The Guardian

As dusk seeps into the world, the forest is reborn. Shadows that moments ago were but dark blushes on the environment now give promise to a sinister awakening. Nature does not rest when the humans leave in their cars to return to the metropolis they momentarily escaped from. The December chill will soon evacuate the areas despite the early advancement of night. Only the True inhabitants will remain; the animals.
Nestled amongst the ever encroaching ivy that has all but obscured the view of an old cobblestone bridge is the nest of a Guardian. The nest made by the Guardian and his mate now holds the cries of three members of the next generation, who have arrived during a season not accustomed to such fragile beings. The mate, cruelly dying days ago now lies on the woodlands floor, with a thin layer of frost covering her still form. The first of the winters snow has not yet fallen from the skies, but soon it to shall blanket natures fallen.
A proud white heart shaped face boarded by a gold rim of feathers emerges from the ivy and large inky eyes survey the landscape. The once fruitful wood is now barren as winter has stolen the Guardians prey. Ruffling his plumage with regal purpose the Guardian begins to clean his claws and toes in preparation for the evening’s endeavours with his sharp beak. When satisfied with the result and having combed his head with his clean claws he turns back to see to his young.
The three birds are much smaller than his previous progenies, they are smaller than they should be, but the Guardian knows that being born during this season at all is not as it should be. He does not think they will survive till spring. Their bodies are meek and dwarfed by their white down. With his mate gone their fragility seems inferential. Their endless cries for food carry through the night.
“psh…psh…psh…psh”
He will have to leave his nest again and hunt, despite his weakened state, he must provide for his young. There must always be Guardians in the woods.
Leaving his young huddled together sheltered by ivy he moves forward to the edge of their cocoon. Surveys the frigid landscape, then launches to the sky like a beautiful arrow of celestial light. He stays close to the ground so he can search amongst the undergrowth for prey. In a few months the ground will be teaming with voles and rabbit kittens, but that will not be of comfort to his young tonight.
The ground is frozen and devoid of life, as it has been for weeks. The potential Guardians are not the only ones suffering during this season. He had taken less food so his mate could thrive along with their charges, now the future is bleak; his mate is gone, their young all but diminished, the prospect of nutrition is fleeting and our wise Guardian is weak. But he cannot afford to sit on a post and stake out his prey, this approach may conserve energy but there is no prey to stalk here. He must go further afield. Out of the thicket and nearer the man-made intrusions. He must find food.
Navigating through the trees he soars higher and accesses the air. He is alone. Dipping his head he retreats to lower ground keeping an ever watchful eye out for prey. Leaves long fallen to the ground are devoid of their rich autumnal colour, winter has drained them much like she has drained his resources. Far to the west he hears a call from one of his brethren, he resists the urge to trace the call and try to form a flock. He cannot afford to share his prey any more than he will have to already. Letting out a territorial hoot he wishes his comrade well; but not in his domain. The Guardians don’t often fight over food, but with so little left, loyalties change. Death will claim his bounty, but charging towards his icy grip is not something our sentinel wishes to do. He must find food.
Darkness blankets the wood, the only source of light is the man made glow to the north, illuminating the areas the human’s flock to with their young. Moving towards the light he wraps his resolve around his majestic frame in hopes of blocking the searing cold December wind. Despite the colour of the skies, night has not truly fallen. In order to survive he must be back in amongst the ivy to share what little body heat he has with his young or they are sure to perish.
As he glides closer to his beacon he is aware of wings closing in on him. Defiantly he lets out a loud hoot of dominance; he shall not share his prize. His hoot goes unanswered; which means he is being stalked by the inferior inhabitants of the sky. They know not of the mysteries of nature nor do they try to uncover her secrets. They are but humans with wings. Assessing the now audible chirping noises behind him he knows the smaller birds have come to harasses him, if not mob him.
