User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Los Angeles and Bodega Bay. June 25-28, 2014

In 2014, Mary's elderly cousin Cathy Brenner called and invited her to her wedding. Cathy met and fell in love with a nice sailor named Steven. Mary decided to visit Cathy in America. The woman also had another reason for these visits. She read an old American newspaper in a library in Vienna in 2005, which mentioned the bird invasion of Bodega Bay. Mary knew that her father and Cathy were from Bodega Bay and had once lived there. On the occasion of her cousin's wedding, Mary wanted to ask her about details about birds. Her parents never mentioned it to Mary, it was a taboo topic.

Mary accosted her cousin on her wedding day. It was incredibly hot on the wedding day.

>How long did you live in Bodega Bay?< Mary asked.

>Until July 1963. Why do you ask?< Cathy asked.

>Maybe this isn't the right time, but...<

>Go on, I'm listening.<

>One day, I was rummaging through archived issues of newspapers from the San Francisco region from the 1960s and accidentally came across a laconic description of bird attacks on Bodega Bay. It was in 1963. My parents never mentioned it. I would also like to find out the truth and learn more about these birds.< Mary said, continuing. >Why didn't my parents tell me about this?<

>They didn't want to scare you. You were a child. This story from Bodega Bay is truly a terrifying tale.< Cathy confessed.

>I would like to know this story of attacking birds in detail. I've been an adult for years and I'm not afraid at all,< Mary said.

>All right. I'll tell you what, but first let's drink coffee. I'll make it in a moment.< Cathy went to make coffee and after a while she returned to the interlocutor.

>This was, as you read, in 1963. Birds caused a lot of destruction in the Bodega. They attacked mainly black crows and seagulls. Both were nasty little birds. I don't know if the seagulls or the crows were worse. Both species have sharp beaks. Birds were breaking into houses, biting people on the streets, and attacking schools. As a result of the bird invasion, my teacher, Annie Hayworth, was pecked to death and saved me by pushing me into the school building. She became the birds' victim herself.< Cathy shed a tear.

>I'm so sorry. I'll look for a tissue in a moment.< Mary pulled out a tissue from the leopard leather bag she bought at a shopping mall in Vienna, Austria.

The next day, Cathy and Mary boarded a plane to San Francisco. Then in San Francisco they boarded a bus to Bodega Bay. The bus journey took an hour. It was the elderly Cathy’s first trip since the bird attacks in 1963. The women got off at a stop near the port. Then they decided to see if the Brenner house on the other side of the bay was still standing. The two women walked towards Cathy’s old house. On the way, Cathy told Mary everything she remembered from 1963, when the birds were attacking. She reported bird attacks during a party, on children at school, and on an incident at a gas station. The former Brenner house was still standing, but had been renovated. The walls were painted pink, the chimney and windows were different. There was a small garden next to the house. An older woman, older than Cathy, was sitting on a bench near the garden. A conversation began between the women.

>Do you live here in this house?< Cathy asked.

>Yes.< The woman replied in one word, adding after a moment. >I'm Emma Roberts.<

>I'm Mary and this is my cousin Cathy. We noticed this house because it once belonged to Cathy's family and my father, Mr. and Mrs. Brenner.<

>Yes. I lived here as a child until 1963. Then my mother sold the house and probably someone from your family moved here,< Cathy explained.

>That's how my parents bought the house, and I inherited the house.< Emma confessed.

>The Brenners moved out after the bird invasion in 1963…< Mary interjected.

– My parents told me about these birds. But they only knew the reports from newspapers and radio. When they moved in, the birds didn't attack anymore,< Emma said, adding after a while.

>Are the ladies hungry? I prepared a delicious duck in banana sauce. My friend from the other part of Bodega Bay was supposed to come to visit me, but she got sick and couldn’t  come. So I invite you for duck and raspberry cake. I baked them myself,< Emma said.

>We'd love to come over.< 

>Thank you for your hospitality,<  Cathy said.

The women went inside into the living room. There was old, stylish oak furniture. There was also a piano. The house has changed a lot over the years. There was a cup of half-drunk coffee on the table, which Emma immediately cleared away. Emma lived there alone after her parents died. Emma asked Mary and Cathy why they had come. Cathy confessed that she had not been here in Bodega Bay for so many years. Mary wanted to see the places where the birds attacked. After a delicious lunch, Emma drove the women to the port. Peaceful white seagulls flew over the water. Cathy took Mary to the school that had once been attacked by birds. In the afternoon, both cousins went to a bar to drink a glass of whiskey. There was a young sailor sitting at the bar, also having a drink. Mary sat down next to him and started a conversation with the man.

>Did anyone in your family experience bird attacks in 1963?<

>Why are you asking? Are you writing a book about it?< The man asked.

> I'm not writing a book. But writing a book about it is a really good idea. I'm simply interested in the birds of Bodega Bay because my parents once experienced this invasion. My cousin Cathy is with me. She was a little girl when it happened. Cathy lived in Los Angeles for years and only now, after many years, visited Bodega Bay,< Mary said.

>Oh, yes, I understand. I know about the bird attack from my father's stories. A goose made a noise on his farm. She was crazy and bit my dad on the leg...< The man confessed.

>And I thought that only crows and seagulls attacked. I'm surprised that domestic birds were also dangerous,< Mary said.

After a while, the two of them were joined by Cathy, who had brought two glasses of whiskey with her, for herself and her cousin Mary. The woman decided to buy the sailor some whiskey as well, so she went to the bar for an additional glass of this drink. Cathy was not at all surprised that Mary asked the sailor about birds. Mary had been fascinated by the topic of birds for several years. Cathy remembered her former teacher, Annie, who was killed by birds.

The woman asked the sailor where the Bodega Bay cemetery was. She wanted to find the grave of her former teacher. The sailor took a map of Bodega Bay from the bartender, a free map for tourists, and then showed the women the cemetery on the map. Mary and Cathy went to the cemetery. They stayed there for about half an hour as Cathy looked for Annie's grave. She finally found it, the tombstone was old, mossy and cracked, after all, many years had passed since the teacher's death. Cathy remembered the deceased for a minute of silence and then placed a red rose on the grave. In the evening, the women boarded a bus to San Francisco. It was goodbye to Bodega Bay. Cathy felt internally happy that she had finally had the courage to confront her dark past. Mary, on the other hand, was grateful that her cousin had shown her places that had once been attacked by birds.

The next day, after saying goodbye to Cathy, Mary boarded a plane from Los Angeles to Vienna and returned to Austria. She thought about birds during the trip. She wondered if this grim scenario of flying animals could ever happen again on Earth, not necessarily in Bodega Bay. However, she believed that this horror would never happen again. On the return trip, Mary read a women's romance novel, a book that allowed her to relax and somehow forget about Bodega Bay. She also ate a cream cookie that the stewardess brought her, then squinted and fell asleep on the plane.


Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:


Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!

Stories Tips And Advice