The Seven Five Nothing

The Seven Five Nothing are a collection of hyper-short stories, each written in a single sitting with no editting.

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7. The Writer and the Bluebird.

And the bluebird sat at the window, chirruping a song. It was a moment of serenity, a moment of calm. The house was a mess. Smashed and broken and the heart ripped out of any space you would have ever called a home.

The bluebird's song was enough to gently stir him, as he lay wrecked, asleep in the chair. As it tenderly balanced on broken glass, looking in, the bluebird cocked it's head a touch, watching this man lean forward, waking, making sense of the damage he had done.

They looked at each other for a moment, and then, in a beat, the bluebird flew away.

He wrote into the night, bleeding into the morning, falling asleep at his typewriter, looking as though his heart had stopped mid-sentence. And though it hadn't, in a metaphysical sense, it surely had. How could a man write when his whole life had blistered around him, he thought. Of course, this was also the fuel, and his pen, his typewriter, the funnel through which to pour it all out. But it kept coming until his fingers no longer worked with eloquence, and now instead, all he could write was bitter and vitriolic.

And then, the bluebird sat at the window again, singing to rouse him from stupor. 'What is it with you?' he asked, angry at being woken again. 'I have no bread, no water to share.' But the bluebird stayed and sang a little longer, before eventually he flew away again.

And so it continued, for another five days - seven in all - that the bluebird came and sang to him, waking him each day, reminding him to open his eyes. And on the seventh morning, the writer was ready.

'Hold on.' He got up and fetched some bread and some water. 'I was ready for you today.' He placed the little dish by the window and the bluebird hopped down, drinking the water. The writer placed the bread in small pieces and watched the bluebird straggle them down.

That day, he wrote differently. Not by much, but enough, as though his words were now in a chrysalis, bound in silk and shaping themselves into something better. And when he finished many hours later, he lay in his bed, no drink to help him sleep, no cigarettes to ease the tension of anticipated bad dreams.

When the bluebird woke him the next morning, to the writer's surprise, he was sat at the foot of the bed, singing as usual. 'Oh,' exclaimed the writer, 'so your courage has grown? I like that.' And he got up, giving the bluebird some more water and bread. Only this time, he didn't leave immediately, instead, settling on the typewriter, as if encouraging the words.

Together, they sat, working from a blank piece of paper, turning out word after word, page, after page. And when the sun was starting to set, the bluebird flew across to the broken window, setting down on the glass for just a moment. 'Okay Mr Bluebird, I see you have to go home.' And with that, the bluebird took off.

The writer woke each day, the bluebird there to visit. And they soon had a habit, water and bread, shared between two, a song sang and more story written, each day becoming further from the past.

Eventually, the writer punched the last of his keys, spelling 'The End.' He took a moment's pause, then gently stroked the bluebird on it's head. 'Thank you, friend.' And the bluebird hopped onto his finger, chirruping a little more.

They sat by the window, eating the last of the loaf, watching birds fly by as the sun started to fall behind the trees.

'Why do you come here every day?' the writer asked, just one more question he knew could never really be answered. 'They fly high. Do you ever do that too?' The bluebird ate his bread. 'I bet you do.'

And when the bread was finished, the writer walked to his stack of pages, shuffling them one last time. 'She'll probably never read this. You think that matters Mr Bluebird?' And with that, he bound it in brown paper, writing his return address on the back. It was ready to be sent, but also ready to be returned.

The bluebird hopped to the broken glass. 'You're leaving?' And the bird cocked his little head just a touch. 'Okay. Thank you again Mr Bluebird.'

And the bluebird flew away, quickly joining the seam of other birds, becoming shadows in the dusking sky.
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