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Dead Birds (A Newt Run Module)

By Chad Inglis

Copyright 2012 Chad Inglis

Smashwords Edition

He found the first bird in an alley, half-buried in the snow next to a dumpster. He was drunk, and bored, but the sight of what had been done to it cut through both of those, leaving him hollow; the bird's head was torn off at the neck, and its breast feathers and wings were covered in dark, matted blood.

For a moment he thought it wasn't real, that it was just some plastic toy or wax replica, but no one would make a toy of a headless pigeon. Besides, the blood was real, he knew that much, and so were the torn veins and the bones showing at the wound. Those were very real, and looking at them his insides began to twist until all at once he threw up what little he had in his stomach and began to back away.

He didn't know why the sight had upset him so badly. In his time he'd seen much worse, but there was something about the bird that shook him. Looking at it was like staring into a pit, a dark, formless hole, and all he wanted was to get away from it. He left the alley and turned onto the street, trying to lose himself in the crowd and the sound of traffic and flood of neon, but all of it was dulled for him, and he felt he might as well be walking in a dream.

"My name is John Hollister and I've been on the street off and on 5 years now," he says. "Was in a program for a while, but I couldn't keep it up. Fact is I like drinking. It's as simple as that. Them at the center say it's going to kill me, but as far as I'm concerned that's no big waste. We all gotta die of something. But I guess finding that bird had an effect. Sobered me up some, maybe. I started asking myself who'd do a thing like that, and what for. I know, who gives a shit about pigeons right? Well I didn't either, until I found out that I did. Sometimes life is like that."

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