Sunlight glinted off the feathers, which sparkled brilliantly, iridescent in the morning air. In this light, their colours were shot through with dancing threads of silver. The light also glinted off the metallic shaft of an arrow as it sped through the sky towards its target.
The arrow pierced the bird just below the heart, close and violently enough to be fatal. The bird faltered in the air. Its flight which had, moments before, seemed effortless and elegant became awkward; wing-beats increasingly agonised and out of sync. Then the bird plummeted.
The force of its fall pulled its wings and body into grotesque shapes, brutally moulded by the air currents which the bird had previously mastered. Its limbs twisted as it tumbled chaotically, corkscrewing around the foreign shaft on which it had been broken. Its feathers, ironically, seemed more animated as the life convulsed out of the bird. They bounced, extended, swirled, and pitched about as if individually motivated.
When its body first brushed the treetops, the bird was already dead, its neck broken from the violence of its catastrophic fall. It came to a final halt on a rocky mound, wings half open as if in embrace. There was an odd elegance in its final position despite the broken bones and scattered feathers.
Sunlight glinted off the feathers, which sparkled brilliantly, iridescent in the morning air. In this light, their colours were brought to life by the silver threads which bound them to the cloth, and they seemed to dance.