Living Up High

I can’t remember the writing prompt for which I wrote this little tale; maybe an exercise in dialogue or a story about city living. But I did it awhile ago for The Write Practice and now I’ll reprint it here.


Pigeons overlook park.jpg“Back again, Flutter.” Grayson made a wide loop and landed beside his mate. “The place looks good so far, though I’d be quite happy if they’d stop right now. It’s a comfortable height for us; if they go much higher we won’t be able to sit on the roof at all.”

Flutter murmured her disapproval. “These humans seem to have gone mad with wanting to hover up in the clouds. It’s ridiculous. Give me a nice twelve-storey building any day.”

The two of them sat on the balcony rail of the hotel at the corner of Franklin Street and watched the crane lifting up even more steel girders for the new apartment building going up a few blocks away.

“It’s going to be a dandy when it’s done,” said Grayson. “I’ve put our name in for a light fixture on the eleventh floor. As you say, no point trying for a penthouse. It does looks like this is another one that’s going up into the clouds. We’d be dizzy all day long looking down from that height.”

“And the danger to our fledglings being blown off a roof that high.”

“I was along with several others on this reconnaissance flight. We especially checked out those fancy outside floodlight fixtures. They’re just the ticket, dear. Far enough from the wall to build our nests behind and they’ll keep our toes warm in winter. Hope these humans don’t get some silly notion about shutting the lights off at night.”

Flutter bobbed her head up and down. “The location couldn’t be better! Right next to the park. But I sure wish that old man would come again. You know, the one who always filled his jacket pockets with birdseed and encouraged us sit on his shoulders to eat it.

Feeding pigeons.jpgGrayson agreed. “I do miss him. Walking breakfast bar, he was. I wonder why he never comes anymore? Well, anyway, there are always kiddies dropping their bags of popcorn.
“I just wish we lived father away from those dratted peregrines. Since they’ve taken over the roof of the Delta Inn life has been a constant struggle for survival for downtown pigeons.”

“Let’s not even think about them.” Flutter shuddered. They’d already lost a number of relatives to peregrine falcon attacks.

“Bloodthirsty birds,” Grayson squawked. “Wish the airplanes flying over would take every last one of them out.”

He rubbed Flutter’s cheek with his own. “I do think we’re going to be quite cozy in our new digs. And it’s always interesting to watch the traffic below. We’ll just have to be sure and get a sheltered spot to build our nest.” They were both quiet a moment remembering the high winds that blew their nest away last year, grieving for the four almost-hatched eggs they lost.

In spite of the nice tall buildings humans were constantly erecting for them, living downtown was always perilous.

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