Klaudia Karbowiak

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Sunrise
K LAU DIA KA RBOWIAK

Copyrighted © by Klaudia Karbowiak 2011 All Rights Reserved

Klaudia Karbowiak

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 Šƒ’–‡”
Some people endure more pain in their lives than they deserve. It happens all the time, every day, every hour, every minute and every second. They walk this world like zombies; numb and broken inside; waiting for someone to pick up the shattered pieces of their hearts and glue them back together. For some it never happens, even when there suddenly is a chance of it; their hearts have been bleeding for far too long and the blood was replaced by ice and, just as cold, rock. How can you fight ice and rock with love? Faces. Faces in the crowd. Each a stranger to me; they all have their own little lives, their own little problems and mouths to feed. It s intriguing to watch each and every one of them pass by, not disturbing anyone on their way; pretending to be blind. I watched from my spot: from a bench hidden behind a bush in such way that I could see anyone but no one could really see me, not at first glance anyway. I spotted someone running, slight sweat condensing on his forehead. What are you running from? I wondered, there s no point, it will always get you in the end; no matter what that it is. I squeezed my eyes shut as memories flashed in front of my eyes, dicing my heart... or whatever I had instead of it. A starry night with shooting stars. Full moon and roses. Her limbs snaking around my body. The feeling that everything is about as close to a fairytale as it gets. You were a fool, Mister. And indeed I was now others have to pay the price of it. Hey, I looked up to see a bubbly-looking girl observing me with concern. She was blonde, hair pinned up- revealing her slender neck. Her oval brown eyes widened as she absorbed my appearance. Immediately she flushed cherry red. I-I I just thought you looked upset. Well what do you know? Turns out some actually care shame that I don t. I smiled at her cockily, for some reason females found my smile attractive. She blushed even harder than last time and I could feel the familiar itching sensation on my tongue. What s your name? I asked. Melody. She replied, batting her eyelashes seductively. Without knowing who what has fate brought upon her, she took a seat beside me. She smelled so sweet. *** 

T

he plane encountered the rough concrete route and the frame began to tremble as

soon as the wheels touched the ground; it kind of felt like a mini earthquake. It was a rather unpleasant sensation; it made my stomach flip. Uneasiness could be clearly felt in the air and that somewhat made the experience worse. My nails dug into the armrest, my body was tensed. Damn. Lifting up and landing must be the worst parts of any flight. But especially landing, I thought to myself. It s not hard to picture how I was more than pleased when the plane eventually came to a stop and how the atmosphere relaxed as a result. I relaxed too, releasing my grip on the armrest.

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I was thankful that the flight was over. I had ran out of things to do. I have brought magazines with me but, well, let s say that now I could recite anything out of them. What? I was bored, okay? In fact, I almost went mad from boredom! You should pity me, you know gee, people these days. I was first to applaud. Everyone followed in unison; cheering spread like a contagious disease. Serious as it all was, I was holding back my laughter as I saw a woman getting too enthusiastic. Perhaps it wouldn t have been so funny if she didn t have as many chins as a Chinese phone book and if she didn t get stuck in her seat when she tried to stand up to show her throughout appreciation of the flight. I swear down: she was huge. A hippopotamus with a human voice! My grin has been quickly wiped off my face when I felt my mother sharply nudging me in the ribs. Her eyes were full of scorn and she had lucky-your-dad-didn t-see-you-just-then look on. Indeed I was, he was in the sit in front of me, sat with my sister Angela. Haha. I mouthed sorry at my mother and she smiled. Typical. Forgiveness was a word underlined, in bold and italics in my mum s dictionary. I wish the same could be said about my father Finally in Australia! Yay! The whole Burney family- my parents, my sister and I, have officially arrived to Australia after a particularly long and boring flight (two flights actually- from London to Singapore and from Singapore to Sydney). It was 30th January and, after living in rainy England for what seemed as endless seven years, I finally arrived to this country. (Note the exaggeration of the word finally .) My dreams of stretching under the baking hot sun and dreams of the golden beaches were becoming true. I promised myself that the first thing I will do when I arrive to Australia is get a lovely golden tan like the one often seen on adverts. My mother however, had different plans for me and forced a bottle of sun lotion in my hand an hour before the plane even landed. So much for my tan. I was to live in the vicinity of Sydney- out of excitement I forgot what the small town was called but I could remember that when I was six and I still lived in Poland, my parents promised to move to Australia but when I was about ten we moved to Britain instead. It wasn t bad in England but it wasn t great either. I never truly got used to it, I guess. It just didn t feel right to be there, as if the country itself rejected to accept me I could not say I missed it. I could do without the sight of rows and rows of terraced houses. I could do without having to face certain people anymore. I could do without the unstable English weather. I could do and move on to the next chapter of my life. You ve got no idea how many times I cursed that we didn t just stay in Poland or how much my heart longed for my real home. You can t imagine, can t possible begin to comprehend how it felt for me. It was like I had been kept hostage for all these years and now I was given a chance to spread my wings again. I was moving to a new place, hoping that it would be better in Australia than it was in Britain. I wouldn't be able to stand being an outsider in a place I've always dreamed of of course I would be an outsider in a way- anyone from abroad is considered that, right? But what I meant was that I would like to be accepted an wouldn t bare it if I wasn t... not again. I simply longed for a place I could truly call home.

