It was the morning of the 16th of January. The beach seemed more quiet than usual. There were two or three dogs walking around, a couple of old people with their grandson, some youngsters and her.
She had walked about three kilometers without getting tired. In summertime she would enjoy walking down the beach, especially in the morning, when tourists sleep before stalking the sand. She loved to feel the humidity in the foot’s sole, the fresh sea breeze of the first morning, the noise of waves hitting the breakwaters and brushing against the shore.
She tied her hair with a clip and looked into the horizon. Clouds could not seem to fill the ocean, enormous, voracious.
A few moments later, she noticed something the current had dragged to the shore. She thought the sea would leave in plain view all kinds of things with tactlessness; plastic residues, fruit peels, fishes… What if it was a dead animal? It was better to get it out of there so that kids won’t see it, they would probably appear any time soon. She would ask for a trash bag in the beach club and the problem would be solved.
From afar, it looked like a bird, maybe a seagull. As she would approach there, she would verify that it left no trail of feathers, also she could not see a beak. It was dirty, covered by remains of seaweed. When she was a few meters from it, she could recognize a nose, lips, teeth, remains of hair…
She shouted, loud and clear. The sea went backwards, realising from any responsibility. However, it was the same sea that had preserved the body, and deposited it that January morning in that beach, at her feet.
She had no legs. All that remained of her was an injured arm. Birdwoman would have been a woman before migrating to the form of a simpler living organism.
Her back could be seen, and her face on her side, biting sand. She could not dare to look into her eyes: in the eyes of birdwoman emptiness would reign.
Where did she come from? That was the question that started spreading by word of mouth between the people that encircled her body in the late morning. The air was surrounded by tense particles, as if they were to transform faces in crust, making them stony but at the same time, giving them an extreme fragility.
“From afar” they said in a low voice, without making further comments.
Nothing was accidental. Everything was supposed to be outlined, and that Cartesian axis of destiny has placed her, the birdwoman, on that beach.
There were no heroes, nor a discovery.
Scientific Police did not fail to arrive soon. They took photographs from many different angles. The shutter of the camera resounded in the silence that controlled the small crowd of onlookers.
A unique specimen. It would surely go to a museum. Nobody would see her there, nobody that had seen her that morning. That scene has been more than enough. Also for her.
When they took her away, a hole remained in the sand, some kind of a shadow that diluted itself as the minutes went down, and that the sea managed to bury. Sternum, beak and non-existent wings marks, would only remain in the memory of a few.
The ice cream seller went past, beach umbrellas were opened, the lifeguard took his place.
She spent a long time thinking if the bird had ever flown. Maybe she could have glided, but did not fly. Flying was quite different.