Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bread for the birds

This week the good folk at Fiction(Friday) have suggested we write a story which brings together two of our established characters. This I have more or less done!

I’d had a hard day at work. All I wanted to do was collapse in front of the TV and let the pressures of the day dissolve into the night. There was a ring at the doorbell. I was not happy! ‘Must be someone trying to sell me something’ I said to myself. ‘I’ll ignore it’. The bell rang again, but this time with a little more urgency as it went on for about thirty seconds. I plonked my whisky down and reluctantly ambled towards the front door.

I opened it, just a little at first and found myself staring straight into the setting sun. I screwed up my eyes and just made out the silhouette friend Rosey!

She pushed the door and asked if she could come in. I had no choice as she was already on her way, and in any case I never expect her to ask anyway. As far as I’m concerned my home is hers. But clearly something was not right. She walked straight past me and marched into the lounge where she perched herself on the edge of a chair. Something was most certainly not right, not right at all. I got the bottle of chardonnay from the fridge; I always have one ready for Rosey visits! I handed her a brimming glassful and she swallowed it in one long gulp. She held the empty glass at arm’s length in my direction which I assumed to mean that she was in need of a refill.

I was in the kitchen pouring her wine when I saw through the doorway that she was staring at the book on the little table to the side of her seat. I noticed her shudder. It was my book; you may be familiar with it, The Stranger. The cover features a somewhat menacing blackbird. As I watched’ she slowly picked up the book then placed it face down on the table.

I didn’t mention what I’d seen, I just gave her a refreshed glass. Still she sat on the edge of the chair. I had to say something. I asked her straight out what the problem was as clearly there was something really troubling her. Suddenly she started talking, extremely quickly; I couldn’t make out a thing she was saying. I stopped her by holding my hand in front of her face; it was all I could do. She went silent and I asked her to sit back in the chair, take a couple of deep breaths and tell me what was troubling her. She did as I asked. She starting speaking very slowly, very quietly.

It seemed that she’d just come from the park. She’d taken some dry bread with her to feed the birds, something she often did. As usual, as soon as she sat on the bench a small flock of pigeons had descended on her and started strutting around her feet pecking at the crusty morsels as she scattered then. Then suddenly and with no warning they took off, as one, into the evening sunshine. Rosey couldn’t understand what had happened until from nowhere five blackbirds swooped down and landed on the pavement in front of her. They started squawking and screeching, their necks straining toward her and their yellow beaks wide open. And then they flapped their wings and started flying around and around Rosey. She covered her face with both hands as the noise from the blackbirds got louder and louder and the disturbed air ruffled her hair. And then it stopped. Silence. Not a sound, and once again she felt the warmth of the setting sun. She parted a couple of her fingers and saw that the blackbirds had gone. Needless to say she was very relieved and it was then she noticed a family sitting on the grass a few feet away. They were sat on a blanket eating what she assumed were sandwiches. She was certain they weren’t there before, and as she looked at them they seemed somehow familiar. It was then that my story, The Stranger came flooding into her mind. A father, a mother, two kids and a grandmother. And five blackbirds.

My story was supposed to be a bit of fun. A little sinister perhaps, but not exactly in the Steven King mould! But Rosey always felt uneasy about it, in fact she discreetly gave her copy of the book away – she doesn’t know that I know!

Anyway, I told her not to be silly and reminded her that sometimes her fertile imagination builds something small into a major event. My story was nothing more than fiction. Gradually she began to return to the Rosey we all know and love. She finished the bottle of wine as we sunk into a funny movie on the TV.

Both of us were feeling very relaxed when, you guessed it ,the door bell rang! I couldn’t believe it. What happened to my quiet night in? I made a bit of a performance about opening the door in the hope that whoever was there would get the message that I was not impressed about being disturbed. Imagine my surprise when I found no-one standing on my doorstep. I looked up and down the street. Not a soul in site. My immediate thought was ‘stupid kids’, but as I was closing the door I suddenly caught site of something on the grass.

Five blackbirds, all staring at me.

Regular visitors to my site will be very familiar with the antics of My Friend Rosey You can read all about her if you click HERE.

The book, The Stranger which so upset Rosey is available from Lulu Publishing, or you can save money by reading it for nothing right HERE! 



  1. Aha, the most vexing thing about reading the results of this Write Anything prompt is meeting all these new characters. Rosey and her aversion to blackbirds ... these are things my curiosity needs to find out.

  2. Funny you mention Stephen King. Have a go at my story.

    The thought of seeing the five blackbirds sitting in the grass staring back at me is kind of chilling.

  3. What a cool story. Love the mystery of it. Now I'm going to have to go and read more about Rosey. Very awesome.
    Adam B

  4. Laid back story with a chilling little twist at the end. Well done

  5. Stephen King and a touch of Poe? Blackbirds always bring a sense of foreboding. I'd be interested to see what happens next.

  6. Oh now I want to know about Rosie!!



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