- Carrion/Restorationby Neonewman
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In the beginning contest entry
Carrion/Restoration by Neonewman
In The Beginning... contest entry

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.

"Brooke!" Jared summoned his wife. "Come and look at these birds circling our trash." 

"I'm changing the baby," she replied.

"Yeah, you need to see this honey."

His wife scooped up their baby and rushed to see what the fuss was.

"Look," Jared said with the blinds open.

"They're buzzards you idiot," she said.

"Yeah! I know, but they've surrounded our trash like road kill." Jared paused. "Doesn't seem natural."

"Dinner's ready, can't you leave your new pets to their dinner long enough to enjoy yours?"

"Yeah, give me a second." Jared watched as the smallest buzzard launched the attack. The birds ravaged the trash bags.

"Jared!" Brooke yelled. "Your dinner's getting cold."

"Like it's that great hot," he mumbled.

Jared sat at the head of the table and reached for the chicken.

"Uh, excuse me," Brooke scolded.

He immediately bowed his head. "Father God, we give thanks for the food you've provided, the roof over our heads, our health, and this beautiful baby boy. Oh, and the birds on our lawn. They're a little creepy, please remove them.

Jared lifted his head and smiled. It doesn't matter if her cooking is less than appetizing, he thought to himself, she's amazing.

"So, you're a little freaked out about our feathered friends," she said. "They're just doing what they do, you know, to survive." She passed the potatoes. "I feel blessed they've chosen the scraps I've prepared to fill their bellies. Guess they like my cooking." she boasted.

"Makes sense," Jared mumbled. "They do love rotting flesh."

"Hey," Brooke snapped. "You realize I can hear you," she shot him the bird. "You're no chef yourself, but I'm willing to step aside and let you take over. Or, you can change Tanner, feed the dog and clean the house as well." She lifted her eyebrows. "You can start with the dishes." Brooke retired to the living room.

"Oh, shit!" Jared sighed.

"My, God," Brooke screamed.

Jared bolted from the table.

"What's wrong?"

"The birds are everywhere," she said.

"Oh, my God!" he said as he joined her at the window.

"There's at least thirty of them." She squinted. "Jared, I'm a little freaked out," she said, then leaned toward her husband. "What if they stay all night? Or worse, what if they attack you when you leave in the morning?"

"Honey," Jared said. "They're harmless birds, they can't hurt us."

"But," her lip quivered.

"Baby, they're just birds." He smiled.

"Yeah, well they're freaking big birds." She moved closer to him. "The baby," she said. "He's alone in his room; he's defenseless."

"Brooke!" Jared shouted as she ran toward Tanner's room. "Dammit," he whispered.

"He's okay," she said.

"Of course, he is honey, he's inside."Jared smiled. "They are outside. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure they can't open doors."

Brooke looked up.

"Or, ring the doorbell for that matter," he said with a goofy grin.

"Alright," Brooke smiled.

"They'll be gone by morning," Jared said. " I promise."

The second story


"Where the hell am I?" Tanner yelled as he fumbled for a light switch. "How did I get here?"

"The lights will come on at six a.m." A voice penetrated the darkness. "At six-fifteen you will enjoy a healthy breakfast."

"What?" Tanner asked. "Who are you?"

"Once you've completed your breakfast, you will begin a rigorous work out regimen," the voice interrupted. "Upon completion, you will take a shower and prepare yourself for daily activities."

"My name is Tanner Mason," he said, forcing a formal introduction.

Silence filled the pitch.

"Please," Tanner dropped to the floor. "What am I doing here?" He began to crawl across the laminate. "What have I done to make you bring me here?" Tanner cried out.

No reply was heard.

"Healthy breakfast," Tanner asked. "What the hell does that even mean? A rigorous workout?"

The silence continued.

"Answer me, dammit!" He demanded, as he pounded his fist upon the floor.

Tanner found the bed he'd previously occupied and pulled himself from the floor.

"What are you going to do to me?" Reality was setting in. "You're going to kill me aren't you? You're going to freaking kill me!" Tanner curled into the fetal position and began to cry.




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