You Know I Don't Like Yellow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story, only 1700 words, written to be entered into a short story writing contest.

The prompt was "Write about someone who is given a bird for the holidays and doesn't know how to take care of it."

I’ve been hiding under my table for 6 hours, 6 hours I have been cuddled up next to an iron skillet waiting for the perfect moment to make a run for it. Alex, someone I met on an online dating website about two months ago, gifted me a yellow Canary for Christmas, despite me mentioning that I had a fear of flying animals. Not to mention that the color yellow is the least appealing color on the planet.


Trust me, you’ll love it! The canaries are known to be beautiful singers! Don’t you love singing?” The moment that Alex gave me this random Canary replayed in my mind. They weren’t wrong, I do enjoy singing, but a singing bird? Not so much. 


If you’re wondering why I am hiding under the table, well the Canary bit me… then proceeded to attack me. Not quite sure if it could technically be labeled as an attack, but the only thing that matters is that it bit me and I didn’t like it. It also has these odd, overly, shiny eyes that make me think that it isn’t real. I know that sounds a bit rash, but they look fake in my opinion. 


“Ok… it’s almost midnight, I definitely need to get out from under this table.” I shift quietly, and my knees and elbows crack like I’m at least fifty years old. I’ve been sitting in the same position for as long as I’ve been here because I was too nervous to move in the slightest. I was expecting the bird to show up out of nowhere, but it was deathly silent in the entire house and it was nowhere to be seen. I was convinced for a minute that maybe it had escaped because I left the window to the living room wide open, but to my surprise, as soon as I stood up, the little yellow Canary was sitting on top of the table. 


I jumped out of and dropped the iron skillet on the floor, which in turn created a dent in my tile flooring. So far, it seems as if the gift was instead a curse. I haven’t even had the bird for more than a day and I have had nothing, but bad things happen to me. 


“It is kinda late, you probably need to eat right?” I ask the bird. It squeaks at me and I’m assuming it’s saying yes. I’m not sure why I even said anything because I haven’t a clue what I am supposed to give the bird. Alex just handed me the thing in a silver cage, but they did not supply any food, tips, or anything. 


“Bugs? Grass? What the hell am I supposed to give to you?” A quick Google search on my phone quickly informs me that I should be feeding it seeds or even fruit. The problem is that I don’t really have any fruit besides bananas, I am the least healthy person on the planet and the last thing in my diet is a variety of fruits and vegetables.


I lock my phone and grab the bananas off the top of my fridge. To my surprise, the bird hasn’t moved or even tried to move this entire time. It just keeps watching me with its incredibly terrifying eyes. I try to do the same, not break my gaze from it. I’m convinced that if I do then it’ll disappear. I tear off a banana from the stalk and break it open. I don't care too much to cut it up nicely so I pull off small pieces from the banana and set them in front of the bird. It doesn’t budge. 


“Dude, eat,” I would’ve fully expected the bird to go nuts over food like most animals do, but it didn’t even seem remotely interested in the fact that I was feeding it. “Um… okay… whatever.” 


I place the remaining banana pieces in front of it and slowly back out of the kitchen, not breaking my gaze with the bird. I wasn’t even going to try and put it in its cage because God knows that would take me an eternity and by this point, it was almost one in the morning. 


Once the bird was out of my sight I ran to my room as fast as I possibly could. I’m running so fast, well trying to, and already running out of breath before I can get all the way up the stairs. Even worse, I can hear the bird squeaking from the kitchen. 


I knew I shouldn’t have taken my eyes off of it. 


The bird is getting closer and by the time I’m at the top of the steps, I can hear its wings flapping behind me. I sprint to my bathroom and slam the door just in time. I haven’t peed in over eight hours and I desperately needed to use the bathroom before going to sleep. The dilemma here is how exactly am I supposed to get to my bedroom after this? I still have to make it down the hallway. 


I sit on the toilet and stare at my phone screen, the motions continue to play in my head as I attempt to map out my plan. All of a sudden, Alex’s face pops up in the corner and I groan. 


