Oh, he is not a human. He is a god. His feathers rustle around her as he takes her by the shoulders—but his skin is also the skin of a snake. Cool, daggered, iridescent. When the knife is raised, she isn't afraid. She does not close her eyes. After the first plunge into her chest, she feels nothing more. Not fear. Not sadness. After the next, he reaches in, and what he pulls out is the most luminous blue-green bird she has ever seen. It is newborn, but it has always been alive, and he lets it fly from his hand into the sky. She watches it crashing into the blue, singing beautiful notes, a few of its green feathers falling from its wings, settling quietly around her.
Excerpted from Feathered by Laura Kasischke Copyright © 2008 by Laura Kasischke. Excerpted by permission.
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