The Phoenix and the Owl

The phoenix huffs. He turns this way and that, glaring at the mirror. “I am not beautiful” he says.

The owl sighs. “You are beautiful, very beautiful. Look at your shining feathers and long lashes.”

“My feathers are dull. Why must these colours be these colours? What are these sinews and tendons? Why must they bulge so large?”

“But that is your strength! Your wings beat with power! You can soar above all others; they lie jealously in your wake! How do you not see what they see? What I see?” The owl looks mournfully at her phoenix, he is so beautiful and yet so sad. “You are strong and you are beautiful.”

“I only see that I am strong. Strong is good, strong is desirable, but why must strong be me?”

The phoenix longs for his fire. It is so far away.

“Maybe next time I will be beautiful. But must I wait?”

The owl sleeps. She hunts. She watches from afar with pleading, accusing eyes.

The phoenix stops flying. His wings, once so glorious, wither and fold. He is no longer strong but he is still sad.

“I am not beautiful.”

The owl contemplates. It is not a death, but it will be the same. The night is all she will have to protect her.

The owl lights the tinder, they stare into the flame. She walks away. She will not watch, but will not leave on wings either.

****

The phoenix rises from the ashes. She is beautiful.



By Danielle Jones

Something exciting

So I just wrote and sent my first ever submission to a literary magazine.

I literally wrote, edited and sent it in half an hour.

This is obviously not how I intend to operate with future submissions. It just happened that way. I finally picked up the recent issue of the magazine I bought and the theme lent exceptionally well to a recent event in my life. I was a little frustrated I had missed it but then realised that the theme for the next  issue is even more apt. The submissions had to be in by tomorrow.

I sat down to write and really spilled some emotion onto the page, yet fairly succinctly. It probably needed more editing. In fact it almost certainly did. But I discovered the opportunity too late for that and truthfully, the raw emotion of the event meant that tonight was probably the first night I could have wrote it properly anyway.

I honestly think I will even be happy with just a rejection email. Because even just a rejection email will be the first of many emails from literary magazines, both bad and good. It will spur me on to try harder, again and again.

I think I made a pretty big leap tonight! 🙂