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As I had been expecting, my auntie and uncle were waiting for us outside of the Sydney airport. (To be honest I don't know how we found our way out of the airport building, which seemed like an endless maze of corridors and signs, in the very first place.) I've only seen my aunt and uncle on photographs before, never in flesh. I was startled to see that they look the same in real life, even though the only pictures we had of them are from about five years ago My aunt Sarah was a skinny person with a golden tan (oooh, I was envious) and long, straight blonde hair that wind seemed to love playing with. She looked really young (about twentyfive) even though she was forty-seven at the time. I know how bizarre that sounds but it s all in my family s genes- or so I was told- to age slowly. Really slowly; therefore I didn t question it. Her husband, and at the same time my uncle: Logan, was a muscular man with a dark tan. His hair was as black as night and he wore it in a thick, shiny ponytail. He also looked strangely young as for a forty-eight years old man. From what I ve noticed, he was a few inches taller than Sarah. Sarah s hand shot up to her mouth to cover her cry of joy. I could not see well from the distance but I assumed she was crying. She waited for us to walk over, with one hand reaching for a handkerchief to wipe her eyes and the other clutched in her husband s. She had a floral summer dress on with golden straps and a black waist-belt that underlined the fact that she had a waist of a wasp. A pair of elegant Prada high heels and a well-matched Dior handbag completed the look. Beside her, Logan looked just as impressive in his silk tie and black Calvin Klein suit. I felt so plain as I glanced down at my own clothes that consisted of worn-out skinny jeans, purple tank top and black Reeboks but I ignored that feeling and focused on pulling the heavy suitcase instead. As we approached them, I could finally study their features closely. Sarah had aqua blue eyes, filled to the brims with compassion and kindness; long eyelashes curtained them. To my surprise, what seemed as fake lashes was actually real. There were laugh lines visible on her cheeks, although not very deep. Her nose wasn t particularly small but it s perfect shaping made up for the size; it added character to her and made her beauty more exotic. As for Logan, he had hazel eyes with green rimming; they looked as if they were dusted by a fairy because they were patterned with fine silvery patches. He had an interesting shape of nose that would not have passed on a woman- it was long and hawk-like, with a small bump on the bridge. I saw dimples in his cheeks as he smiled at us; he had laugh lines too. He pushed a loose strand of hair that managed to escape his ponytail behind his ear. His hair was lovely, very, very lovely. It was slightly wavy and thick perhaps it could have even been described as lush. I had to admit that I was fond of the sight of my relatives. The knowledge of having relatives as decent looking as Sarah and Logan pleased me. It presented me with some possibilities. Like, hiding behind their back and letting their beauty intimidate whoever would dare to look; and they sure as hell would dare to look. In that way, I would be able to watch how the onlookers self-esteem is slaughtered and I could imagine that it is me, not my relatives ahead, that is causing all this. Isn t that a bit vain of you? I thought and then scorned myself when I realised that no matter the excuse, the answer to that question always ended up as a yes . Welcome to Australia, the corners of Sarah s eyes crinkled slightly as she smiled at us, they were reddened from tears so she has been crying. She hugged and pecked on the cheek each one of us; starting from my dad and ending on me. I felt sincerely loved and cared for as she hugged me. Her grip was strong but steady; as if she didn t want to let go of me but at the same time feared that if she pressed too hard she might brake me. Once she let go of me, Logan began having his share of welcoming us. He shook my dad s hand,

