Something To Crow About

This week’s prompt from Sue Vincent’s #writephoto stable is this 

‘Hello?’
‘Sorry? Did you…?’
‘Speak? Yes.’
‘But you’re…?’
‘A crow. Yes.’
‘How…?’
‘Right now ‘why’ is more pressing.’
Jim Pale stood back. This was a joke. Some teen’s trick. Or one of those TV shows making a fool of him.
‘I’m neither a trick nor spoof TV.’ The crow sounded quite put out.
‘Did you read my mind?’
‘More your expression. It helps us survive to know what predators think.’
‘I’m not a predator.’
‘Not now you’ve got Lidl and a taste for cottage pie but it’s not that long ago you ate my ancestors. A millennium is nothing in the life of a crow.’
‘You’re not 1000 years old.’
The crow grunted. ‘All I’m saying is I have to be desperate to speak to a human.’
Jim stepped back. ‘Why aren’t you flying?’
The crow sighed. ‘At bloody last. The ‘why’ question.’
‘Look. If you want help, sarcasm is hardly going to encourage it.’
‘It’s in the name, moron. ‘Crow’. It’s what we do. We could have been sneers or eye-rolls but we stuck with crow as the name. It’s suggestive of superiority.’
Jim began to turn away.
‘Oh alright. I’m sorry. Ok? Does that make it better? You’re the dominant bloody species and I’m a sodding bird yet your skin is a thin as an anaemic slug.’
Jim coloured. ‘Sorry. How come you’re… Actually, what are you doing? Hovering? Floating?’
‘I’m stuck. Frozen. Rendered immobile. One minute I’m swooping down for that burger crust there, the next I’m here, in mid beat like one of those ridiculous porcelain ducks you love to stick above your fire places.’
‘No one has flying ducks any more.’
‘You looked in no. 72 recently? She even has antimacassars. Can we stop this redundant intimacy and will you see what’s stopping me flying?’
Jim stepped forward. He looked around the suspended crow. ‘It looks like you have two strings holding you in place.’
‘Strings?’
Jim peered hard. ‘Actually there are more than two.’
‘Is it some sort of net?’
‘Noooo, more like puppet strings.’
‘I’m no one’s bloody puppet.’
Jim reached up and tugged at one. The crow’s left wing beat slowly.
‘Hey, stop that! Bloody cheek.’
‘You’re trussed up like a…’
‘Don’t say it. Don’t you dare say it! Just cut me down and I’ll be on my way.’
‘How do I know I should? I mean I don’t know who you belong to, do I?’
‘Oh that’s great. I’ve just undermined your whole belief system by talking and showing you I can mind-read…’
‘Face read…’
‘Stop bloody quibbling. And now you question if I’m someone’s pet.’
Jim nodded. ‘Yes. Fair point.’ He reached up and touched the nearest wing.
The crow jerked away. ‘That tickles. Be firm, will you?’
‘You are touchy, aren’t you?’
‘Do you really need an answer to that?’
‘No, I suppose not. Here,’ he unhooked a string. Then another. After less than a minute the crow stood by Jim’s feet. ‘Better?’
‘I just want to know who did this. Bloody nerve. Right. I’d better be off.’
The crow turned and stretched its wings.
Jim said, ‘Are you going to say thank you or anything? Show your appreciation?’
The crow twisted its head and held Jim’s gaze for a moment. Then he took to the air and flew in a wide arc. As his flight path crossed where Jim stood he emptied his bowels in a white stream of avian faeces that hit Jim slap on the forehead.
Jim staggered back, stunned. ‘What was that for?’
The crow curved away cackling. ‘I thought you lot considered that to be lucky? Well, be lucky Jim Pale. I hope it’ll mean you’ll have something to crow about.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in #writephoto, flash fiction, prompt and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Something To Crow About

  1. HAHA! Oh what a great ending, Geoff!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Ungrateful wretch! I liked the idea. In neverworld Jim and the crow would of become best friends and righted wrongs and had adventures. Sadly in the real world you help someone you get shat on! ☺️😉 Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Yes. I was in Durban with dad when an enormous gull emptied itself right next to him – it was like just missing a bucket of if whitewash. This large black lady bellowed with laughter as he did his best to wipe his shoes saying to him he should just think how much luck he might have had if he’d taken all of it. I don’t think he saw her humour.

      Like

  3. A post to crow about…love the ending, of course !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    Love the dialogue, Geoff 🙂

    Like

  5. Charli Mills says:

    How believable you can make a crowing crow! Snappy dialog, per usual.

    Like

  6. JT Twissel says:

    That’s not the kind of luck you want to crow about.

    Like

  7. I loved it! Got me thinking about Alfred Hitcock’s The Birds. Thank goodness it never went that way. I can’t take any more shower scenes with chocolate sauce. 😱 Will we ever find out what those strings were that were holding him up?

    Like

  8. Pingback: Something To Crow About by Geoff Le Pard #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  9. crow… crow… crow… DUCK!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Frank Hubeny says:

    It’s like making first contact with an alien species. Very entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah, well, crap. You know? The life of a bird. Or a human. What’s this about? *flies away*

    Liked by 1 person

  12. barbtaub says:

    Hilarious! I love that you don’t even pretend to offer explanations. Absolute genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. floridaborne says:

    That crow must have been human in another life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Photo prompt round up – Messenger #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  15. So creative, Geoff! I loved this and didn’t want it to end. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rowena says:

    This was hilarious, Geoff. I absolutely loved it. I’ve been reading through the responses to Sue’s prompt and finding them very poetic and then yours came along and it was completely out of the box, which doesn’t surprise me at all.
    Have you read Max Porter’s “Grief is the Thing with Feathers On”. https://www.amazon.com/Grief-Thing-Feathers-Max-Porter/dp/1555977413/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=FBY8JF4HGXM0F91KK1BH
    It’s a great book.
    Hope you’re having a great week. The clouds are starting to lift here.
    Take care.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I know Max sort of. He lives up the hill at a Crystal Palace. Fab book isn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        How exciting you know Max. It was a great book and had a lot of depth.
        I ended up reading a lot of the responses to Sue’s crow photo prompt. The responses were excellent.
        We don’t have crows where I live and I’m working on a short story where the rainbow lorrikeets take on that role.
        I hope it comes off.
        xx Ro

        Liked by 1 person

  17. macjam47 says:

    Haha, Geoff! I really love the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

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