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Your Voice: A Student Publication

Unleashed

Your Voice: A Student Publication

Unleashed

The Foul Fowl

Larry McAllister was an ordinary man, or so it seemed. Every morning Larry would wake up at 7am, making sure to be out the door by 7:30. At 8am, Larry would make his way to the train station, getting to the bench at least 5 minutes before his ride arrives. At least, that’s supposed to be his plan; however, by some coincidence the man always happened upon a lone pigeon, sitting destitute by the park bench. Feeling pity for the wretched bird, he’d give the poor thing a little piece of his lunch, an everything bagel with lox. Yet no sooner would the bird be fed before another one showed up, and then another, and so on and so forth. By 8:10, he no longer had a lunch and was frantically sprinting towards the train. By 8:17 Larry would make it to his stop and finally board the train, as thankfully for him, the conductor was understanding of Larry’s plight. As for the other passengers,… well, it’s safe to say they had a few choice words for the bird fanatic. 

 After a long day of accounting, and dealing with his moronic bird hating boss, Larry would ascend the clock tower, (all 12 floors) and out of the clock itself, the elusive pigeon man would  appear. Sporting a greasy gray mask, and descending gracefully with the use of its feathered Pigeon-Brella, the dreaded hunter would unveil a pair of beady red eyes and unnaturally twist its neck.

 At long last, it had found their prey.  With the push of a button, the Pigeon-Brella retracted and the creature dropped, vanishing into the gloom sooner than it appeared. Though the landing was not as slick as you might imagine, for there was only a brief moment of silence before you could hear the familiar thud of a bird crashing into a window. For the longest second, all you could hear was the howl of the wind, as if the world itself had sighed in relief knowing now that the abomination was gone. But it was not that easy, it was never that easy. Only a minute had passed before its eyes shot awake, bloodshot, precise, unhinged. The creature did not deal in trivial matters such as death. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

“Run”. That was the last word his daughter said to him before she was swarmed by an army of pigeons. And while he didn’t like that to be the word by which he remembered his daughter’s final moments, he wouldn’t get to even remember them if he didn’t heed her advice. As soon as he saw the pigeon land, Franky didn’t hesitate. Launching into a full sprint, he weaved his way through the catacombs of a once vibrant city. Everywhere he looked, he remembered. The porch where his mother sat, the bodega where they threatened the owner for food, the family of mice that they terrorized every week. It wasn’t perfect but it was good, they liked it, he liked it. And then that damn bird came around and ruined it. Turning their once thriving home into a burial ground. His mother, his children, his everything razed to the ground like it was nothing. 

Damn it,” Franky whispered to himself, tears streaming down his eyes. Do I just give it all up now?. But he knew the answer, he had to survive, he had to, otherwise all the pain, all the suffering, it was all for nothing. He couldn’t give up his life now, not when his daughter had thrown away hers to save his own. That was when he hit the dead end. There was no choice, he would have to take the fire escape.

******************************************************************************

Remember class,” his teacher had begun, “When you are cornered in an alleyway, you must never take the,..-yes Franky?

You must never take the fire exit!” little Franky said with enthusiasm.

******************************************************************************

When Franky had finally reached the top of the building, the sky had become the brilliant blue of twilight. Victory was at last within his grasp. Just a little bit longer until dawn, and I’ll be free! Though his moment of hope was short lived, for as soon as he put his first hand onto the roof, it no longer was his hand, as in a fraction of a second, the pigeon ripped it off with its horribly jagged maw, staining crimson onto the once pure lilies sitting in a nearby window sill. Franky screamed in absolute terror before plummeting off of the highrise, his wonderful dream of a new life, now rent asunder by jagged talons. 

He landed in a trash can, the lid closing over him, and for a moment there was silence. And in breathless relief he had realized that he had escaped. He had done the impossible. He had beaten the pigeon man at its own game. Though as soon as he exhaled, he realized his mistake. This was not escape, no it was his casket. “DAMN IT!” Franky sobbed, banging his clawed hand against the unbreakable steel of his trash can prison. How could he have been so foolish, so naive! No one ever escapes the Pigeon man. The Foul Fowl made its deadly caw, and the single coo of one pigeon turned into the coos of many as the locust of feathered fiends faced frightened food, facetiously feigning pity for the feisty fool.

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