The Naming Of Birds #flashfiction

In Which No Crows Were Harmed

‘Corvus Dementicus, commonly mad crow, is normally a solitary possessed avian,’ intoned the Deacon while Pearl Barley, trainee exorcist took notes. ‘However if they do flock then we have a situation.’

Pearl nodded.. 

‘A murder of mad crows has gathered in Middle Pollip. Ms Barley this one is for you.’

The Deacon’s evil little smile made Pearl wonder if it might be in need of exorcising.

As she stood by the bus stop her hair curled round her eyes. ‘Don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll help.’

That’ll be a first, thought Pearl. Ever since Martha Mellows’ spirit had taken residence in her follicles following an ambiguous seance, her hair had been virtually untameable. 

The crows were clearly a public nuisance, turning summersaults and pecking out Cher songs on passing milk floats. As Pearl watched, a group of six broke away to guano-bomb a peripatetic vicar. 

Pearl hesitated, but her hair wasn’t so fazed. French plaiting with speed and precision it sent two distraction buns to confuse the nearest crow while her crown self-afro’ed itself disrupting the flock’s gyroscope. The birds hesitated as fast-moving dreadlocks reeled them in.

Back at the Exordome, Pearl interviewed the lead crow. ‘I don’t know what came over me.’

Pearl nodded. ‘Corvids are prone to any Standard Possession. With Rooks it’s banshees, hence the racket.  Jackdaws…’

The crow scowled. ‘Those bloody Jackdaws get us a bad name.’

‘It’s not their fault. Kleptospirits love them. Always after little shiny things.’

‘And us?’

‘Poltergeists. That’s why you love a prank when possessed. We can help, you know.’

The crow leaned forward. ‘That would be great, only…’


‘You couldn’t give us another week, could you? It’s been such fun.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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.
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19 Responses to The Naming Of Birds #flashfiction

  1. Ritu says:

    You crack me up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susanne says:

    I shall never look at my hair the same again. And kleptospirits – a stroke of other-worldy wordy genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JT Twissel says:

    LOL. You gotta watch out for the guano-bombing crows singing Cher tunes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so glad that I was alert enough to put my coffee cup down on a firm surface as soon as I saw the heroine of the piece’s name pop up. 🙂 Your ability to string together words and thoughts is moving quickly from extremely good to something that resembles a magnificent fireworks display making topical, funny faces in the sky. I’m guessing this is what happens when you work at your craft on a daily basis! Only you could come up with this entire tale, its lexicon and characters!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. TanGental says:

    Sometimes like Pooh I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope the Oxford Dictionary scouts will pick up guano-bomb

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    As usual great fun 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    I’m relieved no crows were harmed to bring this bit of humor!

    Liked by 1 person

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