01 Feb I Really Wish This Giant Creepy Bird Would Just Leave Me Alone
The police aren’t taking me seriously, but this thing ate my cat.
I don’t know how the hell it got in. I came down the stairs early one morning, and there it was in my living room: this monstrosity that stood taller than my 12-year-old son, a horrible sac dangling from its neck, protruding out of an enormous winged body on top of spindly legs. Mittens’ fluffy black tail was disappearing down into its massive beak.
I turned around and headed right back up the stairs, grabbed my son, and locked us all in my bedroom. You would too if you saw this thing in your living room. I called 911, and after just barely convincing the operator that it wasn’t a prank, they sent somebody out.
The cop got to my house and had a look around. The giant bird wasn’t there. Mittens’ mangled body, or what was left of it, was found in the back yard. The cop said, sure, it looked like something had gotten him, but certainly not a five foot tall bird that had somehow gotten in my house (with no signs of forced entry), eaten my cat, and then partially regurgitated him in my back yard.
My wife too thinks I’m going crazy. I am, but that’s beside the point. This thing is driving me crazy.
It was easy to identify the bird, once I later got another look at it in better light. All I had to do was type “creepy bird” into Google and there it was: the Marabou stork. Go ahead and look it up. It’s called the undertaker bird for God’s sake! Now imagine how freaked out you’d be if that thing was following you around for a week.
I know it doesn’t make sense. I’m in Maine, and this beast is supposed to live all the way over in Africa. I don’t know how it got here, but it’s here. I don’t care if anybody else has seen it, it’s here.
The second time I saw it was in the beer aisle at the supermarket. I turned the corner and there it was, staring, like it was waiting for me. I stood in terrified shock and kept waiting for somebody else to come along and do something, but nobody came. We had the aisle to ourselves.
It spread out its massive wings so that they reached both sides of the aisle. Then it let out a truly awful CRROOOOOAAAAAK.
I started backing up, but it closed its wings, turned, and walked away around the corner. I figured I’d hear somebody start screaming when they ran into the bird, but I didn’t hear anything except the usual cacophony of supermarket sounds: carts rolling around, people throwing things into them, talking to each other, as registers beeped and the doors slid open and closed.
I walked over to where it had been standing, right in front of my favorite beer. I looked down, hoping to see a feather or some other tangible evidence of its existence, but there was nothing.
Somebody turned the corner that the bird had disappeared around. I searched his face for some sign that he had seen a giant, terrifying bird loose in the supermarket. I figured it wouldn’t be hard to tell. He looked bored and maybe a little irritated, so I guessed he hadn’t seen anything. If it was real, I don’t know how anybody could have missed it. I kept my mouth shut.
I considered just abandoning my groceries and getting out of there, but at that point, I was starting to doubt my sanity. I figured it best to just pretend, outwardly, that nothing had happened. I put the beer in my cart and pushed it over to the check-out line, turning my head around every half second to make sure there wasn’t a bird monster right there behind me.
The third time I saw the bird convinced me that it was real.
I was taking my morning jog. It’s always pretty quiet on my little backwoods road, and especially at that time in the early morning. It wasn’t unusual to pass a car or two, but that was about it. On this morning, I heard a car coming up behind me, so I moved over to the shoulder and turned my head so I could give a wave.
I saw the bird standing there, on the opposite side of the road, its wings spread wide. I froze, and it started running across the road, right at me, in front of the approaching car. I saw the flash of brake lights and heard the squeal of tires.
I know the driver saw that bird.
The car fishtailed for a few gut wrenching moments, before performing a full 360 spin. Then it was careening off the road, and it smashed into a tall pine tree. The bird, which had been standing in the middle of the road with its wings still spread, let out the ungodly croak again, and then slowly turned and walked off into the woods.
I called 911 and several minutes later an ambulance was taking away the obviously dead body of the driver.
We live in a small town, so the cop who came was the same one who had come to my house before. Officer Giles. He’d gone to high school with my brother.
“I was taking my morning jog like always,” I said, “when I heard the car come up behind me.” Giles wrote something down on his notepad. “And I looked over, and I saw it. That damn bird. The one that was in my house. It’s a Marabou stork.”
Giles shot me a look, flipped his notebook closed, then walked out into the middle of the road. He tested the pavement with his foot.
“Black ice,” he said.
I started carrying a gun after that. I hadn’t fired it for a long time, but I had a pistol at the top of my closet. It was the same one I used to shoot with my dad when I was a kid, and I kept it mostly for sentimental reasons.
I’ve seen the bird one more time since the car crash. It was again on my road, this time at night. I was driving home from dinner with my friends when I saw it there lit up by my headlights. It was crouched by the side of the road, picking away at a deer carcass. I stopped the car in the middle of the road and watched as the bird lifted its ghastly wings, a string of entrails hanging from its razor sharp beak.
I reached into my glove box and grabbed the gun. I am not a brave man, which is exactly why I was determined to end this thing right then and there, one way or the other. I had been miserable all week, unable to sleep, jumping at every sound, afraid to walk around every corner. I had begun cooking up theories to explain the bird. Maybe it was a demon from Hell, sent to punish me for something I had done. I stretched my mind to piece it together. What did my cat, the supermarket, and the car crash have in common? Nothing. What had I done that was so bad? I couldn’t think of anything.
At any rate, if I hadn’t been so desperate, I would have never had the courage to do what I did. I rolled down the window as the bird took a step towards my car. I’d never been more terrified in my life. I fired off five rounds right into the beast’s breast.
I saw the bullets hit. The bird shook, and blood spurted from the wounds. It opened its deadly beak, as if screaming in agony, but no sound came forth.
I put the car in drive and tore hell up the hill and kept going until I got home.
I thought it was over after that. Nothing had followed me home. I didn’t see the bird the next day. But now I know: it’s not over.
I was asleep in bed last night – my first real sleep in a week – when something jolted me awake. I heard it, coming from just outside.
I stayed awake after that, staring up at the ceiling, gun in hand.
I don’t think this is going to end well for me. Nobody will help me. My wife has suggested a temporary stay in the psychiatric ward, so I’ve stopped talking about it.
But if something happens to me, you’ll know the truth.