Friday, January 05, 2007

First Friday: Jan. 6

The judges faced a difficult challenge in this month's fiction contest, and they again chose Beverly Robertson of Hewitt, N.J., as the winning scribe! She now gets her choice of two recent books from the WildBird bookshelves.

If you want to earn that chance, then write an original 500-word short story about birds, birding or birders that includes a setting, a character or characters, a conflict and a resolution. Also, the birds cannot be anthropomorphized.

Thank you to this month's participants! Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see your next entries. Please submit stories for the February edition by Jan. 31.

For your reading pleasure: Beverly Robertson's "Whatever."

Pam trailed behind her aunt. She had not wanted to come to Ohio for the holidays. She wanted to spend Christmas break hanging out with her friends, but her mom had insisted.

So here she was, walking in a flat open park the day after Christmas with an aunt she barely knew when she could have been shopping at the mall with Jennifer and Inez. Whatever. At least she was out of the house.

The wind whipped across the open fields and stands of cattails. Pam’s eyes were tearing badly from the wind and her nose running from the cold.

It didn’t help that her aunt stopped every two minutes to look out across the fields. What could she be looking for? Pam didn’t see anything, and she was freezing. She sniffed, walking on. Whatever.

She shoved her hands in her pockets and turned her back to the wind. She had not particularly wanted to come on this outing, but she would have done anything to get out of the house.

Her mother was having a great time. Pam, on the other hand, felt alone, trapped in her grandmother’s house. There was nothing to do. There was no TV. She was fed up with visiting relatives, and her cousins were all dorks. She felt she had nothing in common with any of these people. She walked with her head down, deep in her funk.

Pam had assumed when her aunt asked if she wanted to go for a walk in the park that they would do just that: walk in the park. Or maybe talk. Instead, her aunt was peering through binoculars at nothing. Pam sighed again. Whatever.

Her aunt stopped and pointed right, to a path that led through some trees. Pam shrugged. Whatever.

Her aunt was pointing out birds as they flitted in the trees and weedy edges of the path. Pam could see only little brown birds flying hither and yon. She nodded politely. At least there was something to look at.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw something bright blue flash by. She stood still, shocked--her mouth open.

“They are bluebirds,” her aunt said. “They sometimes stay for the winter.”

They watched as the bright birds flitted through the trees. Pam was stunned. She had never seen such a thing. They were like Christmas ornaments. Even on a gray December day, the color popped out of the woods.

For the rest of the one-mile loop, she kept pointing out more bluebirds. They seemed to be everywhere. Pam tried to identify the exact hue of blue. Was it indigo, or maybe cerulean? She pictured the color wheel from art class.

Her aunt explained that there were different birds that were indigo and cerulean. These were just blue. Pam blathered on and on.

On the way back to the car, Pam looked over at her aunt. “Can we try to see them again tomorrow?” she asked.

Her aunt smiled to herself. Yeah, whatever.


Blogger Clare said...

Congratulations Beverly,

Once again, quite enjoyable.

January 05, 2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great story! Thank you!

January 06, 2007 9:19 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...


I have been that aunt...

January 06, 2007 9:11 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for being that aunt, Susan (c:

January 07, 2007 1:38 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Love it. Congrats, Beverly!

January 08, 2007 6:33 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

"They were like Christmas ornaments"....terrific imagery! Really great Beverly. I was shivering all the way through.

January 08, 2007 12:25 PM  

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