Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Once upon a time, he told her she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever had. “Such beauty must be attended to and guarded,” he said. Amenably, she allowed him to carefully clear her name, scrub her past away, fill in the cracks in her education and polish the scratches in her façade.

    He brought her to the house he jokingly referred to as his castle, and as he locked the gate from the inside, he said: “You’ll be safe here”. Then he guided her through rows of rooms, standing at attention with doors opened wide. He pointed: ”You’ll sleep here, you’ll eat there, I'll place the piano right here, and every night you will meet me over there, in the giant bed, that is where we'll make love."

    She was a timid kind of person, quiet, introverted, while he was forceful, like a mighty river, cascading; an overflow of sentences, a downpour of words. Furious swells of arguments would wash over her, knock out every connection in her head and finally leave her in complete darkness. She would lean toward the current, her pockets loaded with loneliness, but she wouldn’t sink, she was unable to surrender without resistance. For this, he punished her severely.

    Every night, she would lie in the bed, waiting, trembling, blacked out like a deserted street enclosed by dense rage; the type of nocturnal landscape no one ought to venture into on their own, unless armed to the teeth. Which he was. Sometimes she would offer him her body as a sort of postponement, a negotiating table placed smack in the middle of a sore conversation. Other times her body resembled a battlefield, a weapon, an exclamation mark, or a shield, a quivering end to an argument – but mostly just a postponement.

    Then, one fine day, a tiny bird told her that language is power, and she realized: The same way the withdrawal of characters may alter the meaning of a word, like for instance (im)possible or identific(a)tion, the adding of language may completely alter the meaning of a person. This was a revelation to her. She finally spoke up. Her words punched a hole in the wall.

    There’s a draft in here now, and she’s gone, possibly to live happily ever after, on her own.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.