OK, well, Wordsmiths is back in business, and I promised myself that I absolutely would write a wee piece of fiction for their monthly writing challenge.
And a challenge it was.
With work and school, etc being a little busy, I haven’t stretched the fiction muscles in about 6 months. And boy, howdy, did they cramp up when I tried to jump back on them.
Still, the point of this exercise, for me anyway, was to manage to squeeze something out that wasn’t a 7000 word paper on the importance and methodology of strategic planning. So to that, I say – huzzah!
And here it is, my attempt to smith some words for the month of June.
The woman waves her arms in my face, to no real effect.
“Get away from here, vermin. Fly away!”
To placate her, I flap away a few feet, but I know and she knows that there is nothing she can do to stop what will come.
The beach is empty. It looks peaceful; but we know what will come, my brothers and I.
We, and the others who skulk around the edges of the beach… avoiding tourists and journalists and others who have come for the show.
We… we have come for the feast.
Photographers at the mounds start to stir. It is beginning. We have learned to understand the signs. When the people come here, when they gather in excitement, when they start to giggle, point and cheer. Yes, we know that the hoard is coming.
To them it is the majesty of nature in her glory.
To us: merely the prospect of an easy lunch.
There is no need to gather close to the mounds. They are too dangerous anyway, for we do not meet the definition of adorable creatures needing protection. No, we are those to be protected from. Well-meaning tourists shepherding the babies to the sea… unknowingly sending them to meet their deaths in aquatic bellies rather than avian. It’s all the same when you are the meal.
Now the tide comes: water from one side, the horde from the other. We swoop and dive and feast; avoiding waving hands and shouting voices.
They cannot protect them all.
Tiny hatchlings crawling over the sand, blanketing the beach with their numbers. They crawl as though blind, drawn to the waves and seeming safety of the sea.
The horde is halfway down the beach; fewer now, than when they started, but the fastest and strongest approach the water. As it should be.
There the first one reaches the tide and slips beneath the waves, beyond my reach now, but not safe. The small are never safe.
My brothers and I are sated. We will wait for the next mound, the next opportunity… The next feast.