‘Bs’ by Eley Williams

A short love story.

The bird here is anonymous, a “blackbird-slash-thrush-slash-starling-slash-finch”. It sings outside, “toccatas and scherzos and bugled blurts”. Inside, a bee is trapped under a glass, “dink-d’dink-dinking its head against a transparent wall”. It is early morning, the time of half-asleep thoughts “of a euphemism of a metaphor of a ghost”.

Williams takes a single moment and spins a thread of mini-thoughts, turning words – she loves words, comparing ‘larynx’ with ‘syrinx’ (syrinx wins) – and facts – “the bones of a pigeon weigh less than its feathers” – over in her head, indulging a charming, playful flight of fancy. “The bird and the bee could set up, I think, a lovely B&B and serve their guests toast with honey and eggs.” 

Collected in Attrib. and other stories, Influx Press, 2017

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