Jason Sturner

Jason Sturner was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. His stories and poems have appeared in such publications as Space and Time Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Flashes in the Dark, Black Petals, FLASHSHOT, Penny Dreadful and State of Imagination. He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com


By: Jason Sturner
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“How’s the writing going?” she asked. I may have lied when I assured her it was going “super superbly.” She hadn’t laughed at that.

What did make her laugh, however, was my “story” about the birds. “It’s true!” I said. “Here, listen.” I put the phone next to the patio doors but all was silent. The birds had gone.

“Ah hell. You bastards.”

“Okay, well, see you in a couple of days then,” she said. “Love you.”

“Love you too.”

After turning off the phone I fed Frankenwhiskers, got distracted by another phone call, and then went back to my writing. Somehow I forgot all about the birdfeeder.

For the next couple of hours I was pretty much unaware of anything else but my story, although I did hear pitter-patter on the roof and the cracking of ice now and then.

At ten seconds to noon I was back in the kitchen eating a sandwich, patiently waiting to take a swig of beer. Suddenly, a windowpane shattered and a long stream of birds came rushing into the house. There were dozens of them – and they all had sharp icicles in their beaks.

Frankenwhiskers meowed “Crap!” and ran behind the couch. Pussy.

“Whoa, wait a minute. Waaait a minute!” I announced to the Hitchcockian gathering, my hands up, my back pressed against the refrigerator. A crow flew atop the birdseed bin and began to tap the lid aggressively with its icicle. “Okay, okay – you’re hungry. I get it. No problemo!”

I inched my way towards the bin, eying each bird cautiously. Some were perched on chairs and cabinets, others stood directly on the counter, their icicles pointed forward. A turkey – seriously, a turkey? – poked its head through the broken glass holding a large, double-spiked icicle of its own. The two mockingbirds from before zipped past me and landed on the floor by the couch.

As I reached for the bin the crow flew to the side and landed atop the kitchen table. It raised its body at me and gave me the cold eye, then “sharpened” its icicle on the edge of the table and pooped.

A second later, Frankenwhiskers yelped in pain and bolted out from behind the couch with two icicles stuck in his back. I nearly screamed and made a move to help him, but the birds were staring at me, their heads tilted. Silence followed. No sound but the drip-drip of a few icicles. So I held my breath, slowly lifted the lid off the bin and looked inside. I was all out of birdseed.


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