Birds, but not Alfred Hitchcock's

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She could sense something odd when she was about half a mile away from her house. Riding her bike always made her feel free, like a bird, but she was also overwhelmed with a numbing sense of nausea.

She got closer and saw her brother standing over an object by their maple tree. Or person. Sometimes he did that. He was taller and more muscular than most fifteen year olds and occasionally had a bout when he’d want to simply throw someone to the ground. But afterward he’d always invite his victim in for cookies or toast. He never hurt them badly. Only one person had a black eye. Her brother had been really mad that time. Actually all the guys kind of anticipated it in eagerness since their mom made really good cookies.

She finally pulled into the driveway and after storing her bike she walked over to the spot her brother seemed to be boring a hole into. Then she saw it. They were bigger up close. Kind of rare to see here though, but not entirely since they were near the mountains. She suddenly became aware of the leaves crunching under her feet. She felt as though she were breaking bones as she walked.

She remembered one week in middle school when Mrs. Birdno had decided to spend two hours a day talking about bald eagles and the rarity of the species. Relief washed over her that Friday afternoon when Mrs. Birdno had announced they were done talking about that damn bird. She got home and made her mom swear there would never be a piece of artwork with bald eagles in their house.

Now seeing it on her front lawn, she felt remorse for her command seven years ago, as if those words decided the execution of the bird now sprawled in front of her. She wanted to leave and tell someone to get rid of it, but she could not move. Her veins were frozen; the dendrites in her brain suddenly lost every connection made since she was born. This was the car accident people talked about, the one that wasn’t necessarily a car accident, just an accident that you couldn’t look away from. But in the disparity of the moment the bird gave a sense of peace. Its head lay to the side like a bad actor going for the dramatic affect while dying in a Shakespearian play; its wings were stretched out perfectly.

She suddenly noticed her brother was looking at her.

“What do we do?” he asked. His brown eyes were a cliché pool of pain and yet held slight curiosity. She looked at the bird then again at her brother.

“I’ll go get my camera.”

Created: Nov 25, 2010


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