Earliest Bird

Around 5 am this morning I tore myself away (note: not really because it’s all that fantastic, more because I’m trying to finish it) from The Ground Beneath Her Feet to go to the toilet. So I was in there, at 5 am, and I heard birdsong outside the window. I wanted to draw back the curtains and look out, but there was this sudden irrational fear that that was exactly the thing not to do. Sort of like how hearing children’s laughter in horror movies while walking in creepy houses late at night is never a good thing. My overactive imagination conjured up images of me opening the curtains to see a face pressed against the glass, eyeballing me. A small tape player, on the eaves outside, trilling birdsong. Wedged securely, so that it doesn’t fall as I am dragged through the window and gorily killed.

I skittered back to my room.

Back in there, and with the sense of security you get from being in your own space rather than a toilet, I looked out of my window, still hearing birdsong. I didn’t see anyone, or anything. Snuggled back into bed with Salman, Ormus and Vina, laughing at myself for getting spooked out so easily. When I finally turned out the lights, put on some Nick Drake, and tried to fall asleep, I could still hear that bird, keeping its solitary vigil, singing to a dawn that hadn’t come yet.