Jen Air: Asterion – Magpies & Poems

Today, just a short extract from the sequel I’m working on (as before, early draft so some of it will change):
As they returned to the lighthouse – opening the gate attached to a stone wall that enclosed the lighthouse, cottage and garage – they were greeted by the caws of the solitary magpie that lived above where the vehicles were parked.

“Should get rid of that bird,” Kaya muttered.

Jen looked at her, confused and also saddened; Kaya didn’t seem to like any of her friends.  “Why?” She asked.  “What harm is it doing?”

“Er, it’s a Magpie?  It’s like a universal omen of bad luck.”

“Not universal,” the blonde corrected.  “In Korea, for example, Magpies are thought to bring great fortune.”

“Really?” The punk quipped sarcastically.  “That must be why they’re such a happy, prosperous and united nation.”

Jennifer chose to ignore her, continuing on to the lighthouse proper.  “In the Chinese story of The Weaver and The Cowherd,” she said, Hull activating as she stepped inside, surrounding them with the hum of fans and soft artificial light from the lamps and monitors which covered the walls.  “Two lovers are banished to opposite sides of a river, forbidden ever to see each other. But, once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, a flock of magpies forms a bridge so that they can be together.”

Tenley folded her arms, snorting as she tilted her nose up.  “Well that’s stupid.  When do you ever see more than a few magpies work together to help each other, yet alone people. Even if they did, I doubt they’d make a good bridge.  They’d have to stop flapping their wings, so how would it stay in the air?”

Jenny smiled, gently and patiently, picking up an oblong bit of plastic and pressing buttons until the walls were plastered by images of the sky at night peppered by all the distant little points of light bathed in red and blue hues.  She then focused in on one part of the sky in particular.  “You see, the lovers are stars – the ones we call Vega and Altair.  And the river is the Milky Way flowing between them.”

“Even dumber,” Ten insisted.  “You bring stars together and they’ll just explode, or something.”

“W-well, I…”

“Don’t waste your time, Jen,” Kaya rolled her eyes.  “She doesn’t understand poetry.  She thought American Pie was a song about a man going on a diet.”

Ten looked at her while puffing her cheeks.  “Shut your face, or you’ll launch into space,” she twinked and grinned. “See?  I can do poems.”

“Anyhow,” Jen intervened, deciding she better put a stop to the argument before it got out of hand, or there was any more poetry.  “We better check on a few things.”


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