Caged Bird and out of the Furnace Smelling Like Smoke



Hall, Nicolette C

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Caged Bird and Out of the Furnace Smelling Like Smoke is a cross genre fiction novel that begins in a hospital room with disturbing revelations recounted by one of the novel’s primary characters, Little Bird Wruck Giron. Flash forward approximately one year later after Little Bird’s release from the hospital and we begin following a sequence of events after the homicide of Charlotte Hall, Abraham MacMillian’s girlfriend, is discovered on a remote hillside running path in Del City, Oklahoma. Enter the following: Detective Zahn Brus; retired Navy Seal and tree climber, Abraham “Abe” MacMillan; lovely and refined Isabel Wright; retired Air Force Fighter Pilot Anselm Horn; and Charlotte’s pet squirrel, Pearl. Not a one of them in Caged Bird are friends; they are cordial to each other publicly, and every single one of them is attached to the homicide in some way. The opening section titled, Caged Bird, is an unorthodox introduction to the character of Little Bird Wruck Giron. It is written both in first and third person and formatted so that both perspectives present a bi-focal view of the person that is Little Bird Giron. She is made a victim, becomes a survivor, and is a murderer. Out of the Furnace redirects focus away from Little Bird and brings in primary characters Abe, Brus, and Anselm. Individually, they seek answers for why Charlotte was murdered and who did it. Internally, each of them is in turmoil and facing their own challenges. Caged Bird began as a cathartic outlet to my personal turmoil. From its initial narrow conception, that is entirely anger focused, it broadened and explored the complexities of other subjects of personal interest such as sexuality, topography, gender, race, and victimization. The entire novel takes place from 2016 to 2017 in the states of Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma; all locales referenced in the novel are actual places in each state. I have no intent to bring social awareness to any readers of this novel should I be fortunate enough to publish it. I do not have a target audience. This book violates all codes of moral, sexual, and social conduct. The characters are all to some degree racist, lewd, psychologically unstable, and violent. While all the characters in this novel are completely fictional, the situations constructed are all based on true events. It is an unfiltered look at the lives of Americans as they try and heal from old wounds and begin to live natural sustainable lives free from pain and fear. If I have my choice of how this book affects a reader, it is that it haunts them day and night... makes them weep for what was and could have been. I want the reader to be thrust into a world that though they might be hesitant, they desire it... like so many good books have done to me. And that the reader like Little Bird. She is detestable, but she is human and worth trying to know.


This thesis has been embargoed for 10 years and will not be available until April 2028 at the earliest.


Rape, Indian culture, Abuse, Serial killing, Honor, Redemption