Behind Closed Doors
Author: Auty

Chapter 14
Shadow bird

I shiver in the freezing darkness, my back throbbing and my heart pounding. I'm scared.
He's never put me in the garden before. Whenever he's really mad at me, he would lock me in the office room or give me a few beatings. Was he going to keep me out here all night?

I go to stand up but a sharp pain shoots up my back and I collapse into a heap, my eyes stinging with tears. It's not pitch dark but dark enough to be scared. I can't see the moon, maybe it's hidden behind the house. I look around the garden, straining my eyes to see. Daddy never did anything to it when we moved. The grass has overgrown so much now it's almost like a jungle. There are no trees but lots of prickly bushes and thorns. I'm surprised Daddy didn't try to throw me in one of them. There is a very tall dark fence surrounding the garden, trapping me in like a prison. I can't see out and no-one can see in.

The one good thing about the long grass, is it's a good cushion for my stinging back. I nestle down and look up at the night sky. It's weirdly peaceful and I'm about to close my eyes when I hear a noise.
"Tweet", it goes.
I sit up and see a small shadow of a bird on the grass.
"Tweet", it goes again.
"Hello little bird", I whisper, staying still so not to scare it.
"Tweet, tweet", it replies.
"Have you come to keep me company", I ask, daring to edge closer.
"Tweet", it says and flutters over to me, practically sitting on my lap.
I still can't see it closely but I can see a patch of red on his chest so I'm guessing it's a robin redbreast. I gently reach out to touch it and it doesn't fly away but almost whimpers. My hand feels sticky and I look at my fingers. They are red. It's blood.
"Are you hurt little bird?" I ask, wiping my hand on my joggers before holding out my hand. It jumps on and I give it a little stroke on it's head.
"Shh", I say to it and gently lay it down next to me on the grass.
It doesn't say anything to me but just being there beside me I know is a sign. We are both hurt but can keep each other company for a while.


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