Tom Blesset cradled the body of a dead bird in his hand and stroked the feathers with his thumb. It was a thrush, though why it had died he didn't know, for there were no wounds on its mottled plumage.
He carried it over to his special place, the only part of the paved back yard that couldn't be seen from the windows of the kitchen or back bedroom, tucked between the outside toiled and the compost bin. It was an altar of sorts, made from a slab of marble that was once the hearth of a gas fire he'd taken out five years ago and never replaced. At the back of it was an old mirror, angled slightly so that it reflected both the sky and the two pots of flowers on either side.
It was a naïve offering to someone he only hoped existed; a crude altar to fantastical beings that he'd only read about in books.
Tom placed the frozen thrush upon the chipped surface of the altar and studied the bird's curvature in the mirrors, the way its feet mimicked the shape of the flowers. Only his friend Janey knew of Tom's bizarre faith. He began the ritual:
"O unto you honest publishers, trustworthy agents, and kind editors. It is I alone who still believe in you. Answer my--"
No. Enough. Tom broke off and considered what he was doing. It was time to admit the truth and grow up. There were no such beings.
Opening: Rachel Green.....Continuation: Pacatrue