Anita's Haven

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BIRD TALES – I accepted a challenge from D. Shulenberger

on 24/02/2015

The following photo was sent to me by author Damon Shulenberger, to write a short story and maybe try to incorporate my books or characters into it. So keep a lookout for glimpses of my children’s penguin book Winky’s Colours, adult urban legend The Threshold and the yet unfinished novel The Forest of Trees:).



‘Yo, Damon, why are you shaking so hard, bird-man? Relax, dude, enjoy the sun…’
‘You’d be shakin’, too, if you’d been where this perching portal took me last night, Miguel, trust me… you’d be shaking so hard your wings would
come off!’
‘Oh really??? You think you’re so tough, Damon? OK, so tell us your tale, but then prepare to be dazzled by mine…’
‘Now, boys, boys, boys, calm down.  No need to shed testosterone on such a fine day. We’re all friends here, right?’

Sunbathing in between her two friends and looking down on the sandy beach, Felicia unclawed the perch just enough to be able to snuggle up to Damon a bit closer. She chirped on, pacing her sounds to cajole him into telling.

‘But pray tell, dear Damon, what fabulous adventure did this perch portal provide you with last night?’
‘Well, I’m not one to brag, but…’
‘Sure you’re not, Brag King!’, Miguel mocked, sulking on his side of the perch.
‘Oh shush, Miguelito! You’ll get your turn!’

Felicia was tough but her beak smiled and she winked at him with so much mischief that the feathers on his chest doubled and ruffled.

‘It was cold,’ Damon continued with a gloomy tone adding drama to his words. ‘It was so cold that I could barely fly. I thought my claws would fall off how cold it was…’
‘OK, we got it, hombre. It was cold. And then?’
‘I mean it was freezing and only ice all around. White ice and the black ocean. And some weird-looking animals, all black, or white, or black-and-white…’

Miguel hid his head in his wing and started pretending to snore. Felicia jumped on the perch slightly and he almost fell off.

‘What the h…?!’
‘Pssssst.  Go on,  Damon. Then what happened?’

Felicia stretched her neck to get some sun on it, but listened on. She was good at multitasking. She had already scolded Miguel, pooped on a very cruel lady who passed close to the perch tugging on her poor dog’s leash like hell, and was still listening to Damon for support. She was pretty darn pleased with herself.

‘And then there was this tiny, little penguin there…’
‘Tiny and little are synonyms,’ Miguel whispered below his chin.
‘And he decided to go on an adventure and find colours. Risked his life, too. Almost died. But he found colours. And,’ he stopped for dramatic effect. ‘He found true love.’

Damon wiped a teardrop from the corner of his eye. He shifted on the perch and started daydreaming. Felicia was enchanted, quietly humming some romantic tune and dancing.  Miguel was hopping nervously. He had an idea.

‘Girlie story, but fine. You can have it,’ he smirked. ‘OK, my turn now. Last night… ooooh, you’ll never guess this…’
‘Just tell the tale, macho. I told mine.’
‘All right. Don’t be so impatient. So, I flew to this biiiiiiig city, I mean really big, like skyscrapers, towers, motorways, subway…’
‘Big. Got it.’
‘Damon, play nice now.’

If Felicia’d had eyebrows, the one seeing Damon would have curved up.

‘And I landed on top of this huuuuuuge glass tower in the centre of the town, on the tallest part of this enooooormous building…’
‘Anyone ever tell you you have issues with size?’
‘Let him talk. No psycho-babble.’
‘Anyway…’ Miguel was now pacing the perch like a general, beak high up, wings attached at the back. ‘This tower was cursed… its threshold made people disappear… vanish into thin air… nothing… nada… gooooone big time.’
‘There he goes with the big again. Why didn’t you just cross the bloomin’ threshold yourself and save us all this biiiiig boloney?!’
‘Stop it, Damon. Miguel, weren’t you just a bit scared?’
‘Meh, scared?!?! Me?!?! Felicia, honey, you know me! Scared is just a word that rhymes with dared…! Not like this freezin’ penguin-lovin’ romantic!’
‘That’s it! I’ve had it!’ Damon shouted and flew up.
‘Wanna get a piece of me, eh? Come and get it, softie!’ Miguel grinned.

Felicia calmly sat below a shower of feathers as the two males did their silly fighting ritual. She knew them both too well. She let their skirmish continue till their empty-threat growls started to turn into whining and moaning, as their claws actually did occasionally scratch each other’s heads. Then she rose into the air, like a primaballerina and sat back down. The boys settled on each side like school kids caught redhanded at cheating by a sexy, young teacher.

‘Isn’t anybody interested in MY story?’ She flapped her wings gently and sighed.
‘Sure, chiquita, go on.’
‘We are listening.’
‘OK, I travelled to a small town,’ she glanced at Miguel, ‘with a big forest,’ she glanced at Damon now. ‘The town was your average place – all sugar on top, nice scenery, kind neighbours, but filthy, evil secrets rotting below the surface…’

Miguel gulped at her scary voice and dreadful glare, and Damon started hyperventilating.

‘But the trees there were magical. They helped the children and the magic folk sort things out…’

‘Magic folk?!?! You too, Felicia? Girlie stuff? Next you’re gonna tell us there were unicorns!’

Miguel could not hide his disappointment, and Felicia blushed, quietly clearing her throat.

‘But the leprechaun and the fairy really did…’
‘Oh no, no, no… you won’t drag us into that girlie fantasy tale of yours… Filthy secrets lurking below and leprechauns just don’t mix!!! No, no and no!’
‘But, boys…’
‘Miguel, wanna go for a bite somewhere?’
‘Sure. Just us – guys.’

Felicia sulked for exactly three seconds as the boys flew below the perch and let the portal take them to another dimension.

‘Finally some peace and quiet,’ Felicia smiled. ‘You can come out now, Tallulah,’ Felicia chirped towards the portal. ‘Just be careful not to spill your pixie dust around. We’d never be able to pick it all back out of the sand.’

And the two girlfriends chatted happily till dusk. All girlie stuff. Well, all about boys.

999 words;)

Friendly comments always welcome, just like the ratings and reviews for books. Thanks for the challenge, Damon.


Anita Kovacevic


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