How’s it goin’ with the bird? He’s awesome, isn’t he? Did you get a chance to name him yet?’


“Well Alex, it actually is going pretty terribly!” I growl to my phone and slam it onto the counter next to me. I’m not quite sure what to tell them because I don’t want to be rude, after all, the bird was a gift. 


I pick my phone back up and conjure up some bull crap message to send to them. 


Hey! It’s going pretty well actually, I named him Bo.’


That was totally a lie, I definitely didn’t name the bird Bo. I typically give names to things I like, not flying demon spawns that have given me nothing but absolute stress! 


“Ok,” I let out an exasperated sigh. “I need to get to my room. I have to be at work at nine and I can’t hide in my bathroom forever.” I get up, wash my hands, and just go for it. I open the door and I run so fast, that I can’t even tell if the bird is in the same vicinity as me. I sprint inside my room slamming the door so hard that the photos on my wall shake. I was so relieved, only to open my eyes and see the yellow bird sitting on my nightstand. 


“Get… out!” I swing open my bedroom door, breathing heavily, probably looking like something similar to Jack Nicholson. “Please, just leave me alone.” I cry out and it responds by squeaking at me. I stand at my door for what seems like forever, all while trying to get the bird out by frantically swinging my arms all over the place. If you were wondering, no this doesn’t actually work. 


I glance at my phone screen and notice that it’s two-thirty at this point. I sigh and rub my tired eyes, hoping that once I reopen them that the bird will be gone. Unfortunately, it has only moved to my dresser so I just give up, change into my pajamas, and go to bed. 


Despite going to bed with a creepy bird watching me the entire night, I slept fairly well and managed to sleep so well that I woke up half an hour later than I was supposed to. 


“No, no, no, no, no,” I’m running around my room, completely naked trying to find the clothes that I thought I had sitting on my desk. Of course, they were nowhere to be found and I was left running around my house like one of those dogs trying to get out from under a blanket. 


The entire time, the bird was watching me. Every time I moved, it moved with me, making sure to never let me leave its sight. I’m convinced that maybe the bird has something to do with my missing clothes, but that theory seems kind of outrageous. 


“Where are my clothes?” I whine to the bird. It only returns a loud squeak and then decides to charge at me. I let out a loud shriek and ran down the stairs to my kitchen, to hide under the table of course. Keep in mind that I’m completely naked as well. 


When I get to the table, the iron pan is still sitting on the floor from where I dropped it several hours ago. I slide myself under the table, pulling it with me. Once again I am in the fetal position, cuddling an iron skillet. I hear the bird squeaking, it’s clearly trying to figure out where I am. 


“I need to get to work, I’m going to have to get out from under here,” I whisper to myself. I was in no shape to be late to work again, I’ve been late three times within the last month. This could be the final straw and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find another job so easily, especially right before Christmas. 


It was time for the iron skillet to shine, despite the fact that the bird was a gift from Alex, I was going to have to knock it out. I don’t want to kill it, simply because that would make me feel bad, but I needed to at least slow it down so I could throw some clothes on. 


It was still squeaking so as soon as I heard it get close, I emerged from under the table, closed my eyes, and started swinging the iron skillet around like a baseball bat. My battle screams needed some work, but I was getting the job done so that's all that matters. All of a sudden I hear a loud bang and I open my eyes to see the bird laying on tile a few feet away from me. 


“What the…” The bird was definitely no longer alive… well I’m not so sure it was ever alive, to begin with. I step closer to the carcass to see wires poking out of the broken wings. I nudge its body with the skillet and its face falls off. I gasp and jump back only to notice something eerie behind its face. 


Two small, now broken, cameras were placed where the bird's eyes should’ve been. Alex didn’t actually give me a bird, they gave me a camera that looked like a bird, so they could watch me. 


The moral of the story, don’t trust birds, don't trust the color yellow, and don't trust someone you met through an online dating app.

Submitted: January 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Charley Bardot. All rights reserved.

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