1994 Dave Awl

winter story.

[Diana and Stephanie are seated in chairs. Behind them there is a tall floor lamp with a blue bulb in it. Dave stands behind and a little to the side of the lamp. Blackout at the top. Dave turns on the lamp and all three are illuminated in the eerie blue glow.]

Dave: It's cold now. It's getting colder every day.

Diana: Don't believe him.

Dave: It's winter now.

Diana: Don't believe anything he says.

Dave: Soon we'll all go to sleep under a blanket of ice. Our breath will freeze and our bodies will turn numb and the snow will come to erase the last memories of summer.

Stephanie: Tell me a sad story.

Dave: Okay.

Diana: Don't listen.

Dave: Once there was a little boy--

Diana: Don't believe it.

Dave: --who was afraid of the dark. Every night at bedtime his parents turned out the light, and every night a nameless terror crawled into bed beside him and did its best to consume him. But there was a streetlight outside the little boy's window and it sent a small patch of light into the boy's room and he would stare at that patch of light until the nameless terror went away. It couldn't overcome the light, you see. The light had power over it.

Diana: This isn't true.

Stephanie: Keep telling it.

Dave: Eventually the boy decided that he needed to defeat his fear once and for all, so one night he stole a string of lights from the Christmas tree and took them to bed with him. When the nameless terror crawled into bed beside him, he plugged in the lights and imprisoned the thing in a beautiful sparkling cage of many-colored light.

Diana: It isn't true. It's the opposite of the truth. Everything he says, it happened just the other way around.

Stephanie: I know how it ends. I'll tell it now.

Dave: Okay.

Stephanie: The boy looked at the thing that was trapped in the cage of light and it was another little boy that looked just like him. It had his face and it called out to him in his voice. This made the boy angry and frightened.

Dave: And what did he do?

Stephanie: He opened the window and broke off an icicle and he stabbed the other little boy in the chest. And in the morning when his parents came to wake him up, all they found was a small black bird with blood on its beak.

Dave: And what else?

Stephanie: And a string of Christmas tree lights.

Dave: And what did they do?

Stephanie: They opened the window and let the bird fly away.

Diana: They were idiots. They should have killed it.

Stephanie: That's stupid. If they'd tried, it would have killed THEM.

Dave: [Gently, to Diana] Next time you can tell the story.

Diana: There are no stories. There are no black birds.

Stephanie: There are no Christmas tree lights.

Dave: But there's always winter...isn't there? [he turns out the light.]


Back to The Parakeet of Parakeets (Dave Awl's page)