The Bird in Hand

11 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below. Looking at the roster of names now contributing stories I see that the landscape has changed. Old friends have moved on, new voices call. Thought I’d write a story for this prompt since the picture is mine. It’s an obscure tale about halcyon days and will speak to but a few. Don’t feel compelled to comment. Easier that way, right? I wrote this one for me. Hope you all are well and prospering.

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 12.48.52 AM.png


She returned to the house in a dream to find a mynah had flown down the chimney. After a long time she was able to throw a towel over it and carry the squirming bundle outside.

The bird regarded her with black, baleful eyes as she gently freed it, taking special care with the strong feet that gripped the terry cloth.

“I never meant to hurt you,” she said gently, then opened her hand. The bird took flight, but before it disappeared over the ironwoods she thought she heard its answer carried on the windless air.

Then she woke.

32 Responses to “The Bird in Hand”

  1. rochellewisoff October 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    So glad the windless air has carried your voice this direction. A gentle story with healing in its wings.



    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Gossamer wings.

      Thank you.



  2. Iain Kelly October 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    A peaceful story, nicely done.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

      Dear Iain,

      Thank you, sir.



  3. Dale October 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    This was truly lovely, Doug.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

      Dear Dale,

      Thanks for saying so. Good to hear from you.



  4. Helena Hann-Basquiat October 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    The lessons we learn from dreams. Well, sir, it was good to see you poke your head up. I did last week just to say hello and got decapitated. So, I fear I used up all my good will this week and cannot possibly show my face around these here parts no more, ah reckon. Great photo, nice story. See you around.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

      Dear Helena,

      So good to hear from you. Please, for me, and for you, don’t lose contact with the group, or with me. Even though things look one way or another, time softens the edges and gives new perspectives. This world is a better place with you in it and singing.

      Thanks for the compliment. I enjoyed the writing and now feel like a ghost visiting old haunts. Brings back memories, as did the prompt.



      • Helena Hann-Basquiat October 12, 2017 at 11:43 am #

        I may write a tale based on the image. I had a dream of a woman who has been turned into a hideous, insatiably hungry beast by a witch. She confronts the witch, who has herself been transformed into a mynah bird, and who offers to change her back, if she would just… but the woman doesn’t hear the rest. She grabs the bird and eats it.
        The personal metaphor is uncomfortably delicious. Perhaps too much so.

  5. James October 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    “I never meant to hurt you.” Then she woke. It was never a bird.

    • dmmacilroy October 12, 2017 at 6:10 am #

      Dear James,

      Ah, dreams…

      Thanks for the comment. Nice to meet you.



  6. Sandra October 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    Lovely to see a story from you again, Doug. Fly safely.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

      Dearest Sandra,

      Lovely to be answering a kind and perceptive comment from you. Your mind is a wonderful landscape. Is it any wonder that you live large in mine?

      Thank you,


  7. Alicia Jamtaas October 11, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    When I saw your name I thought, “Welcome back!” and you returned with such a gentle story. Don’t be a stranger. Alicia

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

      Dear Alicia,

      Your comment made me smile. Thanks for the welcome and the kindness within. I may be getting stranger, but I’ll try not to be one.



  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 11, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    So glad to see you writing again Doug… and this story didn’t disappoint. Somehow it makes me believe in what dreams might tell us.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

      Dear Bjorn,

      It’s good to see me writing again, too. Strange feeling, this. Thanks for the kind comment on my enigmatic story. Dreams are amazing and so hard to hang on to after they are gone.



  9. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover October 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Sweet, uplifting story. It makes me wonder how to interpret such a dream.

    • dmmacilroy October 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

      I like your blog title/nom de plume if for no other reason than I am always adding the letter ‘u’ to the word Dog. Old habits from childhood. Thanks for your kind comment. I tried to capture the fleeting nature of a dream in this story. Tough to do in a hundred words, but that’s the challenge.



      • Life Lessons of a Dog Lover October 11, 2017 at 11:26 pm #

        Thanks Doug. Now you have to tell me you have a dog named Doug.

  10. sustainabilitea October 12, 2017 at 12:05 am #

    Even if I hated the story, I’d be happy to come across a Doug sighting. Bill and I hope all’s well with you.


    • dmmacilroy October 12, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      Dear Janet,

      Wonderful to see your name on the feed. Are you and Bill still globetrotting? Have you settled down to some sort of pleasant routine? All is well with me. Feeling the tug of writing again, a good sign.

      Thanks for commenting. (I’m sorry if you hated the story. I’ll keep working at this writing thing.)



      • sustainabilitea October 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

        First of all, Dan, I didn’t hate the story. I said “Even IF I had…” 🙂 I’m glad you’re feeling like writing again. That is a good sign.

        We’re in somewhat of a routine, although I did a lot of traveling this summer. I’m now working a couple days a week, which keeps me out of trouble. 🙂 Hope to see more of you online and we always hope you’re doing well.

  11. draliman October 12, 2017 at 6:12 am #

    Beautifully written.

  12. elmowrites October 12, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    So lovely that you are back, Doug, even for a flying visit. Your story left me feeling strangely sad, but maybe I mean wistful. Anyway, moving.
    Currently on a break here, both from FF (childcare enforced) and from childcare (holiday in Cambodia) so I’m glad I didn’t miss this.
    All the best

    • dmmacilroy October 12, 2017 at 10:07 am #

      Dearest Jennifer,

      It is good to hear you, see you, talk to you and recall all the wonderful conversations we’ve had over the years. Thank you for letting me know you found me.

      Cambodia? Is it everything you were led to believe? Who’s minding the store (Sebastian?). Surely he’s not old enough to drive yet?

      As for your feeling after reading my offering, I’m glad to hear you say it because that’s what I was hoping to elicit.

      Enjoy your holiday, Breathe deep, look deeper and cherish the passing days.

      Your friend,


  13. rgayer55 October 13, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Dear Doug,

    Reading the comments reminded me of attending a family reunion. There are still several of us old timers who have not been able to kick the FFF addiction.

    Thanks for supplying the photo this week. Rochelle and I had a blast roasting each other with the bird. Speaking of that, I wonder why no one has written one about “flipping the bird?”

  14. yarnspinnerr October 13, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    An elegant metaphor. Thanks for the prompt pic.

  15. Glad to read your gentle prose once more. Thanks for the photo inspiration.

  16. Sarah Ann October 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    Beautifully told, gentle and sad. I’m left wondering if this is a dream she has continually, or if after the dreaming of it she is able to forgive herself and move on.
    It’s great to read your writing again Doug. I leave hoping for more.

  17. lingeringvisions by Dawn October 15, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    So good to “see” you here, even better to read you. Lovely romantic story, Doug, Thank you.
    Hope you are well,

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