Until that moment, panic had turned me to ice. But the touch of his hand on my skin was the lick of a blowtorch and I felt its heat, suddenly, shockingly. Something stirred in a place I thought had died. I felt, as if for the first time, my own breathing, sharp and hot.
Smoke curled out of his nose and drifted towards the ceiling fan like the ghosts of small birds.
The fan spun slowly, each rotation clicking softly, the only sound in a deathly silence.
He inhaled again in the darkness, silhouetted against a grey window. He thought I was still dead as he leaned over me, pressing his lips against mine and forcing the ghostly birds into my mouth. When I felt his tongue scorch the back of my throat, I bit down, hard.
As his screams broke the silence, I floated to the window, spread my wings, and flew away.
- Image: Bird Holidays