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