Will I ever fly out of this cage...”
Sofi gently touched her belly as if there was still a child in her womb, but in reality, her belly was flat like a pancake, with no signs of life. Last night the strong wind blew, Sofi’s belly ached, with blood soon covering her legs. She struggled to stand up, but her lower body was in too much pain to support movement. She screamed for help, but then fainted from exhaustion.
When she came around, Sofi found herself in bed. An old rural woman came in and helplessly said:
“Sorry for your loss, Sofi.”
“Where’s my baby?” Sofi weakly asked. Without answering her question, the old woman left a basin of water near the bed and left the room.
Once the old woman left, Sofi sobbed. She thought of her parents, husband and friends...一They all left her, only because she was forcefully impregnated by a drunkard. Since then, all she had was the baby in her belly. It was a peaceful noon and it seemed like time froze. As she gazed at the birdcage, a “thump” interrupted the peace. The bird, which stood on the bar, suddenly fell down as stiff as a board. The birdcage suddenly began flickering while a woman’s dull voice murmured folk rhymes. Feeling extremely exhausted, Sofi almost fainted. She pressed her hands on her cold belly, bitterly mourning her loss …
Since Sofi lost her baby, the old woman next door sympathized with her a lot. She asked the neighborhood to entrust their kids with Sofi while they were at work.
“Sofi, please take care of Kame. Kame, stay here with Sofi.” The woman patted the boy’s head, put on a bamboo hat and left. Kame raised his eyes to glance at Sofi; Sofi looked back at him with a smile and said: “Kame, feed the birdy for me, will you?” Kame nodded while walked towards the birdcage.
Kame approached the birdcage. Surprisingly, there was nothing inside, but Kame was shy, so he said nothing.
“Kame, peel the beans for me, will you?” Sofi asked softly.
Before Kame could respond, Sofi's hands had already rested on his shoulders. All of a sudden, a chill ran down his spine, Kame began to feel very uneasy.
Sofi looked down at the ground silently. Her face was ghastly pale. Kame turned to her, trembling and said: “So...Sofi, I want to go home.” Sofi immediately replied: “What’s wrong? Your mom is still working. Have some candy, okay?” Kame was so nervous that he rushed to the toilet without replying. Upon closing the door, he heard Sofi murmured outside: “My son would have been like him...”
Sweat beads appeared on Kame’s forehead. He decided to open the door and run away. The door was open, but Sofi, holding the empty birdcage, stood in the way. She angrily glared at Kame and said: “The bird is gone! Got any idea where it went?” Kame cried out in terror and pushed Sofi away as he escaped from under her arms. The sun shone high in the sky, but Kame paid no attention to the heat and continuously ran down the country path until he reached his home. He was still trembling, so he grabbed a quilt and covered himself at once.
Covered with quilt, Kame curled into a ball and kept crying. After a long time, his mom came home from work. She held him tightly in her arms until he calmed down.
At midnight, everyone was sound asleep, only Kame, who still couldn't wipe Sofi's terrifying eyes from his mind, was still awake. All of a sudden, the door slowly opened. The frightened Kame noticed the sound and cautiously poked out his head. Everything was engulfed in darkness and there was no signs of life. Driven by curiosity, Kame took off the quilt and carefully approached the door, only to find moonlight shine through the door's gap. Kame was confused, when suddenly, footsteps approached him from behind. He turned around. Amid the darkness, a pale face stood out. The face came closer and closer, with a flickering birdcage in one hand…
“I found the bird.”
The birdcage kept flickering for a while before it dimmed down. Sofi and Kame also disappaered...