The San Francisco Examiner called David Daniel’s White Rabbit “one of the most atmospheric novels about the Sixties.” He has published ten additional novels and over 300 short stories. Recent work has appeared in 101 Words, Sleet, Crack the Spine, Flash Fiction Press, Deadly Writers Patrol, and Zombie Logic. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. A collection of flash pieces, Inflections & Innuendos, will appear this summer. You can find more of his work at thestoryside.com
Like Birds at Dawn on Trance-Colored Wings
For years I’ve been trapping them, quick upon waking to snatch them in nets of ink and put them into the cages of notebooks, whose bars are lines, whose locks are marbled cardboard covers.
It isn’t easy. They have all the advantages, these night things. They scurry and scuttle and scatter. Most get away. Gone the golden inspirations, the mystic muse whispers, the echoing nevermores. Still, over the years, I’ve caught some.
But no longer.
I’ve grown sluggish and stiff; maybe just old. Or they’ve gotten too quick. All of these, I fear.
What I’m going to do, I think . . . tonight, before I go to bed:
I’ll open all of the notebooks, stacks of them, years, and spread them across my desk and on the table, some on the dresser, others on the floor.
Then I’ll sleep.
Some of what lives there in the notebooks will no doubt stay, held too long, used-up, afraid of freedom . . . but not everything. And at just-dawn, in that tranquility of not-quite-waking, perhaps I’ll hear the soft flutters as all those pent-up dreams begin to fly away, like birds on trance-colored wings.