Shift Control Escape

Transcript of The Sixth Swan Brother – listen on SoundCloud or watch on YouTube

Of all the freak show shades, the wolf lady was the only one with whom I felt kinship. Neither this nor that, a skin-shifting accident stuck in transformation.

After I left the treacherous court I joined the carnival, and she was like a sister to me. I know hard that can be: perpetual sacrifice and desperate belief, living only in hope that hope will not be unkind.

Hope spat on my wolf lady sister just as it let down Sydnee, my flesh sister, years before – not giving her time to finish the starwort shirt that would break the spell and restore my humanity.

When the wolf lady could no longer embrace what she was, I wept for a while. The temptation to follow her was strong, but I am made of sterner stuff.

I do not dream or live as others do.

My blade is sharp and the world will be cut to the bone as I settle into my shape at last.

On the grave of my wolf lady sister, I too will sacrifice. My five brothers are bound and gagged. And Sydnee, my seamstress sister, I am shedding a special tear for your pure blood. Your love.

One by one, brothers lie still as I separate them from life. Their bodies make a platform, down which run red rivulets – my bloodline cleansed, an offering to the ancestors.

I feel the plumage on my arm tremble in moon beams. Human thoughts slip from me like dew from down.

Swan feathers consume me.