May 2

Garden Clippings #2

The bird didn’t flinch as Janelle grew closer and closer. When she was upon him she hesitated a moment imagining a Hitchcock-like eye pecking out, but was pleasantly relieved when the bird sat obediently as if he knew that he has something to deliver. She reached down and unwrapped the paper from his ankle. Once delivered the bird startled both of them by flying back to the rafters, but their mission was accomplished, nonetheless. “Okay let’s see what we have here.” Janelle knew that she should call the James and Joe and wait for them to get to the front of the store before looking, but her anticipation was too much to resist. Mary evidently felt the same way as she huddled near enough to Janelle to see whatever was written on the paper for herself.

“You have been warned. Consider this to be true. God’s creatures are dying, and it’s all because of you. This murder is on your head, watch out or you’ll be the next one dead.”

Janelle dropped the note to the floor and hadn’t even realized that she’d let out the blood curdling scream until James and Joe sprinted to the front of the shop yelling, “What’s happened?” Mary was at her side and gently helping her to the floor and gain her balance. She felt dizzy as if she was about to faint. After a few minutes of Mary gently rubbing her back and saying, “Everything’s going to be all right. We’ll get this sorted out.” Janelle finally felt strong enough to ask, “Why me?” James had the note in hand and was pacing with it. He was agitated by its existence and even more so by the fact that none of them really seemed to know what to do about it. Of course, there should be police involvement, but the more pressing question was “What was the murderous psychopath talking about?” Janelle was no enemy of the planet. She loved all creatures big and small, and did her best to reduce, reuse, recycle and live clean and green. It saddened her that the baby birds had died and she had been the one concerned about the kestrel’s wings when trying to orchestrate its capture. What on Earth perceived violation had she committed?

“You realize that we’re going to have to call the police. “ Joe pointed out, and Janelle could see Mary nod at this. James was still pacing, and now he was muttering and occasionally shaking his fist in the air too. If Janelle didn’t already know that this was how he worked out the difficult questions, she would have thought that perhaps he was the one who was crazy. She finally felt as though she could stand without passing out, and when she got to her feet James stopped his pacing and said, “Let’s call the cops now, before I change my mind.”

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Posted May 2, 2015 by R.C. Brophy in category "Garden Clippings - Novel excerpts

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