"The Sentence" - Your Story #49 Finalist

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"The Sentence" - Your Story #49 Finalist

Postby TiffanyLuckey » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:06 am

The Sentence

I had been watching them for months now, studying their habits and routines. The giant birds were vicious, especially the nesting mothers. They would leave the nest only once per day to scavenge for food; otherwise they were warming their eggs and keeping watch for predators. Once the eggs hatched, it was only days before the young became full grown; the birds would expire after only a couple of weeks.

I hadn’t been the victim of a crash or lost at sea. No, I was brought to this island. I had been deemed too dangerous for a life in prison. People saw my bald head covered in tattoos and assumed the worst. If they only knew…they would’ve killed me in a heartbeat.

But the day had finally come, the day I would escape from this prison of an island. It was easy enough to find food; fish was prevalent, a small spring provided more fresh water than I needed. I could have survived here, but that would be too easy. No, I needed to finish the job I started.

They let me choose one item to bring with me—I chose my great-grandfather’s dictionary. It was handed down to me by my father before he passed away. I brought it with me to war and had almost lost my life when I returned to camp to get it after the camp was compromised and we had evacuated.

I had fashioned a mask out of leaves, branches and mud. The disguise covered my face and head; from the bird nests I would look like a bush.

I plucked the largest coconut that I could find from the nearby tree. It was almost dawn. I needed to hurry if this was going to work today.

I covered my whole body in mud and secured the large disguise to my head. I entered the forest and immediately dropped to the ground. From there, I proceeded in an awkward army crawl; the large coconut tucked beneath my arm made it difficult to maneuver across the forest floor. The birds didn’t nest in the treetops like traditional birds. With a wingspan of over 20 feet, the massive nests required much more room than the tree branches offered.

I headed for the cluster of bushes. I paused, and seeing no mother, continued into the nest. There were dozens of large brown eggs. I chose the darkest one I could find — the darker the egg, the closer it was to hatching. I replaced the egg with the coconut and quickly crawled back into the bushes. As my feet slipped back into the foliage, I heard the unmistakable sound of giant wings flapping nearby. The mother had returned. My heart stopped, and I waited.

The mother went directly to the coconut. She stared at it, nudged it with her beak, and finally laid on it, warming it along with the other eggs.

I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding and exited the forest as quickly, and discreetly, as possible.

Now came the hard part. I placed the egg near the tree and picked up the dictionary. I shredded each page of the book, sadness overcoming me as the heirloom was ripped into nesting material. I built the structure of the nest with branches and leaves, and padded the dictionary pages around the egg for insulation.

I wrapped my body around the egg and fell asleep. I was jostled awake by the violently jerking egg in my arms. I sat up and watched as the baby bird’s slimy head made its way through the eggshell. I made sure I was the first thing it saw, so it would know me as its mother.

After a few days, the bird had grown to full size, and we had mastered flying together. It was now or never. I climbed on her back with a pocket full of fish to tide her over. Wasting no time, she kicked off the sandy shore and we headed north—where he was.

I had killed a lot of people—doctors, police officers, anyone involved in the cover-up. Those that falsely testified and let him go free because they were afraid of him. Fear was the last thing they felt as I slit each of their throats.

I will find him. I will kill him. The man that tortured and murdered by beautiful wife and children.

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