danse macabre

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The moon seemed full enough to burst, deliciously bloated like the belly of a chortling old man. Distant suns were burning like votive candles hung from rusted eye-hooks, infinitely high; while down below, the breeze rustled hair-thin grass blades, noiselessly to all but the smallest of eardrums, to whom the hum in the wind seemed gentle, like tiny violin strings plucked by tiny fairy fingertips. There was a flavor to the air that savored of magic, and since it seemed so improbable, Quinn recognized it for what it was: a fantasy full of whimsy flickering subtly as she slept.

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The bird upon her windowsill looked that way now. His neck was bent just the same, and his body looked equally ruined; and the melancholy of his death seemed all the more tragic when Quinn imagined him animated. How beautiful he must have been in flight with the starlight gleaming on his feathers, which were deep shades of indigo and violet, and not at all black, as they had seemed at first. She settled at once to bury him in the root cellar, as she would any other dear friend.

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