She heard the swoosh of his wings as he flew in the open window, and settled on the back of his favourite chair.
“Let’s go for a walk,” he rasped.
“But it’s raining, and I have no umbrella,” she responded.
From underneath his wing, he produced an umbrella with birds singing, and sunflowers nodding in the breeze.
“I have no rubber boots,” she explained, her vision not quite in focus.
From the under the other wing, he produced rubber boots with swimming koi.
“And, before you say ‘rain coat’, I have brought one along. He turned his head, using his wide beak to pull from his back a voluminous garment shimmering now in blue, bleeding into green into . . .
“Get ready,” he rasped, “the nor’easter will be here soon.”
Somehow, on unsteady feet, she put on her new attire.
Perhaps the little girl with the patent leather shoes and blue dress had come to help.
“Good, you’re all ready, so it’s out the window.”
She took a step off the window still, “You never said we were walking a tightrope.”
“Hold on to the string – as long as there is tension, you will know I am here.”
She did her best to balance, but she felt so unsure.
She wanted to stop walking, and with arms spread, fall backwards.
Perhaps the voluminous coat was a sail, and she would navigate lost seas.
Or thermals from the ground would rise her back up, over mountains.
Pelting rain brought her back to the tightrope.
The birds and flowers on her umbrella sheltered on the inside.
The koi swam up under the hem of her coat.
Fog rolled in, enveloping the world in a blanket of grey.
Tension remained on the string providing some reassurance as she inched along.
A sudden gust of wind blew her off the rope.
At the last moment, she grabbed it and hung over the abyss.
Her rubber boots fell into the chasm.
Her umbrella sailed off to lands unknown.
The wind grabbed at her coat.
She no longer had the string to cling to.
Her head, leaning on the wall, hurt.
Pound, pound, pound.
Familiar, as if she had heard them in a dream.
Written for mindlovemisery’s menagerie photo challenge 33: endless walk
For context of the story, see petrichor.