• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 05
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An Avicide

So Dad took sick and the sickness took Dad. The orderlies took away the leftovers and the hospital took back the bed. The after stuff took the savings and we took Dad home in the fourth-best jar on the jars list.

And Mam boxed up all them years of knowing and took them down the tip. The tip took everything of Dad's from photographs to silverware and Mam never stopped to see if anything were worth flogging on.

And even though Mam said she didn't want them in the house anymore, our Sam took all Dad's birds 'cos he said living things weren't for tips and such. Mam hit our Sam for saying what he said, but he took it well enough and kept them birds all the same.

And people took the car, the computer and the garage stuff for less than we could've got. And all the bills and stuff kept turning red. And Mam took to drinking way before it were dark. And our Sam took to his room from school's end to the morning after. And I took to walking the longest way home.

One day, our Sam came down for breakfast with Dad's old death notice he'd cut from the local rag. Mam was still sleeping off the last night so I told our Sam it wasn't right for reading at the table and he had to take it away. And our Sam did take it away and he took his plate with him and even though I said he wasn't right for taking it, he kept that plate all the same. I were clock-watching a little later so I shouted up that he had to come back down with his plate if he wanted feeding or walking to school. And our Sam did come back down with his plate.


An Avicide

And piled on his plate were Dad's birds, their little wrung necks lolling over the sides.

"It's a damned lie Sally," said our Sam quietly, big heavy tears rolling over the lids of them little boy eyes of his.

"A damned bloody lie. Nothing passes out of this world peacefully like it says everywhere. I saw. I saw how things really pass. Why do they say that Sally? Why do they write it in the papers when it isn't so?"

"It'll have to be toast today Sammy," I said back to our Sam,

"I can't do you cereal, see. The milk's off."

And I took the birds and I chucked the birds, but I kept the plate.