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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fiction
The Inner Monologue of a Bird Trapped in Your House

Oh. Dear. God.

What the hell have you gotten yourself into this time, Terry? No, Terry, this is no good, no good at all. What the hell is that thing? And those? They’re huge! All of these big motionless things are probably cats. Probably big, indoor cats. That chair-like object there, that’s definitely a cat. You can feel its seething menace.

This is worse than the time you tried to take that French fry from that tiny human. Do you remember how he charged at you, laughing sardonically? The hate in his beady eyes? But you just can’t resist, can you? You dumb son of a bitch. Mom always said you’d die like this, flapping wildly inside of a large stucco cube.

The only appropriate reaction is to freak the fuck out. Hopefully that will alert someone to my distress, and they’ll dispatch a rescue team. That’s it Terry, bob! Weave! Squawk like you’ve never squawked before!

Oh.

Shit.

People.

There are people here! Why, on this day, in this place, people?! And they don’t look like they’ve got bags of bread, either. No, it’s always one way or the other with humans; they’re either giving you bread by the fistful or mowing you down with the giant metal cats they ride inside of.

My God, that one has a broom! The ultimate killing machine. Can’t land; too risky. I’ll have to batter myself against this wall, and hopefully burrow my way through to the outside.

No, no good. Now I’ve just got a headache. These walls must be made of titanium or something. Broom to the left! Ha! Missed me! All right; pull it together, Terry, you can do this. There must be some way … ah, a large square hole to the outside world! How stupid can they be? I’ll just fly through at full speed and —

FUCK! What the hell was that?! Some kind of force field? They probably put it there as a decoy, just so I’ll kill myself ramming into the damned thing.

Wait, it looks like the human is opening a portal in the force field. No, Terry, it could be a trap. They think I’m stupid, but I’m not falling for it. No, battering myself against the walls; that’s where the smart money is.

One!

Two!

O.K., a little dizzy now. Damn, I feel a shit coming on. Oh well, no time to land, I’ll just let it fly. Uh-oh! That didn’t make the human happy. Human, aren’t you glad? I’ve deposited seeds in your soil that will one day grow into plentiful berry bushes!

No dice. What are you thinking, Terry? These monsters have no reason, no sympathy. One minute they’re taking pictures of your glorious flight formations, the next minute they’ve locked you in a cage and taught you their barbaric language.

God, how I miss the sun, the fresh air coursing over my body … Hey! Is that you, Sun? I’ll just dive recklessly towards you and … no, no, that’s a candle.

All right, Terry, emergency-management plan. Left wing pretty healthily aflame at this point. Maybe if I just crash into the wall, dashing my brains against the inside of my skull, I can at least die with some dignity. Here goes!

What? A soft, cloth surface? Darkness? Where am I? Is this…Hell? Wait … moving … rapidly … light … blossoming …

Oh thank the heathen bird gods! I’m free, though I know not why or whither!

Free to wheel and cavort through the aether!

Free to bank sideways recklessly!

Free to zoom through these open French doors with eyes closed and …

Oh. Dear. God.

Michael Swaim is a humor writer whose work appears regularly on Cracked. He is also cofounder and head writer for the Internet sketch troupe Those Aren't Muskets!