TBTS (Throwback Thursday Stories): The Bird.

It was a nice day in the park; sunny, with big fluffy clouds, the slightest hint of a breeze. My sister’s beg for bread to feed the birds was persistent, so when my dad tossed over the loaf of Orowheat, she took off towards the geese babbling behind a gate. She tore off piece after piece, giggling as the winged creatures, almost outsizing her, waddled over to eat.

Moments later, just as my mom and I reached the fishpond, a blood-curdling scream devoured the mumblings of the geese, as well as any other inkling of white noise. A flurry of explanations flashed through my mind, ranging from serial killer to goose bite, none of which prepared me to see my sister running, full bore back to the car from a….pigeon?

8 years and a fully blossomed phobia later, I get a voicemail from my mom.

“Hey Kim it’s me….just uh, give me a call when you get this.”

She didn’t sound worried or upset, but there was something in her tone that made me call her from the parking lot at work.

“Hey mom, just got your message, what’s up?”

“Hi hun, I’m just about to walk into a meeting but I just wanted to check in on your day. Also do you have any ideas for dinner? Oh and one more thing…Natalee called me in a panic earlier, apparently a bird flew in the house and, well you know how she is…she didn’t know what to do so uh, she locked it in your room before she left for school. See you later!”

*click*

Come again?

When I pull up to the house, my brother is waving goodbye to his friend and grabbing the newspaper from the driveway. I explain to him the situation and after he stops laughing and joking about all the feathers and feces sure to be scattered around my room, he offers to help.

Once inside, I look down the hall at my closed bedroom door. I can almost hear my sister slamming it shut in horror, and feel the fear she exhaled into the phone, telling my mom that a condor had entered the premises, looking for blood.

I open the bedroom door slowly and step in. To any innocent bystander, this was just the average room of a college student. Dirty clothes, an unmade bed, oversized picture collages covering every inch of the wall. I liked my room. But as I looked at it now, through hunter’s eyes, suddenly every crevice became a burrow, every corner became a cave, every inch became enemy territory.

We decided to start with the bed. My comforter lay in puddles on the sheets, creating the perfect nesting place for our feathered nemesis. So, with a deep breath and a firm grip on the teal cotton, I yank it “are you impressed your silverware didn’t even move” style, but it only reveals a sock I lost a few days ago.

Next we go for the closet. With my back against one sliding door, I push the other wide open, letting it slam against the wall. Then I alternate. Still no bird.

Suddenly a wave of panic over takes me. What if it’s dead somewhere? What if this jerk is on his way to the afterlife while snuggled under my grey hoodie?!

I walk towards my desk and see feathers, scattered all over the carpet. The smattering gives little indication of the bird’s current location, but—judging by their size—suggest we are dealing with the ever ferocious, infinitely terrifying, robin. We’re talking a solid 10 ounces of bird, at least.

I laugh slightly, thinking of the beast my sister created in her brain when she saw the bird enter the house. If I texted her right now, she’d probably say it had a wingspan reminiscent of Shaq.

“Maybe it’s behind your bed,” my brother says in a tone attempting to be smug, but is laced with worry.

We take a beat, both aware that he’s probably right, and start to kneel down to take hold of the bed frame, but before we can take our positions, tweets and flaps fill the air and the bird reveals itself. My brother screams and cowers. I scream and cower. We both run out of the room.

The bird flies out behind us, mimicking our jaunt to freedom (which was OBVIOUSLY the plan) and finds itself a new hiding place: behind the printer.

My brother runs for the broom, deciding on the fly to take on the role of elderly housewife, and announces his plan to “shoo!” it out. I nod, hide behind the recliner, and begin shouting, “BIRD” towards the printer, clearly being helpful.

Suddenly, the bird takes flight once again, and we cheer as it heads towards the back door. Unfortunately, PTSD has obviously stripped the geezer of his depth perception and he hits the ceiling, changes course and heads into the kitchen, eventually landing on the counter next to the bananas.

“Quick! Open the kitchen door!”

My brother runs into the backyard, sneaking across the grass like it is covered in lasers, ducking beneath the windowsill so as not to give away his position.

Once the door is open, we begin to lurk, inching closer, keeping eye contact, slowly shivering in fear that its on the verge of tweaking out and going Hitchcock on us. Then suddenly, as if bored of the game, the bird flies out the kitchen door like he’s done it a thousand times.

We cheer and high five, wishing him good riddance, slowly coming to terms with all the shrieks that took place this afternoon. Just then I get a text from my sister, “are you still at work? An eagle flew into our house today and I did the only thing I could think of…”

Really. The only thing.

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