Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #203

Watchers
by Ryan Bridger


Tristis readjusted himself on his perch, which at the moment consisted of a predatory creature’s exposed rib, blood streaking across its torn fur.

The irony never escaped the crows, that the Chaos brought with it such extravagant feasting. When the Watchers first disappeared, there was of course the inevitable panic. Who would provide the scraps? Who would carelessly discard boxes and bags—so easily ripped by opportunistic beaks—hiding such valuable delicacies? Who else could possibly act as such punctual providers?

As it turned out, the crows that called out to leave had squawked too soon: the chaos provided in its own way.

Tristis, unlike the cowards, never doubted. He sensed the coming feast soon after the Watchers had disappeared—perhaps the very day. Above him, cries of his Murder filled the air, reminding him what could have easily been disaster in the Watchers’ sudden absence was instead a tidal wave of good fortune.

He tore another strip of flesh from the carcass. In life, the beast would have been impressive, but now it was little more than an eyesore along the gravel path. Tristis, hungry, felt obligated to remove it.

A nearby cage rattled. The poor beast inside stared greedily at Tristis and his prize. In the old days, the Murder would have never been granted a cage—those were reserved for greater specimens, like the escapee he fed upon.

Tristis took another gulp, made sure the beast was Watching.


(Ryan Bridger wanders the deserts of Nevada lamenting the demise of the dinosaurs.)

21 comments:

Laurel said...

A deserted zoo?

This is eerie. The practical voice of the scavenger rings through and makes this all the more effective.

Really compelling, really well done.

Bernita said...

A bird's eye view of a natural disaster's effect on a zoo, methinks.
The emerging sadism from Tristis makes it interesting.

laughingwolf said...

human prey to feast upon?

Deb Smythe said...

Hey, that was a really fresh take, Ryan. Sci-fi/end of man from the bird's POV? I likes.

Ryan_Bridger said...
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Ryan_Bridger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan_Bridger said...

Thanks for the comments! Writing this actually inspired a brand new WIP on the concept. We'll see where it goes!

Masonian said...

So cool. Apocalyptic fiction was just spanked like a bad puppy. Good work.

"Who else could possibly act as such punctual providers?"
No doubt that is how crows/seagulls/feral urban animals view us. Strange creatures who drop valuable sustenance carelessly.

(p.s. I too lament the demise of the dinosaurs. Never Forget!)

Vonnie said...

Love Masonian's comment!
Excellent job -vividly written.

Aniket said...

Echo to Masonian. lol

Sharp images and very good writing.
Great work!

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

Um, your bio line. It's brilliant. OH...and the story, right...um, yeah, okay... Seriously, I liked the foretelling done by the simple choice of the bird's name. Nice.

Something I Might Tweak

capitalized Murder was a little hazy - not sure I followed that line, quite

James R. Tomlinson said...

That's the way I like my stories: Tell it to me straight. Nothing like show darkness just how dark you can get.

Preeti said...

Wow.

That was like a punch. Direct and stark.

Liked. :-)

Sarah Laurenson said...

I liked this one though I'm a little lost. I liked the POV and the idea that the disappearance of the Watchers made things better for the birds.

I'm lost as to what he's eating and what's in the cage.

Craig said...

Some very impressive images.

Beth Harar said...

I'm still pondering your piece, which is a good thing. I enjoyed it!

JaneyV said...

Now see I thought the Watchers were police of some kind - people who kept order - who were driven out by mobs/ rioters who I understood to be Murder. The resulting Chaos left lots of fresh carcasses for the Carrion feeders. Am I close???

It was a little confusing but I really liked the voice with its underlying menace.

Hollan said...

Very cool!

I want to read a whole book about crows in an abandoned zoo ^_^

I also love the high language you use. It's like LOTR with animals.

pjd said...

At first I thought the "watchers" were hunters, but as it went along I figured it out, and of course the whole spooky soundtrack includes the unnervingly eerie lack of humans. Well written. Very well done.

catvibe said...

I like this end of days story very very much Ryan you dinosaur lamenter you. Funny to be lamenting dinosaurs while writing a story about the remaining dinosaurs outliving people. Quirky irony Ryan. Very quirky. I'm putting you on my favs list.

#14

Leatherdykeuk said...

lovely piece. Love the collective noun for family :)