A soft squeaking noise emerged from the side of tiny, chipped porcelain teacup while my fingers slipped lazily around the edges due to iridescent soap bubbles latched onto the lip. While washing the prized heirloom passed down from Nana, the sunlight trickled through the large, poorly insulated glass window allowing for a gentle kiss of warmth to brush my peaceful sideways grin as I watch out into the morning. Dew twinkled like starshine on the overgrown patches of weeds, grass and flowers in my backyard that seemed to melt into an oversized and underkept garden. The birds sang. They sang choruses of morning medleys as they splashed into the small pools of water gathered on the bright blue tarp laid out taught among the emerald weeds. A perfect hand to gather the water of a gentle midnight rain which effortlessly doubled as a makeshift bird bath for the symphony of singing winged animals. The warblers hopped, in their tiny glory, revealing the surprise of bright yellow patches of feathers as flutter their wings synchronously with the slight, staccato high-pitched chips. Red-winged blackbirds chased the warblers, dominating the small pools of crisp rain water, letting their long, drawn out alarm-like call loudly atop the medley. Brown bodied sparrows chirped sweetly atop the single sapling of a sugarberry tree that solitarily mothered the evening primrose and bull thistle that had desiccated my once, bountiful garden and slowly started invading the remaining green of my yard.
The small ledge parallel to my sink was the resting place to a small, cottage shaped bird feeder which was always filled with wild bird seed. Nearly every morning, the large, plastic knitted bag would be taken out of my front closet, and I would fill the cinnamon colored chimney to the top with the array of tasty seeds for my musical friends. This particular morning was like any other, and whilst the birds were distracted by the tarp, they still hopped up, pecking meticulously at the seed and warily watched as I washed the rest of the dishes. Humming along to the tune of their chips, and quite possibly a very offbeat version of “Build Me Up Buttercup,” my sink water ran a rusted red color, as hardened blood became liquid again once the hot water soaked my nail beds, as well as the buildup underneath. My face had been smeared with dried streaks of hour old irony blood, connecting the faint freckles on my nose with the plush apples of my cheeks. The birds knew what kind of predator I was, but they sang their beautiful morning songs for me, nevertheless.
Saturday mornings were my favorite part of the week, because more and more birds added their components to the symphony as they made their way to my remote, ranch style house with the white picket fence in Flovilla, GA. Birds are complex animals, which I have learned in the last ten years that I’ve lived in my cozy, one story home only 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta. They’re the only beings I trust, hence my decision to move into a home that’s no less than a ten-minute drive to the nearest neighbor but doesn’t come short of visitors. These birds are loyal, and I’ve become accustomed to the many that have … changed… although it is getting more difficult as the word passes through the chirpings of my Saturday morning feasts.
Although I was tired, I knew that there was plenty of work to still be done, even after I had been slaving through the sticky Georgia night. I had still been in my ripped, bloodstained obsidian colored cocktail dress that I wear as my uniform, quite disappointed that it was beyond mending and had to be disposed of. A quick cool shower removed the rest of the blood that matted the ends of my curled, golden hair, and the beautiful red color mixed like a blazon galaxy sky with the palette of colors and glitter that came off with my makeup. Such a pretty face for such evil intentions, and I definitely used my Southern charm and homestyle attitude to my advantage.
Once every two or three months, the perfect sunset would start to creep down to meet the horizon of a warm, pleasant Friday night. My cocktail dress would slide gracefully over my head as Stevie Nicks played softly from my record player. The birds would sing special on these Friday nights. They would entice me and let me know it was time to fulfill that need again, that hunger, that rage. Mascara would hide the hatred in my eyes, and lipstick would mask the ferocious teeth ready to plunge into the neck of an unexpecting victim.
Friday nights would satisfy many needs, since it was easy to get a young man to follow me back to my small, charming home. Loneliness wasn’t an issue with my perfect figure, and knack to bite my lower, plump lip while giggling at the unexpecting victim’s ghastly humor. Luring was the first step, the easy step, the step that required a little bit of body language, a splash of passion, and just enough acting to ensure that I seemed entirely vulnerable. What the Jack’s, Charlie’s, Adams, Steve’s, or whoever else didn’t know, was that after I let them release into my, a jagged gleaming dagger would be waiting for them from the inside of my quaint side table drawer. Lust and alcohol blinded them, for he never saw that there was already plastic covering most of the furniture in my candlelit room. My signature was messy, but that urge couldn’t be filled until I plunged the dagger deep into their throat, allowing for hot, red, delicious blood to seep around the silver blade. This was my release. Watching the substance spray as I removed my tool, watching my victim gasp in horror as I lick the blade clean as they gasp for their final life’s blood breaths.
The birds watched as the breeze carried the scents of my candles into the night wind. They knew when it would be their special Saturday when the scent of lilies turned into hot iron drifting with the gentle breeze. The birds knew as I dragged the body into my weedy garden, atop their makeshift bath, hacking and sawing all night as I try and reduce the evidence into tiny pieces. Step two was the hard part; not that I was entirely afraid of being caught, but because bone and flesh are tough, especially with the men who are keen on being fit. My muscles would always ache on that Saturday morning, after the bodies had been hacked into unrecognizable pieces. But the birds never cared, because they knew I wouldn’t sleep until the job had been finished, and they had been fed.
Although these birds were not among those who craved the taste of meat, my birds acquired the taste for men in their late twenties, and they assisted in the disposal of my addiction. They sang the prettiest of tunes the mornings I remembered to save severed organs and pop the clouded over eyeballs into their little cottage. Their favorite part of the feast was fighting over delicious, juicy eyes, pecking out the colored irises and snacking on the remaining fleshy parts until there was nothing remaining. Their little feet left blood stained prints on my sill, because their blue tarp bath wasn’t just that of water, but also thick, congealed blood and pieces of leftover bone and flesh from my carnage. Sometimes I would leave their paintings for weeks, so proud of their ambition and adaptability to feast on forbidden flesh.
Sure, the weeds of the garden could be unsightly, but the overgrown nature of their invasion was the perfect cover for the large hunks of bicep or femur that couldn’t be hacked into bite sized pieces for my birds. That sugarberry tree has grown fiercely since I started feeding it the blood-rich fertilizer, and I can only hope that the tiny fruits that have begun to dangle will be as sweet to my birds as the pieces of liver and kidney that they take mouthfuls of.
The morning is still new as I lay back into my plush, welcoming bed, proudly observing the absolute sterilization and smell of floral disinfectant that radiated from items inhabiting the room which has absorbed so much light. My birds are singing so loudly, that its nearly deafening, making it impossible to hide the proud, closed mouth smile on my face. Their blood-soaked beaks produce the purest, lullabies, and I knew that the relaxation and pure bliss wouldn’t last forever and I had to savor it. A sinful sleep started to creep over my limbs as my birds cradled me in their songs of the dead, and my mind was put to ease as I knew another Friday night would come soon again.