There were pancakes everywhere. The whole house was covered with them. There was no rhythm or logic to their placement, no obvious tale they were meant to tell. Yet it was clear that they were the key. The issue of the issue.
I ran the tip of one feather through the wet globs of batter sliding down the walls like mucus. I turned to my partner.
“Initial observations, Barnie?” I asked.
Owls are known for their keen vision, especially in the dark. The shuttered windows allowed scant light into the bedroom. With a little hoot of curiosity, she shuffled up beside me. Her brown downy fluff brushed against my coat. She rotated her head in that impossible way, smooth and fluid. Honk! She’s hootiful. Not that I’d ever have the pluck to tell her.
“Pancakes, Gander,” she said. “Pancakes everywhere.”
I tried not to be disappointed at the banality of this statement. She drew in a soft, startled hoot.
“What is it?” I asked.
She wet her beak. “Duck,” she murmured with horror.
My down quivered. “Duck?” I said.
“Goose,” came a reply from the dark.
Oh, Honk! I know that voice.
The slap, slap of webbed feet. The click of a revolver. Drake moved from the shadows, leering at me through one hazel eye.
I leveled my gun with his. “Run, Barnie!” I hissed.
Drake laughed. “Go ahead and try, Chick. But it’s too late.” He raised a wing. “Listen. They’re here.”
The frantic shriek and sigh of their calls rolled over us like the ocean that bore them. Rats. Pests. The locust of our kind, willing to devour anything. No known substance exists to slake their endless thirst.
Barnie threw her wings around me. “Seagulls!” she screeched.
Yes, seagulls. The explosion of scent from the unclaimed, unguarded pancakes had called them right to us, like vultures to carrion. Drake quackled maniacally as he vanished down the hall.
* * * *
Do you know what happens next? Tell me in the comments in 500 words or less and turn my Microfiction into Flashfiction. If I get at least two replies by October 29th, 2022, I’ll pick my favorite and add your “What’s Next” to my opening!
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