Watch the Birdie


 This is a flash fiction that was submitted to the Literary Maneuvers contest at Writing Forums. It has been edited since that appearance and is slightly altered.
There’s a golf game playing on the television. The others are either dozing or harmonizing with Mr. Bird. Bird wants to know if the outside nest has an outside nest. It’s known that there are boundaries, because Herbie and Junior have both been out, and everyone saw them fall and heard the sound of them hitting the wall.

“The wall, the wall,” the chorus croons, “it’s the end of the world, and it’s near.”

Herbie sings-“I can plainly see. It is clear to me.”

The chorus peeps-“He can plainly see what is yet to be…”

Junior warbles-“Look to the right at the source of the light. For you’ve been granted sight to assist your flight.”

The chorus tweets-“Look to the right to the light.”

It is clear that the light comes in through a pane,as the mirror pane that shows you yourself when you stand before it, but without anything behind it.

You mention this-“When you look to the right there’s a nest outside. The light comes in through a mirror that’s clearer.”

The chorus chirps-“A mirror that’s clearer is clearly superior..”

Preening is.

The bigger featherless has been making something that looks like a new nest. That it was a nest had been the subject of the last improversation. Everyone is hoping that the two nests will become one.

He’s moving it closer. Now it’s right in front of the twin nests.

The hand comes in and begins to quest, everyone dodging and tweeting location. The young ones go first. Your brother Herbie, who had been in the middle nest, is clutched, and you see him in the new nest. Then the hand comes in and chases you around until you’re caught!

Your beak digs into flesh and your talons clutch and your wings desperately try to open. You bite down hard, hoping to make the big featherless let go, and it WORKS and your wings really do open and flap and you’re in the AIR OUTSIDE THE NEST and you see another clearer mirror and you head for it hoping that there’s a hole in it somewhere and you can just keep on flying until you’re away and you flap and you flap and you flap and on the television, a golfer is on the fairway near the right-hand bunker and is attempting to reach the green with a 5-iron. He winds up and the head of his golf club hits the ball with a thwack! as you flap one more time and bounce. Your beak and claws clink! on the glass.

“He’s by the window,” says the smaller featherless as the bigger makes haste and recovers you. He takes you to the new nest.

You rush to sit beside your brother and begin to compose while the rest of the flock are brought to the nest. Your father Huey is preening, proud, and Lady Bird your mother sits erect beside him. Huey is percussion, rhythm, and he brings a little extra swing to his beats.

“If you hit the wall, then you’re bound to fall,” you begin.

Mr. Bird ripostes-“This much we do know, but what about the window? Where does the window go?”

And you answer-“Where the window goes, we still don’t know, but the resulting fall is the same as the wall. There’s just no hole in the window so there’s nowhere to go. If you hit the glass then you’ll hit your ass fast.”

Preening is. 

Together is joy.
“I wonder what they say when they’re all singing like that,” says the smaller featherless, looking at you, the flock.
“Impossible to know,” answers the larger featherless, watching the golfer sink the third shot of a par four, a 25-foot putt. The golfer preens too.

 

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One response to “Watch the Birdie

  1. The original story took second place in the competition. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the judges apprehended the gist of the piece, though several had some difficulty following. Nobody cottoned on to the fact that it was a true story…I find that just weird. In competition in the LM, I have three firsts and a second in four attempts.Good competition. I've a LOT more experience than most (if not all) of these folks and post stories periodically rather than act as judge in order to have both sides of the coin. I'm pleased with my record but will be more pleased when the competition is running smoothly-I've been added to the board for that subforum.

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