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The Bird

He’s running. Little Cody is running as fast as his thin six year old legs can go. His bare feet skid to a stop in the ragged gravel, leaving small droplets of red upon the small black rocks. His breathing is fast and hard, his throat is dry and burning. He looks behind him, eyes wide, struggling to see into the pitch black night. He sees nothing, but he can hear the darkness clawing its way to him. He turns to run, but his feet are stuck. Being pulled into the earth by long, thick black thorns. “No!” He shouts, thrashing his body trying to break free. Tears begin to fall, blood pours from his feet and he hears the darkness closing in. “No! No! Stop!” he yells into the void. He screams more as he struggles to free himself, the thorns digging deeper and deeper. He jerks hard to tear himself away, he loses his balance but before he hits the ground, he wakes up. Sweat dripping from his brow, his heart racing, his lungs burning.

He gets up from bed to get some water, but before he opens his bedroom door, he hears the sound of a soft thud. He gets on his hands and knees and peeks through the crack under his door. He sees his mom, on the floor, holding her cheek. His dad standing over her with clenched fists. He decides against that glass of water. He runs back to his bed and buries his head into his pillow, he knows the yelling will start soon. “You dumb bitch!” he hears his fathers booming voice. Then the sound of an angry hand hitting a soft cheek, wet with tears. His mother whimpers with pain and begs for it to stop. All of a sudden, he hears the sound of flapping wings and he jumps from the bed. “No, no, no” he whispers. He goes to his closet and pulls out a shoebox with holes poked in it. He opens it and a small bird flys out. “No!” his voice shrill but soft. The small bird flys aimlessly around his room, chirping wildly. “Shhhhhhh! He’ll hear you!”, he warns the bird as he tries to catch it. “What’s that sound?” he could hear his dad ask. “That little shit, if he brought another...” he trails off and Cody can hear his fathers footsteps approaching. “No!” he panics and runs back to his bed.

The bedroom door swings open with enough force for Cody to feel a breeze. The small bird flys out into the living room. Cody jumps up to chase after it, but his father grabs him by the collar and throws him on the floor. “Oh, no. I told you the next time you bring home some damn animal, I would make you eat it.” he smirks as he goes to catch the bird. “No! Dad, please!” he begs. “I’ll let it go! It can fly now! I’ll let it go!” he sobs as he runs after his dad. His mom just sits on the floor, the bruises beginning to deepen. He looks at her and she just hangs her head. Cody gives her a look of disgust as he runs by her.

By now his dad has gotten the broom and trying to hit the bird as it flys around as if it were a baseball. Cody latches into his waist, “Please, dad! Don’t! I’m sorry! I’ll let it go!” His dad just pushes him off, Cody hitting the floor with a hard thud. “No!” he pleads. His dad lines up the broom for another shot, this time it’s a home run. He knocks the small bird into a wall and it flutters to the ground. It’s neck broken. His dad walks over and picks it up, “What do you think, Cody Boy? Fried or baked?” he laughs as he walks into the kitchen.

He doesn’t gut it or pluck it, but just tosses the lifeless bird into a dry frying pan. “Sit!” his father commands. “It’s time for your midnight snack” he chuckles. Cody swallows hard as he sits. The smell of burning feathers churns his stomach. “I think four minutes is long enough for this tiny thing to be cooked” his father absently says as he flops the bird on to a plate. Setting it down in front of Cody, he snarls “Eat it.” Cody starts to cry, “No, dad. Please don’t make me.” A sharp pain streaks across his face as his father backhands him. “Eat it, you little shit!” Cody picks up the tiny, charred bird and places a wing between his lips and tears off a chunk. His father watches with a smug smile.
Written by Nocturnalbutterfly
Author's Note
This is something I wrote a few years ago based on a request. No one else has seen it aside from the person who requested it.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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