Wise Music is Missing

Lauren Lee

1/2/20212 min read

Light distributes the weight of furnishings in Prince Avery’s room. The macaw shrieks, and fluffs its plume all over. Avery departs.

Breakfast is the court’s newly formed habit, and today it begins with egg pudding and currants. There is also cider. The King has already started the stewed lark sliced on bread, while the Queen refuses all except the Chinese tea they received last evening. She is full, ostensibly.

Avery collects from each platter and amasses a lively assortment of food, which he pushes down and together with his forks.

How’s your bird doing? the Queen inquires.

Their servant spins about, offering seconds, looping a periphery. Both King and Queen demur.

Avery is managing a dull and wide butter knife now. He makes slivers. Galette invites Lucanian salami under its crust. Hard bread and cake. Cygnet. Apples. Over it he pours a bowl of fuschia jelly. He responds, My macaw is quite loud.

I’ll come up later to kiss it, if that’s alright, the Queen says. She has a funny peasant propensity for animals, coming from the North. She sometimes recounts to Avery of how the King had married her against the virulent objections of his family. It is rumored that the subsequent passing of the King’s mother, Matilda, resulted from a mishandled attempt to give warning to her son.

Later Avery practices separating tulip heads from their stalks. Livia, daughter of the visiting Duke, approaches the garden. She bears a shiny nose and hair swirling in many loops. The thrumming accent causes her syllables some pain.

Guess what I have, slicker, Livia says.

Grass? he asks.

She pushes the ship of a basket into his face. Four-leaf clovers. There are even some with five, six, see, up to eight petals.

Dear, it smells exactly the same as grass.

It’s incredible luck, this bounty of your land. I’ve been collecting all day… Livia’s nostrils flare.

You’ve never seen a tropical fowl, and the Prince leads her through the gates into his chamber, where the macaw sings Kwaah, Kwaah.

Livia exclaims. Where did you get this psittacine from? and she clenches the bars.

The bird shocks around. Avery snarls, Don’t shake it like that!

Livia rotates her nostrils and a portion of her entity toward him, and accordingly he relaxes. The macaw opportunes to tidy its tri-colored feathers.

A game commences, and it is unto the tongues. Otherwise, it is up till it impells one’s demented parrot to squeal in a sort of frantic babbling at the vision. Livia trails lucky-lucky behind her as she exits. Avery dreams of various ways to get the creature to be quiet, none which would take quite long to succeed, and in the final sequence he spoons it pudding: that is that.

Lauren Lee was born in Los Angeles, and studies Literature at Brown University.