Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining (Short Story)
by Charlotte Haunton, Roseville College - Australia
Dan woke to the sound of birds singing. His lips curved into a smile as he sprang out of bed and thrust the curtains open. As always, Bootpolish was waiting for him. Bootpolish was a tiny little bird who had visited Dan every morning, come rain, snow, or shine from when Dan was a baby. The little bird would perch onto Dan’s window, never missing a single day and sing his song. The more you listened to it, just like smells get stuck up your nose, the song’s beautiful rhythm got stuck in your ears. Bootpolish was special indeed.
BEEP-BEEP! Dan was woken by the alarm clock. He frowned; normally he could rely on Bootpolish to wake him up. Was he alright? Full of concern for the bird, Dan ripped the bed sheets off the bed and tore to the window. Panting, he finally got his hands to draw the curtains back and saw Bootpolish lying by the pool deckchair, broken and bleeding. His wing was held at a funny angle. Dan rushed out of his room, flew down the stairs and out the door, raced to the pool area, without thinking dived into the freezing water, climbed out the other end and gently lifted up the little bird, which slowly turned his head and feebly chirped.
Dan had forgotten all about school. All he cared about was Bootpolish. He rested the bird and bought birdseed for him to eat and treated him as he would have treated a sick baby. Dan soothed him and crooned over him and when Bootpolish began to tweet again, Dan felt as though his baby had spoken his first word, and as time went by, eventually, the bird got better. On that day, Dan brought the rusted bird cage outside and set him free.
It was a month later when Dan next saw Bootpolish. Up until then Dan had mourned every day for his friendship. Then one morning, as Dan was putting his pyjamas under his pillow, he saw a black feather underneath. Quickly, Dan looked up and saw the black bird singing in a tree. He chirped his song for the last time and fluttered up into the sky.
SIX MONTHS LATER…….
Dan woke up, his pillow tear-drenched, for he still missed his little friend. But wait…. something was wrong! His alarm clock hadn’t gone off! Trying not to let his hopes get too high, Dan carefully drew back the curtains. Bootpolish? No just a little yellow bird singing his heart out. Then he flew off. The next day, he was there again and the next and the next. Every day after that, the little bird would visit Dan. Finally, Dan felt that he could let go of his grief for Bootpolish and he named the bird. They were now official partners. Do you know what Dan named the bird? He named him ‘Silver-Lining’.