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Short Story I wrote "Dead Birds Fall Slowly"


mikezilla

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So I got sorta bored tonight and wrote this in an hour. Felt really good to be able to sit down and start and finish something. It's probably a bit confusing and rushed, but hey... it was fun. Enjoy:

(special note thanks to angie for being my spellchecker when notepad could not.)

Dead Birds Fall Slowly

It was 4:49pm. J.R. was well aware this would be the most painful eleven minutes of his entire day (he was however prepared to make it the most painful eight minutes and slip out the back with little commotion.) He pondered Einstein's theories on relativity, or specifically how time seemed to slow down or speed up with exactly the opposite of whatever he so desired. J.R. quickly moved onto devising a theory for tricking his brain into liking something he really hated so it would appear to move slower than usual. He however tossed this out post haste when he figured out if he loves what he hates, then he would run into a problem of not being able to convincingly overcome his out hate. Perhaps he loved his hate, and that is why his hate was so powerful? Dejected, he looked up at the clock.

4:54pm. His eyebrows raised. Could this plan be working already? Had he just unraveled the secrets of space and time? Could he soon revive his goldfish Quaker that he missed so dearly since he flushed him down a toilet when he was six? J.R. struggled to remember why a six year old would name a goldfish Quaker who so rarely ate any oatmeal at all (he was also completely unaware he'd found out long ago what the Trail of Tears was in his social studies class and felt so badly about it he named his new goldfish after the people on it. He forgot this fact the exact moment he caught a rerun of the Wonder Years where Fred goes out on the lake with a girl who loved to skinny dip. Relativity closed it's firm icey grip.)

4:59pm. He'd stayed late! Or in his mind two minutes late, which was actually one minute early, but as he'd already discovered time is enitrely subjective... perhaps in someone elses cubicle it was 5:15? He grabbed his car keys off his desk before he was able to explore this any deeper.

J.R. burst through the double swinging glass doors out to the parking lot where his '97 Saab was parked in between two very large trucks raised a couple feet, beyond safe, off their tires. He looked up into a nearby elm tree at a nest of birds in it chirping wildly. He noticed the mother bird was leaning curiously over the edge, wings fully extended. He became excited for whatever reason at the prospect of a caring mother flying off to feed her family. She lept from the nest, ready to soar, or so he thought. Instead, the mother bird started to lose altitude very slowly. It was not unlike a leaf in the autumn, J.R. thought to himself (giggling softly at the word autumn for no reason whatsoever.) This thought was interrupted as the mother bird fell curiously close to his face and all the way down to the ground at his feet. Dead. Had she been dead all the way down? Do all birds die so gracefully? Where had the chirping gone?

J.R. looked around to see if anyone else had witnessed this event. Perhaps one of the owners of the hysterically tall trucks, surely they had killed many birds in their lifetime. There however was no one to be seen or heard.

Wham! Something fell past his face incredibly fast hitting the ground with the force of a small bird. J.R. looked down with much hesitation to see what he already knew was there. A dead baby bird. The irony of this did not sit well with him, partly due in fact to his knowing this event to be ironic and not having the dukes to explain why that was true. He had trouble moving or forming thoughts, this was compounded by his sudden realization the two left up in the nest were probably also dead. J.R. had no stomach to research this theory, he simply accepted it as canon fact and began what seemed like a long arduous walk to his car.

He prepared to push the door unlock button he had become accustomed to pushing with wreckless pinache on most occasions (as to tell his car "You are my servant and exist to aqcuise my every whim!") Today he pushed the button with no such pinache. Almost in reply, nothing happened. He pressed it again with a bit more forcefulness. Again, nothing happened. Not wanting to test any theories of threes, (and feeling a bit short on his ability to hypothesize) J.R. stuck his key in the door and decided to do it the old fashioned way. The key turned slowly all the way to the side and yet the lock did not pop up. He turned it back and forth a few more times knowing fully this would continue to be ineffective. J.R. felt the overwhelming urge to sit down against his car and bawl his eyes out. This was also very curious as the last time he had cried was just after murdering Quaker by means of a one way ticket to the Porcelain Underground. What was going on?

Wriggling through his pockets, J.R. pulled out his cell phone and started to speed dial his roomate. This was interrupted half way through dialing as his screen was completely blank, as if the battery was dead. This was not possible though, as J.R. had left it on the charger all night and made absolutly no calls all day. The frustration was increasing, also increasing was that pecking desire to simply flatten out on the ground and cry like a baby. Before he could stop such a stupid thought from entering his mind, he managed to ask himself, what if someone sees you?

