Thursday, April 5, 2012


Once upon a time, there was a guy named Josh who never hunted because he didn't like to kill animals. Then the zombie plague came and made it impossible to live without killing creatures great and small. But still, he didn't enjoy the act. 

Until the birds started showing up and attacking his food supply, and then Josh was like, 'Fuck these birds!'. 

Yeah, you get the basic idea. Like most people, I've never thought about birds all that much, save for the occasional flash of irritation when one of them tried to dive-bomb me for walking too close to a nest. Turns out that in the absence of population-control measures (like plane engines or vast hordes of angry farmers with guns, I guess. I have no idea what affects bird populations) the damn things tend to swarm in a fashion not unlike zombies. 

Really, I don't know if it's because of a swing in population or if we just got unlucky, but the flocks blackening the sky in Franklin county are creepily huge. It's good that we have sentries that actually do their job and who manage to think on their feet, because the annex is full of recently planted seeds and sprouts. When the massive swarm of birds came in, two or three guards fired off their guns to scare them away. 

Which worked. For maybe a minute. 

Of course, several clustered gunshots also sent many people inside New Haven into high-alert mode, and more shots rang out over the next several minutes. I was asleep at the time, and woke up scrambling for my clothes. Naturally I assumed we were under attack, so I didn't think about the pain in my knees from where I fell off the bed as I threw myself over Jess. Didn't worry that I kicked Becky kind of hard in the hip doing it, either. Steve was also crammed in the bed since Courtney stayed up all night at their place working, and he wanted to rest quietly. I dream of a day when my friends won't crash on my mattress on a regular basis. That's what I get for having a king-size bed. 

At any rate, I yanked on my clothes and grabbed my bow as the others started working their way toward something resembling consciousness. I forgot my glasses and smacked my face on the corner of my door, which gave me a lovely bruise. At the time I was laser-focused on helping fight whatever threat was bearing down on us. 

There were no warning bells. I realized that before I made it twenty steps from my house. At about the same time, I noticed that I hadn't put on a shirt, and it was cold. Confused, with a throbbing face and aching knees, I wandered back inside to dress. Because I can only take so much irritation right when I wake up, and my nipples were dangerously close to getting chapped. 

In due time Jess and I made our way to the annex to see what was happening, and we were told about the birds. Total elapsed time from the first gunshots, maybe fifteen minutes. By then the sentries were walking around the rows of plants with pieces of wood, slapping them together to scare away the birds. Crude but effective. 

We'll come up with some kind of deterrent today, I'm sure. But that doesn't stop me from wishing we could take the lot of them down and cook them up for supper. I don't know if birds (I think they're starlings) taste good, but I do know this:

I don't mind being injured while protecting others or during the course of my other duties. My pride and dignity can take one hell of a beating for the well-being of the community. But what I feel right now is an overwhelming desire to gloat over the deep-fried wings and drumsticks of a new and hated enemy. 

Now I'm going to go to the clinic and make sure I didn't hurt myself too badly. My knees feel like I've been reminded that I owe a mobster a large debt, and I'm afraid I might have knocked a tooth loose on the door. I've had chances over the last few years to feel like a hero, or at least like I've done Good Things for the sake of others. Hell, I've even felt like a badass once or twice. 

Today? Not one of those days. 

Damn birds.

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