Saturday 6 June 2020

Debut Fiction: 'Pilot Episode' by J.E. Yeadon

Rain often cleaned my windows, something I did not think of.

In the morning I noticed that a birds’ nest had been constructed outside my window. It hid amongst the vines that clung to my home; in summer these wandering tendrils tended to creep in through open windows. A grey pigeon lived in the nest and I presumed it had built it too. Its eyes were black and empty, two beady screens switched off.

That night, I drew myself to the nest again. Three small chicks lay in the twigs and dirt. They were alive and blind and alone. I slept and dreamt of a pigeon sitcom, their plotlines projected across my dreams. The triplets going on a school trip, their resourceful mother rescuing them at the last Hollywood moment. Credits roll and I’m thinking about Season Two. Their arches and cliffhangers. Their finales and Christmas specials. The squirrel side character! When I awoke in the morning the chicks were dead and wet. Rain’s wet tongue had cleaned them thoroughly for in the mother’s absence it had become a surrogate.

As the weeks passed and spring woke into summer, flies laid eggs within their corpses. They fed and bred and lived within the under-budget rot. A white wave of maggot wriggling along disappointing skin. I closed my curtains. I didn’t open them again until summer arrived, taking winter and its failed franchise with it.'

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