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kissed my mother and me on cheek and gave a big hug to my sister. It was a cute sight. Like out of a movie. "Hello." Logan said loudly in a deep, warm voice. He had a sincere smile painted on his face. I wanted to smile too but withdrew the urge. I wanted to prove to myself that I m strong, I guess. Come to think of it it was a bit stupid of me. "Let me take your luggage." He pointed at our two heavy suitcases. "Oh don't bother, we will manage, but thanks anyway." Was my dad's (Andrew's) automatic response. He was a sort of person who wanted to have everything done by himself. He thought that it was the only way for something to be done properly. I didn t exactly disagree but come on, this luggage was damn heavy! "You re tired, I will take it for you." Logan insisted and before my dad had even time to think of how to answer him, he took our bags and started carrying them somewhere around the corner. I stared in awe at how easy it seemed for him to carry them like that whereas I could hardly drag one behind me. I didn t want to mess with that man for sure. We were right on Sarah s heels as she led the way to the cars. The grown-ups were drowned in a conversation but I didn t listen, I was enjoying this moment far too much to let their voices interrupt me. Oh, how the sun cuddled my skin! Memories of Poland returned to me, flashing in colourful images it was one big slide show of my life. I hastily shook it off and sighed with relief when reality welcomed me once again. Two cars awaited us on the parking lot; one was a shiny blue Citroen with a big boot and the other one was a rather small silver BMW. Both of the cars screamed luxury at us as we egged closer. Well, what have I expected- Sarah and Logan are both successful lawyers after all. "We don t have a six-seater so we brought two cars with us." Sarah explained with a kind smile on her face. In fact this smile seemed to never fade away. "Logan will take your luggage in the Citroen and you lot will come with me in the BMW." She grinned, displaying her teeth like pearls. Out of sudden I found myself being hugged for the second time today. I could not help smiling and hugging Sarah back. She let go and said: "I've been waiting for you lot to come for over ten years. It's my fault that it took so long." Her water blue eyes went dangerously glossy behind her long eyelashes. She was hugging her only brother now- my dad. "Sarah, you know we would have come earlier if not our language problems. So don't blame yourself." he comforted her. "It's not your fault that it took us so long to learn basics of English, and now let s get moving. We can't stand here forever." my dad assured her as politely as his emotions let him. Sarah couldn t and didn t complain. I knew that my dad, Andrew, didn't like showing his feelings much and that he felt the same way as Sarah- (if it comes to happiness and excitement)no matter how much he was trying to hide it. We got ourselves sat comfortably in the BMW with Sarah behind the wheel. I felt sorry for Logan who had to drive on his own. "Maybe I should go with Uncle Logan? I will keep him company." I said, for I did enjoy making people happy especially when all I had to do was to keep company. It was so simple at the moment to make someone smile. "That's a great idea, dear; I bet he ll be glad. You re a good child." answered my aunt in a grateful tone. I wondered how many things my parents have told her about me and my sister, Angela, when they talked to her on the phone. I know I am a good person but she couldn't have stated that without knowing me more.

