Bird Girl (Working Title Vol 6.1)
- By Avital Balwit
The Massachusetts Review presents the newest e-book in our Working Titles series: Bird Girl by Avital Balwit. Available now!
"It was August, and the days came damp and hot. The morning air shone so that you knew the afternoon would swelter. Sasha had AC, but kept her windows open anyways to let in the mild nights. It was 8 a.m. and time to close them. A faint buzz caught her attention, “11:48 p.m., Selby Street and 10th, 547XD1IY,” less than a mile away. She clicked accept and checked the map again. It looked like she’d be off-roading. She found her hiking boots in the closet and set out.
The job worked with her hours. She could do it early in the morning, or she could do it in the middle of the night. The light made it easier, but sometimes she needed to trespass. She’d get the ping—time stamp, last map location, ID number. The reward was a flat $200. So if she found the scooter in thirty minutes, it was good money. But sometimes it took eight hours.
Selby was leaf-lined and quiet. It bordered a forest that separated the university from the train line. A rare State car or scooter would whip past, but otherwise it had few passersby. Near 10th, Selby curved, and the slim gravel shoulder fell away to a ravine. Blackberry and ferns beneath birch and hickory. The scooter’s last recorded destination was at the corner, but she couldn’t see it up or down the street. She tried ringing it. Nothing. Only distant cars and the faint buzz of cicadas. It had probably long died. . . ."