My mother is a bird enthusiast. I say this because she doesn’t have the education to be considered an ornithologist, or the constancy of habit to earn the title of birdwatcher. But she knows more about birds than anyone I’ve ever known; excluding my year eight maths teacher, who was the world’s leading specialist on bowerbirds, and my Nanna Nancy, who was our family’s leading specialist on just about everything up until she died a few years ago.
I’m trying to escape myself. I lie with my head on your chest and I can hear your heart pulsing my name and I murmur back at it, and nuzzle towards it, brushing my nose through the soft down on your warm skin. I want to burrow into your chest, and curl up safe inside your ribcage where I can whisper right into your heart’s ear. I want to be one of your organs, and as vital. I want to be as inseparable to you as your own hand.
The sirens were screaming like a choir of banshees, drilling their urgent message into every available ear. Governor Bright Armitage took several deep breaths before carefully typing in her access code. She shut down each siren individually, gently re-immersing the prison in an uneasy silence. She turned from her desktop console to face the uniformed man who waited tensely behind her.
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Photography by Rachel Cooper