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I crawled out of the silver BMW and marched towards much bigger blue Citroen. For a fraction of second I felt like I was going to regret the decision I made but as I opened the passenger door, Logan welcomed me with a warm smile and such thoughts escaped my mind. "Hey, you Sarah s messenger?" he said. From his voice I could tell that something was bothering him. "No. Aunt Sarah has nothing to do with it. I, um, decided that I should keep you company; that you shouldn't drive by yourself." I answered honestly. I saw his hazel eyes get warmer; if that was possible. He seemed more relaxed. "Well... Thank you I'm a rather sociable man." He grinned widely and after these words I sat myself on the passenger seat. To my surprise it was more comfortable to sit in here than in the other car. The whole way to my relative's house, I chatted to Logan about England and told him how much I hated it there. I also asked many questions about Australia (aiming to get as much information from him as I could) that he was more than happy to answer. I found out that he and my aunt have already found a school for me. I was going to go to Maroubra High School in drum roll Maroubra. I was to get started the following Monday on February the 1st which in the Northern hemisphere would be like starting school in middle of the winter but in here it is now late summer. To be honest I was scared that I won't be liked, that I'll be an outsider in a country of my dreamsjust like I was one in England (which obviously wasn t anywhere near the title of country of my dreams ). I still had today and tomorrow until Monday though so I've got time to mentally prepare myself. I would have never thought that talking to Logan would be so easy and pleasant. I mean if I started on something he could go on about it for quite long without getting me bored. We were driving behind the silver BMW and eventually we found ourselves on a street with luxurious houses on both sides of the road. Each one of them had it's own garden, at least two garages and a swimming pool. We stopped in front of the biggest house on the street. It had two garages and beautiful windows- every window was decorated with stained glass at the upper part of it which was really effective in attracting attention to itself. The door was made out of honey coloured wood which composed well with the sunflower yellow paint in which the house was painted. Unlike the other houses, it didn't have a swimming pool or a garden (that I could see). "This is going to be your home for some time until your dad finds a job and a house of his own. We will help him with that so it will be pretty soon." declared Logan. "Oh" was all I could utter because something about the house made me not even want to think about moving into a different one. "Where exactly in Australia are we now?" I had to ask- I was purely curious and I never was any good at Geography. "In Maroubra, New South Wales. Maroubra belongs to the local area of the city of Randwick. It is placed ten kilometres South-East from Sydney central business district if you wish to know. Maroubra also is a part of Eastern suburbs region." He answered in one breath, then after safely parking the car, we went through the honey-wood door inside where others have been. "What took you so long out there?" asked my mum with unnecessary concern in her voice. Her chocolate brown eyes that I sometimes envied searched for any signs of injury on me. I grimaced thinking what is the point; it s not like uncle Logan would hurt me or anything. "We were talking about Australia. I yawned in the middle of my answer and was surprised to find that I truly felt tired. All the events and emotions made me forget my own needs and my mum seemed to have realised that. "You need to rest sweetie, ask aunt Sarah for the way to your room."

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"Okay mum." I moaned- I didn t want to sleep yet, even though I was tired. There was so much to see, so many corners waited to be explored and so many new customs had yet to be introduced. "She is upstairs by the way." my mum added quickly before I vanished from her eyesight. I went up the spiral staircase which was most likely made out of rosewood which had been ornamentally carved here and there with flower-shapes. After I climbed up I found myself in a long corridor with four doors. I jumped as one of the door opened and my aunt came out. "I've just been setting your room up, dear. Come and have a look." She took my arm in her bony hand and dragged me towards the creamy door she would have come out from earlier. The room was small with cerulean (sky blue) walls. There were two windows- both on the ceiling. One was over the comfy looking single bed- which meant that I was going to have a nice view at the stars at night-time. I noticed an opened cupboard with a small pile of my clothes on one side and much bigger pile of clothes that I didn't recognize on the other. "Whose are these?" I pointed at the unknown to me neat pile of clothes. "All yours, dear. It's just one of your Australia coming presents." She announced. "Wow, you really shouldn't have. Thank you so much." I answered. It was one of my Australia coming presents. My thoughts tangled around the last sentence. "We wanted you to feel welcome here. And now tell me how do you like your room?" Her aqua eyes flickered with interest as she said that. "I love it. I absolutely love it and I always wanted to have windows in the ceiling. And sky blue paint has its charm. It s perfect! Thank you!" I smiled and then gave her a big hug. Her eyes were flickering with gladness now. "I'm going to leave you on your own now dear. I'm glad that you're happy. You need to wake up early tomorrow if you want to see something amazing and I'm saying no more. Sweet dreams dear." she stated and before I could ask her anything else she was gone, leaving me with my thoughts. I started to have a look around and I realized that next to my bed, in the left corner of the room was another creamy door. I felt an urge to see what s behind that door so I strode towards it and opened it I found myself in a bathroom. The floor was tiled all white and the walls were painted pastel purple. There was a washing basin, a bath-shower, toilet and a towel-rack. Above the basin was a mirrored cupboard with a note stuck to it s smooth surface. I edged closer and peeled the note off. This bathroom is all yours for the time you will spend here so make yourself comfortable. Sarah Rail xxx PS. Bathroom of your own means that you do the cleaning yourself. I m sorry I wouldn t mind doing it for you but your parents protested. I smiled as I read it. They really thought about everything: school, bedroom, bathroom, clothes and who knows what else. I was so grateful, even though I will have to do the cleaning myself I wondered whether I was worth it all. I looked at my own reflection in the mirror: I had a rather pale skin from the lack of sunlight, literally silver eyes which were duplicates of my grandmother s, my dad's round-shaped face and medium sized, pointy nose and my mum's lips that were just perfect in my opinion. My hair was brown with blond streaks. It was natural- I've never dyed it or even planned to. A special thing about is that I could have it either with streaks or without streaks at any time. It was all up to where I put the parting on my hair; when it was on the left side, my hair was medium-dark brown and when it was on the right side, my hair was light brown with blond streaks. My mum envied the thickness of

