BIRDS • by Kelly Swimmer

I woke up the next morning to the sound of birds chirping and wings flapping.

But the noise wasn’t coming from outside my window. I opened my eyes slowly, already wary of what I would find.

There were hundreds of birds inside my room, perched on my bed, on my night stand, on my dresser. Birds of all sizes and colors. There were the delicate blue jays, cardinals, hummingbirds, and finches. But then mixed in with those were hawks, ravens, ducks, and even a menacing-looking eagle watching over the rest of the crowd from his spot on the window sill. Every inch of my room was covered with various wings, beaks and claws, the movement and rearranging of feathers making my entire room look like it was pulsating and alive. I couldn’t even make out where the floor was.

I didn’t move. I wasn’t exactly afraid of birds, but I couldn’t say I was too fond of them either. I stayed motionless for about ten minutes, trying to figure out what to do, an occasional squawk or flapping interrupting my thought process.

Suddenly, before they could figure out what I was doing, I leaped out of bed, and ran around the room like a madwoman, waving my arms and shouting at the birds.

Not the best idea.

The entire population of birds that had decided to migrate to my room instantly took flight, wings flapping wildly, making harsh, extremely loud shrieking noises. Several bumped into each other, which only caused more fights and confusion. Every inch of my body was touching some kind of bird as they swirled around me and trampled me to the ground. I quickly got on my knees and covered my head, shaking, just waiting for it to end.

Eventually, I noticed the the squawking was becoming more infrequent, and I was feeling only a few birds brush against my back. When the noise stopped and everything was still, I hesitantly lifted my head and looked around.

The birds were gone, save for one lone white duck in the corner, calmly eating one of my shoes. My window was wide open, the curtains blowing in the breeze. I didn’t remember leaving it open.

I stood up on shaky legs, and tiptoed towards the duck. It continued picking at the shoe, making an occasional snuffly sound. It didn’t seem to notice me. When I got close to the duck, I leaped on top of it, grabbing it in my arms. The duck, surprisingly, didn’t react. It just looked at me in confusion, as if it was asking permission to go back to eating the shoe. I took it over to the window and pushed it out roughly.
I turned around and looked around the empty room. Besides being covered in a variety of feathers, it didn’t look too damaged. I closed my eyes, and imagined all the feathers in one big pile in the center of the room. Then I imagined them floating out the window in a giant gust of air. I opened my eyes. All the feathers were gone. I quickly rushed over to the window and slammed it shut.

Kelly Swimmer writes in Indiana.

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Every Day Fiction