Writing

A Bit of Fun

My official Red launch blog tour kicks off TODAY with Kristel Lee where I’m talking about why a strong heroine is better than just a virtuous one. 

And now for something completely different.

As I was coming in to work this morning, instead of the usual twitter of summer birds, all I could hear was black birds.  Hundreds and hundreds of black birds.  Which is way out of season.  Usually they don’t show up until October.  It was, frankly, kinda creepy.  And I had a few scraps of prose pop into my head that I thought would make a good beginning to a story.  Doesn’t fit anything in my docket, but I thought it’d be fun to offer up to y’all as a writing prompt.  Write as little or as much as you like and leave your snippet in comments.  We’ll put them up for a vote on Thursday.  Winner gets…well, I’m on a budget, so nothing but bragging rights.  But c’mon!  It’ll be fun!

The prompt:

The black birds came early.  They perched among the still leafy green trees, mostly hidden but for the raucous jeers of their cawing. 

Via dixieroadrash from Flickr

4 thoughts on “A Bit of Fun

  1. The black birds came early. They perched among the still leafy green trees, mostly hidden but for the raucous jeers of their cawing. I knew they would eventually come for me. When you dabbled with voodoo, there were always consequences. But I couldn’t let her have him, could I? The priestess said there would be a price to pay, but I was willing to do anything to keep her away from him. At least I THOUGHT I was willing to do anything…until I saw the black mass heading toward me. Suddenly, he didn’t seem to be worth it anymore. Fear, regret, hopelessness…I felt all of these things as the black cloud of birds overwhelmed me, tearing at my clothes, pecking at my skin. As rivulets of blood ran down my arms, my legs, my face, I saw her standing there in my peripheral vision. She was laughing. How could that be? She was dead…wasn’t she?

  2. The black birds came early. They perched among the still leafy green trees, mostly hidden but for the raucous jeers of their cawing. They were the sign, the harbingers of things to come. But, I wasn’t frightened. I was was ready, even anticipating with a perverted sense of excitement for what was to happen. I took a deep breath, savoring in it the taste of all that I had seen, touched and loved about this world. And I knew I would miss it.

  3. The black birds came early. They perched among the still leafy green trees, mostly hidden but for the raucous jeers of their cawing. I felt a chill as out of place on a sweltering day as the birds but my horse seemed unfazed , It was sturdy beast for a rental just not very sensitive or imaginative and I envy that insensitivity.. My Grandmother told me omens came in three So flocks of out of season birds coupled with last night’s red moon may mean something or nothing and fevered speculation about what was to come was a futile as it was inevitable .

  4. The black birds came early. They perched among the still leafy green trees, mostly hidden but for the raucous jeers of their cawing. Tightening her fists, she closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath. They came early. She wasn’t ready. But as she let out a shuddering breath, she wondered if she ever could be.

    Right in her ear. It felt as if they were screaming right into her ear, and she winced, throwing a hand back as if to swat the birds away, but they weren’t there. They weren’t anywhere that she could see. She spun herself around, to stare defiantly into the shadows of the trees. She kept her feet planted on the ground, her fists planted at her sides. “I’m not ready!” she cawed back at them, defiant, insistent.

    For a moment, she almost thought that it had worked. The trees grew still and quiet; a breeze suggested that the birds had never been there at all. She almost breathed again, but, just on the edge of settling, they started again, louder this time, a cacophony of screeches that grated on her spine. They took off all at once, a large black mass, one mind with many parts, swirling down like a shadow.

    The shadow, in the right angle, took the shape of a man, a cloak of feathers dancing behind him in the wind. It lifted an arm; the birds came hurtling toward her. And even through the shrill rise of her screams, it was as if a voice could be heard amid the rustle of feathers, the scratching of claws, the raucous jeers.

    “As if it matters,” it whispered, and the birds settled in the still leafy trees in silence.

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