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my hair and the way it shone but I didn t like it not the thickness anyway because it made my hair painfully hard to style. My eyes were reddened; little trails of veins were noticeable on the white of them. I was no super model, I was sure of that, but I somewhat felt that I wasn t exactly ugly either. Who cares? I sighed and went away to let the water run into the bath. After a long and relaxing bath, I dressed myself into a short-sleeved pyjamas top and pyjama shorts, then I quickly blow-dried my hair and brushed my teeth. After those routines I went to bed and quickly drifted into deep sleep. I slept better than I had in a long time. 

                    

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Šƒ’–‡” 
Lord have mercy! she cried in a shrill voice. I congratulated myself for taking her to this desolate beach. This place, lit only by the pale face of the moon, was just perfect. The nearest inhabitants were fast asleep in the safety of their beds, there was nobody around, not a single soul except from Melody s. Also the constant murmuring of the waves added to the ghastly atmosphere I was trying to engrave in her mind. I could not have made a better choice as I was in no need of having an audience while I have my fun. Yes fun. I rolled my eyes as the screams continued; they were truly piercing- able to shatter glass. I finally got fed up with the hassle she was making and stole a look at her. She was a mess, the exact opposite to what she was before fate decided to mock her. Tears were uncontrollably streaming from her eyes, flowing down her soft cheeks. Her eyes were reddened and she had dark circles around them, her hair was all ruffled up and knotted, her clothes were mucky and damp. I felt no pity. Shhh, everything is alright, I thought while intensely looking her in the eye. She relaxed as if by magic. She wiped at her eyes and sniffed with her nose without ever taking her wide eyes off me. The moonlight lit her pallid face and for a moment she looked neither dead nor alive to me. The adoring look she was giving me almost made me laugh. If I would only let her remember what has she been through! Haha. She s a devil in disguise. They all are devils in disguise- don t ever forget that. My internal voice said. It wasn t exactly my consciousness. No I had lost that an age ago. It was just a voice; nothing more. Look at you, I cooed, you re a mess. She did as I told her and nodded. I want to go home now, she uttered barely audibly. She was so weak; I had almost toyed with her to death. Go then, I kissed her goodbye on her warm cheek, then, before she knew it, I was out of sight- never to come back again. Now have back what you deserved, I unleashed all her recent memories. I gave her back everything. Everything that is, except the memory of my face. Screams penetrated the moist air: screams of pure horror and I I just laughed. ***

I almost screamed when I witnessed a pair of shinning eyes hovering directly above me. Wake up, there s no time to lose, a familiar voice murmured urgently. My vision was still blurred from sleep but that didn t stop me from recognising the owner of this soft voice. Good morning Sarah, I yawned and stretched lazily. Quickly get dressed but be quiet. Others are still asleep. With that she deserted me, leaving me confused. I mean, what could possibly be incredible enough for anyone to have to get out of bed so early? Glancing at the clock, I noticed that it was only few minutes past 5 in the morning.

