Yuletide Aviary – Part 3

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            Thomas looks around the shop.

            “You okay there, pal?” Jacob says.

            “That other guy left. Guess I scared him off.”

            “Maybe you’ve had enough eggnog, Eh?”

            “Nope. I’m getting’ another. Barkeep? Another round.”

            Lutin placed another beer and eggnog in front of the birds. The Hens whispered clucks go unnoticed. Thomas pecks a few seeds. He offers the bowl to Jacob who declines by raising a wing. They enjoy the silence for a few minutes. The music isn’t loud enough for anyone to care.

            A little bell jingles as the shop door opens. A tall yellow and orange Heron ducks under the door jam and enters.

            “Ah, geez. Not this guy. He gets so depressing around delivery season.” Jacob says.

            “Good evening…gentlemen.” The large Heron says.

            He towers over everyone in the shop with his head only a few inches from the ceiling. He sits next to Thomas with a seat between them.

            “Hey there, Ben. You finish your deliveries already?” Jacob says.

            “One could say that. I’ve…taken some time off…as I’ll be passing on soon…very soon.” Benjamin says.

            “Sorry to hear that old timer.” Thomas says.

            “Oh, it’s…not so bad. I’ll be born again…a few weeks after.”

            “Born again, Eh? How’s that work?”

            “Well…I burst into flames…I’ll burn in such a violent way…then from those ashes…a new version of myself…will rise up.”

            “So, will you be the same or like a new person?”

            “I will…be the same…but younger and…more virile.”

            “This happened before, Eh?”

            “About…17 times. I may have…lost count.”

            “Good luck with that, I guess.” Thomas says.

            “Thank you. I’ll be…on my way…just saying goodbye to everyone. See you…on the other side.”

            “See you ‘round Ben.”

            “Take it easy there, Ben.”

            “Hey Jake, that’s guy’s a couple twigs short of a nest.”

            “You’re telling me. First time he’s talked about death though. You think he’s okay? Maybe he shouldn’t be alone, Eh?”

            “He’ll be fine.” Lutin says.

            “How do you know?” Thomas says.

            “He’ reborn about every 500 years. I’ve seen it twice.”

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Yuletide Aviary – Part 2

Read Part 1

            This night is not unlike most nights for the two birds. There are fewer birds and elves than usual and no other creatures. They discuss many topics, but they don’t always get along.

            “You think they have any of those little pretzel sticks here?” Jacob says.

            “Ask him.” Thomas says.

            “Hey Lutin? You got pretzel sticks, Eh?”

            “Nah. But I got those pickled eggs you like.”

            Jacob slices his wing by his neck signaling Lutin to stop talking. Thomas glares at Jacob.

            “You cannibal freak!”

            “Relax Tommy. They’re chicken eggs and they ain’t got no babies in there.”

            “That’s not the point. I knew you couldn’t be trusted. You’re just like all the other Jays stealing bird eggs. You’re sick, you know that? You’re a sick bird.”

            Lutin rests his elbow on the counter and his chin in his hand. He watches with excitement.

            “Don’t be a hoser. You know me. You know I ain’t a thief.”

            “Then why you eatin’ eggs!? And what the hell is a hoser?”

            “Look, I’m sohrry. I never ate the eggs in front of you ‘cause I know how you feel aboot it. But chickens lay eggs all the time not just when they have babies like we do. Just try one and see if you like it.”

            “Hell no! I ain’t no cannibal. I gotta use the john. You better have forgotten about them eggs when I get back.”

            The Hens are quiet as Thomas walks past. He sees his reflection in the mirror.

            “What are you lookin’ at!?” Thomas says.

            No one speaks while he’s gone. The commotion has subsided and Lutin returns his attention to the television looking bored. Thomas walks out and again sees his reflection.

            “Still starin’? You got something to say? Don’t mess with me, man. I’m from Southie!”

            Thomas struts back to his seat with his feathers ruffled.

            “That guy’s getting on my nerves.”

            “There’s no one there, Tommy. It’s a mirror, Eh.”

            “Don’t tell me what I saw. You weren’t there.”

Read Part 3.

Yuletide Aviary – Part 1

            Far North where no daylight ventures during Winter months is a small village. Blinking lights cover every home and shop. A thick layer of powdered snow wraps around everything as more snow sways in the gentle wind. Many a variety of creatures live in this small beacon of civilization surrounded by barren tundra. The town’s purpose is to bring Yule to the world. Gifts are made and prepared to be delivered to everyone.

            It’s not just elves and reindeer who aid in this plan. All creatures play a role bringing the holidays to life. Birds of many varieties and origins comprise the majority of helpful creatures. Many of them perform most of the deliveries. There are a few with less demanding roles who spend a relaxing evening with friends and colleagues.

            Two such birds meet at the one shop in the small village that serves adult beverages. The soft hum of the jukebox plays carols. A trio of French Hens discuss their vacation plans. On barstools now facing each other sit Jacob and Thomas.

            Thomas is a Northern Cardinal. He eats from a bowl of seeds and sips his rum eggnog. He sprinkles nutmeg on his drink between sips. Jacob is a Blue Jay and a little taller than Thomas. He sips on a bottle of Naughty Nick’s Ginger Beer. The two birds sit with a seat between them.

            The bartender is an elf with a beard longer than his body. He stares at a television without interest waiting for anyone else to enter the shop on this slow night. The three Hens cackle at their table. Thomas turns towards them looking annoyed.

            “Don’t pay them no mind, Tommy. Leave ‘em be, Eh.” Jacob says.

            “Ain’t nobody else here. Why they gotta be so damn loud?”

            “They’re having a good time. You catch the game yesterday?”


            “Which team you root for?”

            “Boston! Who else?”

            “But they played the Cardinals?”
            I didn’t grow up in St. Louis and the Cardinals suck. Who gave them permission to use me as their mascot anyway?”

            “My hometown team are the Blue Jays, and I don’t mind being their mascot, Eh.”

            “Yeah, whatever.”

Read Part 2