The Passing Birds
By Paige, Stage 5
Art Write Light 2021 is a creative writing project curated by Story Factory, in collaboration with visual artist Blak Douglas. During the program, students from Bonnyrigg High School and St Clair High School were introduced to the work of Blak Douglas, and created written and audio pieces responding to his artwork. The audio you’re about to listen to features a young writer from the program reading an extract from their work.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OF THE STORY
The Passing Birds
The bird’s claws scraped on the bricks they flew past, pushing wind through their wings. He took another step forward, pulling me to him forcefully.
Look at them! All inside their own heads. Vulnerable and critical creatures. The Sun highlights human’s race. They are all dressed in suits and skirts that they use to hide their thoughts and their features. Some glued to their phones updating their status which reads as a complete lie. No one looked up from the pavement and when they did they never made eye contact with each other. I stood still observing their every move yet it never changed. They were stuck in the same routine. The man who got his daily coffee or the woman who gets the same taxi on repeat every day. I am planted in my spot. My light dead, my body painted black, hanging high above the busy roads. Just another day as a lamp post.
I resent the Sun. It crackles and shines. It forces them to hide their true form, afraid of each other’s glares of judgement. I long for the night. The darkness which grows and creates a place where anyone can be who they want, hidden from everyone’s thoughts. When the busy street comes to a halt, the stillness creeps in and fills each corner. Only thing that shines is my light. The only thing that breaks the silence is those who feel at ease with the dark. Those who want to be themselves without the Sun shining and showcasing everyone’s judgement. But for now I wait. I am still. I am stuck. Another day anticipating when night will begin and to be able to observe humans at their finest.
My light started to flicker which symbolises nightfall spreading through the streets. The silent road filled with shadows that sneak around, creating a safe atmosphere. This is where everyone becomes their most true form. This is where they are hidden by the darkness. I stood still once more, my light hardly shining and struggling to break through the black. The Sun was gone completely and the sky now has sparks spread around it. The wind pushed through taking the judgement, rumours and lies with him.
In the distance two lonely figures form. They stood still for a second staring right at each other. Their eyes never wandered or strayed, they were stuck. Not a word leaped out. The silence was unbreakable, yet their actions spoke much more than the tongue could. Then the tension broke with one action. One of the figures’ hands reached out as it was yelling to be held. The other figures didn’t take a moment to think. With all their trust, they gripped the lonely hand. The figures now began to walk straight to me. The love radiated off them. They were their truest form. A sound radiated off them. They were their truest form. A sound rang through the street and the two threw their hands to their side, embarrassment painted their faces, they were scared someone was there watching, waiting to judge. These two figures were a forbidden love. A love which others detested and prayed against. The figures could never meet during the sunkissed day yet when night fell they could feel each other’s love hidden like a treasure. They held each other close, feeling each heart beat deeper and deeper. They stayed until the Sun raged and stomped down on them. Then once again society fell into the normal routine. The figures were now a bunch of features, an outlined face drawing apart.
They were forced into everyone’s standards, like every other human who has something to hide. They scramble apart, afraid another will witness the hated actions. A tear fell off one of them, yet I couldn’t make out whether it was anger or sadness. They had a final moment before leaving in separate directions. Why couldn’t there be a happy ending? Why should we hide ‘cause of others’ opinions? Yet what can I do. A simple lamp post stuck on one busy road. My light flickers off and the Sun rises up.
Much is Rife, Blak Douglas, 2021
Art Write Light is generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation.