Shea wrote another peice I'd like to share with ya'll. I hope you enjoy it as much as he had fun writing it.
It all started when I was creeping through the forest, late in the afternoon. The great light in the sky was going to sleep for the day. Pale shafts of light came through the trees to light my way, although I had no need for it here in my woods. It had rained last night; the ground was still soft and damp. My woods had a clean smell to it after it rained, like the world was new. It was days like today that could almost make me forget the troubles and the invaders.
I wandered, only part of me paying attention to foraging. I started to think of friends and family long past, those that had fallen to the invaders. As always my mate came to mind first, she had been taken six moons back, but it was still fresh in my mind. She had been a hen like no other; her large breast and dark coloring were spectacular. She could strut in a certain way that would make every tom in the forest ready to fight to get her attention. But there were few who would challenge me, not if they wished to live. She had affected me like no other, so much so that when she was taken I could not bring myself to seek another mate. I was sad that we had never had chicks; but in a way also glad. They would have always reminded me of her, and probably gotten into more trouble than I could get them out of.
I turned my thoughts away from her; they were always too painful and too distracting. I thought of Grey Tom, the old grey beard had not been a tough old bird, but he had been smart. He was the one that taught me the most about the invaders. It was this cunning that had kept him alive all these seasons. But that had changed a few days ago, when the invaders seem to come in force. He had been taken, like an untold amount of others before him, like an indefinite amount more would be. I had no idea how to stop the invaders. All I could do was fight and try and survive.
The invaders had come long ago, further back than any grey beards memory. They came to kill my kind, and other animals that shared this forest. I grew up learning how to avoid them, and how to fight them. They used strange tools to fight with because they had no natural weapons. These tools showed that these invaders had some intelligence, but that was the only thing that did. “What kind of creature kills without reason, or need, and destroys the world around them?” I had asked the question countless times trying to understand my enemy. The only answer anyone could give was that they must all be mad...
All of a sudden I heard a sound and froze. My mind had wandered as I walked home. Now my mind raced, replaying the sound in my head. It had been an unnatural sound, like nothing I had heard before. I listened, and heard a faint rustle from directly ahead. I sniffed the air, but the wind was from the wrong direction. It could only be an invader, or more than one, they were oft to cowardly to come alone.
I cursed myself for being so careless. Seasons of survival took over, and I took in all my surroundings while trying to not look nervous. The invader had to be behind the large tree just ahead of me; there were not enough bushes to hide his kind. To my left was a open field, not really an option. To the right was home, a large stand of ancient gnarled trees that my flock had held for the last few seasons. Behind me the forest spread to the other side of the world where the invaders had come from. I could turn in any direction and outrun it. These creatures were slow, and clumsy, but dangerous none the less. Madness seized me; I was not running, not today, maybe not ever again.
I flared my tail feathers and puffed my chest, dropping my wings low and tensing to make it look like I was going to fly. Then I strutted, I knew I looked magnificent; an incredibly large and succulently tempting target. “Slowly” I thought, “draw it in, let’s see how dumb it is.” I strutted toward the right, putting the tree between us. If it was an invader, it would have to move to see me. “Come and play” I called to it softly; knowing it could not understand me. I wanted to laugh at my recklessness, even as a small part of me screamed inside my head that this was insane. “COME PLAY” I screamed knowing it could wait no longer.
And it began, the invader stepped out away from the tree and time froze… that is the only way I can describe what happened next. We stared at each other over the short distance for what seemed like forever as I got my first look at it. It was truly and ugly thing, it walked on two legs but it’s other two were deformed. It held its fighting tool in the other two, using them like the thieving raccoons that roamed these woods. It had only a little bit of shaggy fur on its head and no feathers. It was covered in what looked like the skins and furs of its victims. This drove home the point of how barbaric these creatures truly were; and made me wonder what would happen to my kind. I let that thought wash over me, along with the memory of my lost mate, and let the madness have me.
Screaming in pure rage, I took flight toward the invader, as it raised its tool and pointed it at me. That part of my mind that was still sane took note of everything that happened next. The invaders tool made a sound like thunder as fire and smoke came out of it; and the ground behind me exploded with a shower of dirt and leaves. In that small amount of time I had closed the distance. The rest of me no longer cared, I had run enough, and my kind had suffered enough.
The invader had just enough time to realize its mistake and scream in terror. My claws extended and beak still open with my scream I attacked. My talons latched on to its chest; sharp enough to go through the skins it wore to sink into its flesh. My beak sank into its throat which was soft and unprotected. The tangy taste of blood was soon in my mouth and it fueled the madness. It beat at me with its top deformed legs as I buffeted it with my wings. It staggered around in a vain attempt to get me off of it. In the end, it stood no chance, as I tore more and more flesh from its throat; its screams turned to a choked gurgle. Finally its fighting slowed, and it fell to the ground. I moved off to the side to watch it die.
As the madness slowly left me, I realized I had a new mate, a new purpose, not only for me but for my kind. No longer would we suffer these invaders. My flock had watched the battle from the safety of the trees and began to cheer me from above. I looked to the other toms and the hens that were there. I knew I had to be a grisly sight, covered in all the blood. “No more” I said. “No longer will we run and hide; no longer will we merely die. When the great light in the sky returns next, is a day that the invaders gather to give thanks on. But we will change that, when the great light returns we will make them pay for their evil. For on their day of thanks, we shall invade.”
And the crowd goes wild.