The Blue Jay’s Feather by Gabriela Marie Milton #short story #literature

Image: Gabriela Marie Milton, 2022, Interior of Capela dos Ossos, Évora

Autumn. The day after Helen left for Madeira. The city’s noises vanish in a moribund sun. A paraffin lamp burns on a glass table. The light trickles on the walls like water. There is something familiar about this room. Vague scents of dried flowers. Tear-like motifs on the walls.

I hear footsteps.
I shudder.

Miguel, let’s get out of here.

He put his hand over my month.

Laughter comes from upstairs. It’s Jacques’ laughter. His and the laughter of a woman. She is not Helen. It can’t be her. Helen left yesterday. What am I thinking? The laughter can’t be Jacques’ either. He is dead. Jacques is dead.

The smell of the dried flowers Helen put on his coffin on the day of his funeral invades my nostrils.

I pull away from Miguel’s arms, my soul dark, the tightness in my throat stronger. In a mirror I replace my image with that of my mother. My voice is not mine anymore.

Miguel, with you or without you, I am getting out of here. Where is the door?

He bites his upper lip.

Anastasia, I know you are surprised.

I am enraged.

Surprised? Who? Me? If Winston Churchill would walk in this room right now, wearing Josephine Baker’s famous top hat instead of his, and Bottega Veneta stiletto sandals I would not blink an eye. From now on until the end of my days I swear nothing is going to surprise me anymore.

The light from his eyes vanishes.

Anastasia, how many times have you asked me for the truth?

I shout.

Oh, the truth. Stories masquerading reality: the plot, the characters, the setting, the conflict, the theme. Spare me the banalities. I do not need your truth anymore. I want to get out of here. There are dead people in here, or ghosts, or whatever. I want out.

Anastasia…. Listen…

The geometry of the space changes. Through a little square cut from nothingness, I see a lonely blue jay feather floating in the sky.

Paraffin and dried flowers.

Was Jacques dead?

*draft – modified version of The Blue Jay’s Feather, a piece published in my #1 Amazon Bestselling Book: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow I: Love Poems and Poetic Prose.


  • I wrote in a previous post that I was going to launch a new project in mid-October. Thank you to all my followers who expressed interest. The launching may come a bit later due to circumstances that are out of my control. Please be patient. Much love to all of you.

  • I am deeply grateful to everyone who reads and supports my work. Your likes, comments and shares brighten my days. Thank you to those of you who brought to my attention that my posts are getting reproduced on some WP sites on their entirety without my permission and without any links to my original work. To the very few of my followers who do that a gentle reminder for now: unauthorized use and/or duplication of my posts without express and written permission from me is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.

Gabriela Marie Milton
Pushcart Prize Nominee
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.), Experiments in Fiction, 2022.
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Vita Brevis Press, 2021.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, Vita Brevis Press, 2020.

87 thoughts on “The Blue Jay’s Feather by Gabriela Marie Milton #short story #literature

      1. Thank you for asking Tim. We are fine. It’s just that I have so much to do these days. I hope you guys are ok. Hugs from me and lots of treats from Maya and Mr. Churchill.

      2. The say “No rest for the wicked!” It seems there is no rest for the beautiful and good, either.

      3. Haha. Thank you Tim. I really don’t know what’s up. Too busy and everything needs to be done twice. It must be that Mercury retrograde 🙂

    1. Thank you so much my dearest Dawn. I am really glad you like the piece. Sending love. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you so much Michael. I am grateful for your wonderful comment. Have a great weekend too.

  1. I love this story and spell bounding imagery that is truly delightful. .. Good questions posed.. dead or alive. I know all about pushing things out till a later date which keeps things even more intriguing. It will all come in good time.
    Loved this truly G! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you so much my dearest Cindy. I know you are really busy. I am deeply grateful you found time to read my story.

      “It will all come in good time.” Haha. You are so sweet. I promise you it will not 🙂

      Take good care and enjoy your weekend. Love you.

  2. This is just wonderful, Gabriela..I think one of your great talents, within your excellent poetic prose, is your surprising dialog!! Just a few lines, even a few well chosen words and we are left wondering, after reading this scene…who is really dead and who is alive? I love that!! The Bluejay feather for me is very significant…it reminds me, that jays stay…while geese gather and leave..who has left…and who is left alive in this well-written delirium?

    1. Good morning my dearest Karima, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful comment. I am really glad you liked the piece, especially the dialog. Coming from you it means a lot to me. Then it’s your excellent understanding of the piece. You really made me happy this morning.
      Sending love and wishing you a glorious weekend.

    1. I am so gla you love the piece hon. Thank you.

      “it’s shameful your posts are being pirated.” Yes, it is, thank you. I hope I can solve it.
      Love and hugs are coming your way.

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart dearest Jeff. You are really wonderful. I will be ready with a novel, and yes, I hope you will read it.
      Have a beautiful weekend my friend and thank you again.

      1. Oh, Jeff, it’s not forthcoming, I wish 🙂 I just hope I will finish one day.

    1. My Dearest Benjamin. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful comment. I am humbled by every word you wrote and really glad you liked the piece.

      Have a beautiful weekend. Sending lots of love your way.

  3. Beautifully poetic prose, Gabriela. As always. And so sorry to hear that your work is showing up on other sites without attribution or permission. 🙁
    Have a lovely weekend, my friend. Hugs <3

    1. Good morning and thank you so much for reading and for your kind words Diana. You know how much they mean to me.
      Sending hugs and wishing you a lovely weekend too.

    1. Thank you so much hon. Those words mean a lot to me. Sending love.
      Have a beautiful week.

  4. Captivating story…beautifully written…looking forward to hearing more about your new project…that’s quite crazy that your writings are copied…plagriasm I smell…which I really don’t understand…that why people wanna do such things…

    1. Hello Navin, and thank you for your beautiful comment. It means a lot to me. I will be announcing the project very soon. “why people wanna do such things…” Oh, well.. I know why but I do not want to bring any negativity in our conversation. You are such a dear friend and I am grateful I met you. Enjoy your weekend. Sending love your way.

    1. Thank you so much Thomas. Thank you for reading and for your wonderful words. Deeply grateful. Enjoy your Friday.

    1. Oh, Stephen, thank you so much for reading and for commenting. It means a lot to me. Stephen, I think we always become more no matter what.
      Sometimes I hope I can write a piece that will put a smile on your face. I can only hope.

  5. The Blue Jay’s Feather is a poignant and evocative piece that explores themes of grief, betrayal, and disorientation. Milton’s use of imagery and shifting perspective adds depth to the story and the blue jay feather serves as a symbol of hope and connection. Overall, a beautifully written work.

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