Thursday, October 10, 2013

Prompt: Haven’t seen that before

Thanks to Seth Fitts for permission to use his charming image, “Top Hat Bird”!

Paradie idly flicked flies with her long tapered tail as she rested next to Blompkey in the shade of the old manketti tree. His tail thumped against the ground, graceless like the rest of him, she thought as she twitched a delicate tufted ear and smoothed her fine whiskers with her forepaw. The heat made the air shimmer around them, and neither were inclined to move any farther until the sun set.

Without warning, Blompkey’s heavy brown paw shot out and flattened a large juicy wooly bear crawling across his shadow. He held it firmly until it stopped wiggling under his paw’s weight, then he slid it in the dirt until it lay in front of Paradie. She extended a single curved claw and sliced the caterpillar neatly in half. Spearing one side, she held it delicately and began to nibble. Blompkey leaned down and stretched out his long pink tongue, slurping up the other half along with a dose of dirt and sandy gravel. Paradie shook head in distaste and despaired of ever enjoying more refined company. Blompkey bellowed an extended fart that made Paradie’s eyes water.

Thus engaged, neither of them noticed the bird flying in to the lowest branches of the manketti. When a nearly-ripe fruit dropped in front of them, the caracal and hyena looked up in mild surprise.

A small green bird stood on the lowest branch. He lifted his slender wing and tipped his top hat. “Good day,” he chirped in a cheerful voice. Paradie’s eyebrows twitched as high as they could reach. The bird continued, “Would you be so kind to direct me to the eastern watering hole? I have an appointment there at 5:00pm. I should be most distressed to keep my friend waiting.”

Blompkey stretched his neck and lolled his head back to get a better look at the bird. He considered for a moment, then lifted a shaggy paw to point southeast. “Thataway till you get to the acacia.” He swung his paw to the east. “Then hang a left and you can’t miss it.”

“Thank you ever so much,” the bird tipped his hat again and flew off toward the watering hole. Blompkey rested his head back on his paws and closed his eyes, incurious. Paradie watched after the bird until it was out of sight. “Hmm,” she sighed.

“What’s that,” Blompkey mumbled without opening his eyes.

“Well, you don’t see that every day, now do you?” Paradie asked, both to herself and to Blompkey. She knew only one of them would be interested in the answer. Blompkey snorted and rolled on his side. She stood and shook off the dust with a shiver along her tawny pelt. Without a word to Blompkey, she followed the trail of the top-hatted bird.
Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:
30 minutes

October word count:


  1. Prompt: Haven’t seen that before

    “Why does your crow wear a top-hat?”

    I stopped on the sidewalk and looked behind me. “My what?” I couldn’t tell who had spoken, and no one answered. There was a street musician tuning his guitar and a woman sitting on a folding stool with a pile of Big Issues on her lap. Everyone else was walking past at a business clip.

    I shrugged, automatically adjusted the hang of my suit, and walked on. I scanned the storefronts to my right. We were meant to meet at the restaurant, and I’d done Google Street-view first to make sure I knew where I was going. But clearly there had been a lot of turnover since the photos were taken.

    The distinctive purple sign never appeared, and I stopped at the end of the block. Someone had dropped a fish and chips in the street, and two rooks were diving between cars to carry off beakfuls of food.

    The light turned red, and one rook landed on the roof of a red sports car. He turned to face me. “I prefer berets myself,” he said.

    Time writing: ~30 minutes (really slow tonight!)

  2. You have crows on the brain! :) Rooks, too? Lots of flying creatures showing up ;)
    Nice color touches, and a great last line! Cheeky!