What's Love Like? {Black Bird Excerpt}

by - November 13, 2015

black bird by alanna rusnak promo photo
~ unedited Black Bird excerpt from today's toils ~

“What’s love like, Momma?” Peri asked. They were sitting on the sofa beneath an 8x10 of her father who was wearing the same uniform he died in. Rain fell on the deck outside, healthy drops of spring that set a comforting soundtrack to their lazy afternoon.

“Why are you asking, love?”

Peri shrugged and dug herself deeper into a corner of the couch while her mother took another sip from her wine glass. “I just wonder.”

“It’s a little like the rain, darling," her mother said, sighing. "You have it for a while and it's kind of pretty even when it’s cold but then it dribbles down the window and disappears into a crack and you’re left just a little bit emptier than when you started.”

Peri chewed her lip and frowned. “What does it feel like?” she asked.

“Like the worst thing about you isn’t as ugly as you’re worried it might be.”

Peri nodded and smiled softly. “Like the world spins slower and faster all at once?”


“Like anything is worth just one minute of it?”

“Are you in love, Peri?”

“I’m just wondering, Momma, that’s all.”

“Being in love is a rather grownup thing to do. Make sure your heart is pure, darling. It’s much too easy to confuse love with lust and you’re much too precious to even flirt with the idea of such things. Protect your light, Peri. Always."

“Was your first kiss with Daddy?” Peri asked, glancing up at her father on the wall.

Her mother smiled sadly and gripped her locket in the hand opposite her glass. “The first one that mattered.”

“Did it make you weak?”

She laughed gently. “It destroyed me.”

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© Alanna Rusnak