The halo told me I was on the edge, and this wasn’t a simple hangover from Benny’s Halloween party. The alarm clock, the ceiling light, even my bedroom door, all were bathed in a fantastical nimbus. Awe always filled me at this stage, as if I stood on the edge of revelation. Awe, and also terror, because for sure, I stood at the edge of pain.
While I watched, the birds squawked and minced on the ledge. A few took off and then circled back. Bathed in my migraine nimbus, they looked as if they were bursting with light–like the Holy Spirit church doves on a pillar candle at the Dollar Store. Each flap of their wings leaving behind a strobing afterimage. Beautiful.
On the way back through my room, I stooped to grab the Dracula cape. Maybe there was something special about the color or the satin. Maybe it calmed them or drew the birds like a matador’s cape does the bull.
I opened the window, prepared to see an empty ledge, where I’d crumbled the cake. My dove was still lying there, still glowing, still beautiful, as calm and perfect as the dove I could picture in my Sunday-School Bible. The Holy Spirit dove, descending on Jesus at his baptism.When I’d said “no party,” his smile had disappeared. Like magic. But as I asked about his work, and said the word “love,” his smile reappeared.
Jill Malleck’s home is in southwestern Ontario, landlocked so she escapes to Lake Huron in the summer. Most of her life has been spent reading and speaking others’ words. Her writing was confined to business projects, family correspondence and blogging about leadership. Today she’s telling stories.
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