The bird’s eye view by Stella Pierides

Leaves and branches rushed past, a spade, buckets, a car, crates, tyres, a barrel. She clung to the rough, furrowed bark of the Eucalyptus, terrified that it might not hold on to its place for long.

She felt the torrential rain lashing her and the waters indiscriminately, feeding the swollen rivers. A desolate water land covered fields and low-lying areas. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of a book floating past, opened upside-down, then another, then several specimens, as if the entire Amerold town library was being carried away by the flood. Her heart tightened. She had spent her youth in the library, growing up through its books. She used to wash her hands before opening them. She had become Miss Bell’s preferred reader, and she had even been allowed to stay on reading during lunchtime.

Scrunching up her eyes, she tried to make out the titles floating past, as if her life depended on it. The water kept rising. Brushing past, a raven flew to perch on the tree’s highest branch. She felt her hold loosening.

Feeling the bark for a better grip, she remembered the story of Noah’s Ark, the raven and the dove sent out to see if the flood waters subsided; and the book she’d read about ravens’ intelligence. She sensed the storm lessening. The bird was scanning the vast expanse; she was not alone. She sighed with relief and dug her nails into the tree bark.


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11 responses to “The bird’s eye view by Stella Pierides

  1. This is an arresting and vibrant snippet! It makes me want to read more about this young, but intrepid reader. Really nice detail with the hand-washing.

  2. Randal Houle

    Nice story well told. So much more here that could be said. nice job.

  3. Excellent job of ratcheting up the tension, nice work!

  4. Len

    loved how you finished with the raven and the dove and the wonderful concluding line.

  5. I love how the raven and her shared a perch and a view of the library’s contents floating away.

  6. So much use of water with this week’s theme, and you do so effectively here. I also enjoyed the conclusion of the piece, remarkably so.

  7. Dear Stella, You rushed off today – would have liked to have a word with you. As for this flash, I love “she was Miss Bell’s preferred reader.” Yes! I can identify with that golden glow conferred by Miss Bell. And the title… the title is great! Doris

  8. Thank you all very much for reading and commenting.
    So encouraging!
    Doris: I (had to go), would love a chat, how about next week …

  9. Kim Hutchinson

    The books here are almost hopeful, and I love the bird scanning at the end.

  10. I love the closing image of her digging her nails into the tree trunk. Geat visuals throughout, actually. Peace…

  11. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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