The Birds

“I wonder if they’re real,” John asked, pointing at the crows on the fence bordering the pond. 

Overgrown grass reigned supreme, but the park still showed signs of its past of glorious, manicured, suburban, peaceful days. 

John imagined kids riding bikes along the then clear path, old people walking little dogs, young couples jogging, groups of friends having a picnic and a laugh on the trimmed grass, overlooking the pond and the skyscrappers beyond. 

The people may be gone and the air may be thick and toxic, but the crows remained.

“Are you kidding? When was the last time you saw a real bird?” Francie scoffed. 

About the same time he saw a real child or a real flower, he thought to himself, trying not to think about the memory of his own child, now long gone. 

Maybe it was better to leave. There was nothing for them there anymore.

Around them, a grey mist announced rain, urging them to get moving.

At least they were going somewhere, he thought—somewhere with lovely manicured gardens, and flowers, and children running around, and rain that didn’t burn their skin, and a sun that didn’t suffocate.

He’d have loved it, he smiled to himself, grabbing his suitcase to go to the home he had been waiting for his entire life.

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