"Polly want a cracker?
Polly want a cracker?
Come on, say it...say 'Polly want a cracker.'"

A hand reaches slowly through newly soldered bars, fingers stretched out for a gentle caress. The high pitched shrieks that erupt from within, along with the sudden panicked flutter, delay the motion. Fingers curl away from quivering life and the hand is retracted.


it isn't me


James wandered into the book store, the tinkling of the bell announcing him to its occupants. His sneakers squeaked across the floor as he moved among the piles of books; romance novels mingled with children's books in overlooked stacks collecting dust. He was looking for anything interesting, anything that sparked something in him.


"You have to be punished now, you know that don't you?
I told you what would happen, and now you have to be punished.
All I asked for was a little obedience but you had to act out, you had to bite me, and now look." An index finger is stretched out to the cage, blood dripping from a bite mark.


Sighing he ran his hands along the spines of the paperbacks on the shelves. So far nothing had jumped out at him and it was proving to be yet another fruitless search. Surely someone had discarded something of worth? Not just user manuals and old text books? Not just idle distractions for house wives and children? Wonder Books usually had something hidden among the cast offs of value. That was one of the reasons he liked the store. The other reason being he felt at home among the unwanted possessions.


"Polly want a cracker."

Lips spread into a wide grin, "Was that so very hard? I'm so pleased you've decided to cooperate. You'll be rewarded for this."

One hand holds the package of Ritz crackers while the other unlocks the cage door. Eyes wide and wild watch as the door is opened slowly, as freedom gets closer. Muscles bunch together in preparation for the flight from captivity.


we have some seed


"Looking for something in particular?"

James looked up at the cheery voice, startled out of his dreary thoughts. Before him stood a vision in braids. The sparkle in her eye was only out done by the shine of metal coming from her friendly smile. The girl waited patiently for him to answer, which was good because he was having a hard time getting his voice to cooperate. "Uh..um, yeeeeaah, I-I'm just looking."

He cursed himself the minute the words were out. Those were kiss-off words of death to a retail worker, the kind that said "Leave me alone" when what he really wanted to do was lavish in her attention longer. He'd seen her before.


Rapid shaky breathes fill the silence as the hand wraps the silver duct tape firmly around the noisy opening. The cage is silent now.

"Why do you keep testing my temper? Are you trying to make me angry? Do you want to be punished? Is that it? You want me to punish you? Well, you're gonna get what you want then."

Twisted securely in place, the knot is tested for its strength.


James stood in the stacks cursing himself as she walked away. He quickly ran a hand through his greasy blonde hair and tried to think of a reason to call her back. She needed to come back and help him, he needed her to come back and help him. By the time he thought of a book he could have her search for it was too late, she'd gotten off and had already left the store.


"Oh, you wanna play my pretty? You wanna come out and sing for me?"

The cage is opened once more, the door swinging wide. This time there is no sudden flurry of color as the occupant attempts escape. This time, when the hand is extended it is met with willing acceptance and grasped with obedience.


let me clip
your dirty wings


Disgruntled at his failure James exited the book store. His chance, the only chance to talk to her, to get to know her lost because of his stupid inability to talk to the opposite sex. She'd been friendly to him, him! And he'd lost his one chance with her. She'd probably never speak to him again. He kicked a rock through the parking lot angrily as he approached his car.


Hands bite into flesh with bruising force, a muffled gasp emitted from behind a silver barrier that has been torn slightly by the sharp metal beneath it. A snap is heard as the hands compress the pliable warmth between them and a limp weight falls to the floor.


Driving slowly down the road James notices flashing lights on the right. He pulls over and gets out, his heart seizes when he recognizes the girl from the book store. Her car has broken down, she needs a ride to the gas station. Adrenalin rushes through him as he smiles warmly at her, sure he'll give her a ride. As she slides in next to him and closes the door she turns and smiles at him again. Adjusting the rear view mirror James sees the book he'd purchased from the book store on his last successful mission, Mammoth Hunters, by Jean Auel. A nice heavy book.

"By the way what's your name?" she asks, still wearing her friendly grin as he begins down the road.

"Oh, I'm James."

"Nice to meet you James, thanks a load for this.
I was really afraid I'd get picked up by some psycho loony or something. I'm Polly by the way."

"I know."

Lyrics from Polly, by Nirvana.

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