I don't know anything. I'm so afraid to hear the blackbird sing.They say the beautiful song of the blackbird makes it a symbol of temptations. For the most part, I have been a fairly responsible adult during the course of my life. I live in control and in restraint; I have no weakness.
When I approach the enormous tree with the bare and scraggly branches, I see it is full of blackbirds. I should think something is not right. But with a sensible head resting atop my shoulders, omens never affected me. I could shatter a thousand mirrors and still live in good health and in good luck.
My phone shrills in my pocket. I do not want to pick it up. Instead, I gaze at the still blackbirds, with their graceful feathers and beady eyes. Nothing is wrong. Just a tree full of silly birds. I see them all the time.
My mistake is not picking up the phone. I am too busy watching the birds; they tweet one sweet note, then two, and I am enraptured.
Next, I am dead. Well, not quite. I am on the floor, I am not breathing. Blood surrounds my crumpled body, and glass has provoked my flesh. My eyes are open, but I cannot move. I hear screams, and I hear honking horns. A car, a car. I have been hit by a car.
I am taken to a doctor. "Hello? Hello, hello?" he says over and over again. "HELLO!" I want to scream, but I cannot. Five minutes later of poking and prodding, the doctor says, "Dead."
I am dead? Surely not. I can see. I can hear. I cannot feel, but that is because my body numbs with scars and cold and pain.
My mother cries. My father cries. My brother, and my sister -- dear sister! They all cry.
"I AM NOT DEAD!" I want to shout. But you know: I cannot.
"No pulse," the doctor says.
"I am so sorry for your loss."
"NO NO NO NO NO NO." I bellow. No one hears me, though.
I cry. And I cry and I cry. No tears flow.
"Death be not proud..." A eulogy? For whom?
"...too young, too soon..." Oh. For me.
"...forever loved and missed..."
"...sleep well, dream well."
With a sudden panic, I realize I am laying in a coffin. It is dark and smells of pine.
Hands grasp it. I am raised, then lowered.
I hear shovels. NO NO NO.
I wriggle and squirm and topple over. Ha.
The coffin remains unmoved. Goddammit.
From above, my mother weeps. She shrieks.
"My baby, my baby!"
"Sh, darling," my father hushes.
The rest of her sobs are muffled. Farewell, dear mother.
I cannot see him, but my father, I can tell, is not crying, yet he is more desolate than anyone else. My father, a man of praise and affection, breaks down. I am his first lost child. I am so sorry, dear father.
Then, just one sound. A lovely, melodious tune. The one and only: the song of the blackbird.
I am not of superstitions, but as I say these words, know they are true: 'tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall. Do not hold your head so high that even the song of the blackbird can end you. Only the weakest fall to the comely, tempestuous blackbird. I am among the weakest, and now, have been buried alive. Please remain cautious. I wish you nothing but luck in life. Go fix a broken mirror for me. Live well and be merry.