Black iron, black feather

by Pat J
originally published at 02:39PM on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

She played a song for me that broke me inside, a song that tortured me; one that, wordless, told me that the woman I had spurned had married a taller, darker, handsomer man than I, and that I would never be as happy again as I was with her.

It shattered me, and I stood there, gasping, choking on unwept tears for what seemed an eternity. I thought of my abandoned love’s dark hair, her lips, her green eyes—

Behind me, someone cleared his throat, smashing through my reverie. I dug in my pocket, pulled out my grandfather’s Chinese coin, black iron with a square hole cut through its center, and dropped it into the mandolin case, on top of a freshly-plucked black crow’s feather, sheened with oil.


A year later she was playing the mandolin again. She had the feather in her hair, and, as I neared her, I saw the iron coin on a leather thong, just at the top of her demure hint of cleavage.

I squeezed my girlfriend’s hand, and whispered to the mandolin player, “You were wrong.”

She nodded, smiled, and played on.




  • from THX 0477:

    Part songstress, part fortune teller, part motivational speaker, Very nice job taking the set-up from Spiro, Spero and taking it somewhere.

  • from Spiro, Spero:

    Aw, so sweet.
    Thanks so much for writing a sequel, I love it! You really understood my character, and I love the one you made.