Roc the House Down – a Fiction

He didn’t land on the house today, which was nice.  Don’t think the roof will take his weight much longer.  One of these days it’s going to give way and that will be that for the house I was born in.

These things happen.  Which is an odd thing to say, given the circumstances.

The past week Mare and I have already moved most of the important stuff out of the home place to the house down the way.  He watched us do it from the sky.  Even gave us a swoop Thursday, a black mountain dropping out of the blue.  Scared Mare half to death.  I keep telling her we’re too small for him to take interest in as food, that he’s just practicing for larger game.

Maybe one day I’ll even believe it myself.

We decided we’ll still stay in the home place until it caves in.  Too many memories to just up and leave.  No worries about him dropping in one day; he always cries out right before he lands.  We go rushing out to see him, which , I suppose, was the purpose of the cry.  He likes an audience, and we are all he’s got these days.

No one lives anywhere near.  Not for miles.

Unaware of how things are, the kids keep calling us to tell us we should move.  Like I said, the whole town has emptied out, we’re the only ones left.  If we want anything, we have to go all the way up to Springfield, miles away.  No one will come to help us if we need any help.  Staying here we will be on our own.  Alone.

Except for him, of course, but he’s more likely to be the source of our problems than the solution.

Now I would go, if Mare wanted to leave, and Mare would go if I wanted to leave, but neither of us really want to.  This has been our home for all our lives.  We know every inch of it and knew everyone who lived there.

Well, still do.  If you stop and think about it.

Besides, there’s no telling how he’d react to our moving too far away.  Just because he let everyone else go, doesn’t mean he’ll do the same for us.  Always took a fancy to us, though no one’s been able to understand why.  Though they used to try.  Lord, didn’t they just!

No use telling the kids that.  Won’t listen to anyone but themselves these days.  Which is well and good for the most part.  They are adults, after all.

Though there are the occasional problems.  Once, Fenny, one of our middle children, came up.  Made some noises about forcing us to move, if you can believe that.  Putting us in a home, ’cause obviously we weren’t in our right minds wanting to live here.  Big row that ended up with Mare crying and me kicking him out of the house.  One of my sons doing that, it’s hard to think.

The others put him in his place and allow us our say.  This doesn’t stop them from trying to get us to leave, though.  Not that I mind the effort.  Shows that they care.

We keep busy, Mare and I.  We were well off before he came to stay, so there’s no need for either of us to work.  Mare does her painting and me, I watch him.  I watch him as he soars through the sky, I watch him as he perches on the ruined church in town.  Study him, get to know him, like that lady does with them apes in Africa.

He knows I’m there.  He doesn’t let me come too close, gives me a little clack with that great yellow beak of his.  I can get near enough.  Funny how he seems nervous about me, when all the jets and tanks and missiles in the world couldn’t ruffle a feather.  Maybe it because he believes the small ones should flee him and not seek him out.  Having one be so contrary is wrong, and wrong makes him nervous.

Which is why sometimes I risk a little more than I should.  You’d think making something so large nervous would be a mistake, but to me, it’s getting my own back, a little.  Doesn’t seem right that he gets his way completely.  He took everything from me and Mare, after all.  Our town, our friends, our life.  A small inconvenience, but it’s what I can do.

Beyond that, it’s a good life.  Not as good as it was, not as good as it could be elsewhere, maybe, but good.  We’re happy.  He’s happy.  What more could you ask for?

Besides not being under the eye of a giant bird, I mean.


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