"Help I've fallen from on top of the building!" he yelled not waiting to ponder the sheer audacity of a person screaming for help after falling thirteen stories onto concrete. The silence that answered back struck him with an overwhelming swell of mockery. His knees were beginning to weaken. Was he dying? One heart beat skip later. Was he already dead? J.R. was having trouble focusing now, having to settle for sitting down on the curb to avoid passing out entirely.

A few moments passed and J.R. seemed to regain some sense of composure, atleast enough to notice a fairly sizable rock next to his hand. He slowly put out his hand and rubbed his fingers gently across the top. He then proceeded to carefully wrap his fingers around it's rough exterior. Never in his life had something felt so alive in his hand. Was he hallucinating? It was a stupid rock for crying outloud! It was never alive to begin with. He held it up to his face and stared over it intently. Did this silly little rock hold the answer to what was happening to him? It sure seemed like it. There was a power in this stone, a power he did not understand.

J.R. stood up and almost instinctivly started walking, rock in hand, towards the trucks parked on either side of his car. He raised the rock above his head entirely sure the ludicrous feet he was about to perform would bring reality screaming back into his world. J.R. threw it harder than anything he had ever thrown in his life.

The back window of one of the trucks shattered with a very gratifying crash. Glass flew everywhere. He managed to forget his situation for a moment and feel young again, staring intently into the beedy eyes of a young boy and his destruction. J.R. could feel a smile stretch across his face. This smile faded entirely too quickly as the silence that enveloped the world around had not subsided in the slightest. His knees again weakened.

He stumbled back to the staircase at the foot of the building and collapsed onto it. This was not the graceful fall of a dead bird; this was the fall of a man who, in what felt like thirty minutes, managed to destroy his entire life. Then it happened. A single tear fell from his face down onto the concrete and he swore to himself it made no splash. Before he could decipher this (not that he really cared to at this point) many more tears started to fall. Before long he was laying on the staircase crying his eyes out. Nothing mattered anymore.

Nothing.

"What the hell are you doing? Oh my God are you okay?!" A voice called out from behind him.

J.R. wheeled around to notice one of his coworkers walking out the door with a few others, as if it was just like any other day. It took him a few moments and a few wipes of the tears to realize that it was just like any other day. He pulled out his cell phone and stared at the screen in disbelief.

5:01pm. His coworker got to him and started to console him. As if it was obvious someone in J.R.'s family had obviously died. He then realized that wasn't the worst way out of this mess and decided to go with it.

"It's my Dad... he... He died. I just found out." J.R. said, not expecting to feel really awful about it so quickly. "I, I have to go home sorry guys." He finished and turned around to go to his car, comforted so strongly by the sound of his doors unlocking at the push of a button. He wasted no time swinging into the front seat and letting out the biggest sigh of his entire life. His heart skipped an unhealthy number of beats. Was time so relative he could inadvertantly start or stop it whenever he pleased? Surely not he thought. A mother bird and three babies flew over his car as if to both inform and mock him with unbelievably excellent timing (they also added insult to injury by pooping on his car.) How could he ever tangabley explain this to anyone? Who would listen?

"Holy hell what happened to my back windshield!?" A very angry southern voice yelled from outside his car.

He'd listen, J.R. thought to himself. He'd listen.

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I imagine because it was the last 11 minutes of work, and so the ones that feel the longest for many people :)

The story itself is interesting and enjoyable. I hadn't planned on reading it all right now, but after starting it peaked my curiousity and I kinda had to finish it - never a bad sign! As RD said, grammar is a little questionable at times (a few oddly structured or awkwardly long sentences), but not enough to really detract from the story. I always enjoy creative writing (you should see my thank you notes in return for presents - crazy I tell you!) but never really take the time to do any, so I applaud the fact you took the time to do it and came out with an enjoyable read :)

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Moving clocks appear to tick more slowly relative to their stationary counterparts but this effect only becomes really significant at very high velocities that app roach the speed of light.

So in 10 years on Earth someone accelerating close to the speed of light can experience 1.

In 11 mins someone can experience what appears to be a minute, but not more than 11 minutes. Unless of course the world around the person increased in velocity.

Anyways, if relativity did apply to the thought process, if someones mind became more active, time would go by faster.

If someone was a retard, time would seem to take forever but would actually be no more than 11 minutes. Anyways, I liked the story regardless :)

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