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Room with a View

May 30, 2023 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , ,

The top floor of Brindle Hall overlooks a grove of red maples, the crowns of the trees only a few feet below the windows. Nyla smiles at the leaves in motion below her. It would be like living in a treehouse. A bit, anyway. 

“How much is the lease?” She’s sure the price is beyond her budget, but she has to ask.

The agent names a price that’s a stretch, but the trees outside the windows are calling to her.

He promises the key and the paperwork by tomorrow. She can move in the following week.

Later, sitting on the couch she’s temporarily commandeered at a friend’s house, Nyla considers the floor plan of her new place. Two tiny bedrooms, a kitchen/dining room combo, and the living room with the balcony overlooking the maples. It must do.

Sam helps her move, but not without grousing. “You have too much stuff.”

“You mean books.” She knows that’s where she overbuys and shrugs. “I can’t help myself.”

They load box after box of books onto the handcart and take the elevator up. When he departs, after a feast of carryout pizza and chocolate chip cookies she had stashed for emergencies, she sits on the floor amid the boxes, which take up much of the living room.

She reaches into one of them, lifts out a volume, and opens the cover. Through the sliding glass door to the balcony, the maple leaves rustle. 

Nodding, she checks her phone.

Almost time.

An hour slips past, as she reads several chapters. The darkness of the evening deepens beyond the windows, and Nyla switches a floor lamp on low. 

After emptying her pockets, she lays her phone on the kitchen counter and places her shoes next to the fridge. On the balcony, she gazes down to the sidewalk that runs along the front of her building, four floors down. It’s empty and quiet at this hour.

Overhead, clouds drift past a waxing crescent shining in the east. A slight breeze brings the odor of diesel fumes and—as her nose morphs into a beak—mice and a wandering housecat. She can hear the rodents skittering in the alley. She shakes out her wing feathers, russet brown and soft, and swivels her head to check herself in the window. Her ear tufts stand out against the night’s backdrop. With a brief hoot, she hops onto the balcony railing.

One push up and she’s airborne, skimming above the maples, and then over the nearby streets of the town. 

Dianna’s Books

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