Lentil Pilaf (Part 1).


© Lucia Saldarriaga Photo
She was snacking on a Lentil Pilaf calculating the mitotic index of laryngeal cancer cells in patients with selective mutism, when a bird fell from the giant Beech tree right outside of her first floor apartment window, and cracked its head. She heard its skull clunk on the uneven cobblestone with a resounding ping(!). Like the sound of a Whopper marble shooting from the sweaty palm of a younger siblings dirty fingers on a balmy afternoon in July, game over. The bird was dead upon impact.
She watched in slow motion as a lump of baby feathers and underdeveloped anisodactyl toes clawed at the air belly side up.
With her mouth agape, she wiped the rice from the corner of her lip on the hinge of her left forearm. Pushing her pilaf aside, she rushed to the scene of the crime, forgoing footwear (but remembering her spare key), grabbing an old towel, a nearby shoe box filled with mismatched No Show Peds, and any last strand of hope that the small creature may have survived the collision.
Her cat waddled closely behind, licking his chops and meowing in a low toned wail that sounded eerily similar to that of an ambulance siren. Coincidentally, it was also his lunch break. He had been sitting on the open window sill, transfixed by the sight of a butterfly when the tragedy occurred. As he paraded out the door, his belly grumbled with a different kind of rescue mission in mind.
Shortly thereafter, she found herself at odds with her feline assistant over the next best course of action. As they assessed, a curious Carrion crow swooped in and perched atop the branch of the giant Beech tree, and glared disapprovingly. He hopped closer, inching his pecten oculi parallel to what remained of the lifeless body. “What do you say doc?”, he cooed. At a loss for words they searched for a last pulse, but it was too late.


Source: © 2018 by Lucia Saldarriaga, reprinted by permission of the author.