The Island Flamingo: Chapter 6
I fall onto the ground and stifle a scream by putting a hand to my mouth.
The rosy pink bird stares at me for one minute then walks off to a nearby water fountain to drink. I get back up and tiptoe over towards the bird, attempting not to disturb it.
I remember, when I was earning my college degree in journalism, that to stare at the interview subject is a recipe for disaster. It makes the other person feel uncomfortable. This avian visitor, however, seems to have no problem having someone watch over its movements. Still, I have no intention of forgetting my manners, even if this isn’t an interview. I begin returning to my chair, but I catch a glimpse of the flamingo’s shadow drifting in the water fountain’s reflection. Then I notice a faint scent of peony and hibiscus.
The pink honking apparition I’m dreaming throughout my spa day is this beautiful flamingo. I believe that it’s the spa’s mascot, going around relaxing people with its perfumed body.
My curiosity compels me to move towards the flamingo. I obey and lay beside the water fountain’s edge while the flamingo finishes with its drinking. It now returns its attention towards me. Having limited knowledge of flamingos, as much as anyone can put on a small information plaque at the zoo, I have no idea what to expect from it. I begin fearing that it will attack me with its sharp beak or latch onto me as its mother. Either choice is undesirable, but I prefer the former. I’m not a fan of raising children, even if they’re not human.
It lies down beside me, hiding its slender legs beneath plump pink feathers. I pluck up my courage and stroke its back feathers. The flamingo seems to enjoy it, stretching and cooing. I move to the neck, and the cooing becomes louder. The beak comes next, and the cooing echoes around the meditation garden.
This awakes my escort, who screams and jumps out of her chair. This signals the flamingo to run off into the bush. A loose feather falls to the ground, and I scoop it up to hide it in my robe’s pocket.
“What was that?” the escort asks.
“I have no idea,” I reply, feeling guilty for lying but worrying about the flamingo.
We regather ourselves and head toward the steam cabinets for the final part of our spa day.