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Nonetheless, I crawled out of my bed and hastily changed into a random blue dress that just happened to be on top of my new pile of clothes. I tied my tangled hair up on my way out because I simply couldn t be bothered to do anything else with them. I hurried down the stairs, attempting to be as quiet as possible. The woolly socks I chose to wear, muffled the sound of my steps but they had a down side: they made walking on wood feel like sliding on ice. I must have misjudged my step because before I knew it, I was falling- face first- down the stairs (okay, more like down the last two steps but I was freaked out nonetheless). I swear my heart must have stopped for a second that time. I was trying to grab onto something but ended up helplessly waving my arms around. Everything seemed in slow motion for a moment and then I finally managed to clutch the banister and steady myself. I sighed with relief. Haha, to think I ve ever doubted my luck. I grinned to myself while taking the cursed socks off. As I rolled the last sock off my foot, I noticed blood escaping from a small scratch on my forefinger. I cocked my eyebrows in surprise I haven t even felt that to be honest. I pinched the wound between my thumb and forefinger and squeezed hard so that all the dirt would leave with the blood. Here you go, Sarah s voice was lower than usual, almost hoarse. She pushed a plaster into my unharmed hand. I looked up at her with puzzlement. How did she know I was hurt? I was disturbed to see her eyes focused on the blood. It s not like I minded her to look at my wound or anything it s just that there was something odd about the way she focused her gaze; it distracted me somewhat. A chill ran through me. Her eyes her eyes were almost fully black. There was only one thin ring of the blue iris visible between the hugely dilated pupil and the thickened circlet of black on the outside. It was so striking to look at the contrast between the iris and the blackness of the pupil was discouraging. I slapped the plaster on and just like that, Sarah s eyes went back to normal. It doesn t matter. Just forget it, something told me and I obeyed. Come on, mu auntie beckoned. We slipped out through the back door in the kitchen. So there is a garden then. It s better that way, I guess not visible from the road. It s so much more relaxing and private. I thought. And what a garden it was. The lawn was a crisp green colour and it was trimmed short as if it came from a gardener s dream; the pink flamingo sculpture was gracefully balanced on one metal leg- forever still; bushes of flowering orchids and other unknown to me, brightly coloured species of flowers were neatly planted in all the correct places- nothing looked out of place. However, what stunned me the most was not a part of the garden; although it might have seemed otherwise. It was something that only came to visit, to feed and socialise with others of it s kind. Birds. There were birds everywhere. Wow, I uttered in the end. I was positive that I was dreaming. I even involuntarily pinched myself, only to realise that the sight before my eyes did not pop like a soap bubble. Defeated, I took in the sight before me. There were birds of all sizes and hues; the colours varied from bright reds to vibrant yellows and metallic blues. I was never particularly interested in birds but now now I was spitting back that I ever called birds boring. Birds of Australia were, with no doubt, God s finest work. How could I not fall in love with the living rainbow before my eyes? Suddenly I gasped and my aunt went stiff beside me, taking my reaction in the wrong way. A pair of Rainbow Lorikeets! I exclaimed cheerfully, earning a curious glance from a heronlike bird that was feeding from a small pond. I was pointing at the loveliest birds out of the whole flock and they stared back at me with bright orange eyes that had a red tint to them. They fluttered their green wings and cocked their royal-blue heads; they pecked each other admiringly with their deeply crooked fiery beaks; their orange breasts stuck out haughtily and their smoke-gray feet clawed into the branch- two toes facing forward, two facing backward. Yes, that s right, Sarah laughed and her eyes sparkled with honest joy. She looked so pretty with the orange halo of sunrise turning her hair into molten gold.

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You like this? She asked uncertainly. As if she could be uncertain you would have to have a heart of rock to not be allured by the sight before my eyes. I gently took her hand and said: I don t like this I love this. I squeezed her hand reassuringly and she returned the pressure with the corners of her lips pulled up into a brilliant smile. You know, I thought I was dreaming at first. I added and watched my aunt radiate. A cold breeze made me shiver, it was caused by a sudden hassle between the birds. They were flapping their wings impatiently and hoping from one branch to another as if to jump ahead of time. It s time to feed them, Sarah said, feeling her cardigan pockets, oh, but I left the food on the counter. Could you go and fetch it for me please? Sure, I jogged into the kitchen and immediately spotted two buckets, as deep as the distance from my wrist to my elbow and as wide as one of my thighs. They looked pretty heavy. Edging closer I noticed that one contained a mix of seeds and nuts and the other contained, gulp, a mix of wriggling maggots and earthworms. I thanked God that the bucket with insects had a see through lid on top because I sure didn t want any to escape and crawl on to me. Even with the lid on top I handed the second bucket with uttermost care. Here, I handed the buckets to the skinny figure that was my Aunt. Her fingers were almost as thin as twigs, I noticed. She thanked me with a nod and took a fistful of seeds from the first of the buckets

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