The Guardians are often subjected to such attacks as they are feared by the lesser sky dwellers. Their superior strength and knowledge is not revered as it should be, instead they are insulted whenever the auxiliary convene. His western bound compatriot is too far to reach. He is alone. With his strength weakened he knows the mobbing will rob him of his hunt. Rushing to the ground like a bullet he leads the host that follows, just before impact he raises his head and elevates back to the sky, just as he would to hunt. This time he will have nothing but his life to show for after the expenditure of energy. Clicking his tongue in menace he weaves through the remaining trees and races to the synthetic haven in his woods. Slowing down to a favorable glide he reassess the air. He is alone.
As the trees thin he sees the sources of illumination ahead, the human’s cars are to the side of the playground surrounded by lights. Their young clamour on twisted metal, and stolen wood. The ground has been cleared in many places here to accommodate the ground dwellers. He will find his prey here. Gliding down he searches the ground, twisting his head to ensure nothing is missed. He finds a fence post on the outskirts of the effulgent pool and perches on the edge. He will conserve his energy, until his pry unveils itself, his lethargy is creeping upon his body already he must conserve his strength.
Ever watchful of the terrain he is aware of intruder’s noisy young, which lessens his hearing; but will deafen that of his prey. Any who would have taken shelter as winter started her assent will have become accustom to such noise and will be not strain to use their deafened ears. He will capture his prey. Staying as still as he is able he wills his senses to uncover something. The humans start to leave and only one female and two young remain. The quiet seems deafening to his attuned ears. He is not the only one to notice the difference.
A brave mouse emerges tentatively from the bushes, it moves towards the discarded waste the humans have left. Slowly our Guardian unfurls his wings and gets ready to advance on his target. Narrowing his sight to the now stilled mouse, his frame is tight with anticipation. Launching himself from the post his propels towards the mouse before it can scurry to safety, he rears back his heads and advances with his claws, finally they clench around his intended body. Success. Triumphant he elevates from the ground with his prey gripped safely, he will transfer it to his beak and fly home. His As dusk seeps into the world, the forest is reborn. Shadows that moments ago were but dark blushes on the environment now give promise to a sinister awakening. Nature does not rest when the humans leave in their cars to return to the metropolis they momentarily escaped from. The December chill will soon evacuate the areas despite the early advancement of night. Only the True inhabitants will remain; the animals.
Nestled amongst the ever encroaching ivy that has all but obscured the view of an old cobblestone bridge is the nest of a Guardian. The nest made by the Guardian and his mate now holds the cries of three members of the next generation, who have arrived during a season not accustomed to such fragile beings. The mate, cruelly dying days ago now lies on the woodlands floor, with a thin layer of frost covering her still form. The first of the winters snow has not yet fallen from the skies, but soon it to shall blanket natures fallen.
A proud white heart shaped face boarded by a gold rim of feathers emerges from the ivy and large inky eyes survey the landscape. The once fruitful wood is now barren as winter has stolen the Guardians prey. Ruffling his plumage with regal purpose the Guardian begins to clean his claws and toes in preparation for the evening’s endeavors with his sharp beak. When satisfied with the result and having combed his head with his clean claws he turns back to see to his young.
The three birds are much smaller than his previous progenies, they are smaller than they should be, but the Guardian knows that being born during this season at all is not as it should be. He does not think they will survive till spring. Their bodies are meek and dwarfed by their white down. With his mate gone their fragility seems inferential. Their endless cries for food carry through the night.
“psh…psh…psh…psh”
He will have to leave his nest again and hunt, despite his weakened state, he must provide for his young. There must always be Guardians in the woods.
Leaving his young huddled together sheltered by ivy he moves forward to the edge of their cocoon. Surveys the frigid landscape, then launches to the sky like a beautiful arrow of celestial light. He stays close to the ground so he can search amongst the undergrowth for prey. In a few months the ground will be teaming with voles and rabbit kittens, but that will not be of comfort to his young tonight.
The ground is frozen and devoid of life, as it has been for weeks. The potential Guardians are not the only ones suffering during this season. He had taken less food so his mate could thrive along with their charges, now the future is bleak; his mate is gone, their young all but diminished, the prospect of nutrition is fleeting and our wise Guardian is weak. But he cannot afford to sit on a post and stake out his prey, this approach may conserve energy but there is no prey to stalk here. He must go further afield. Out of the thicket and nearer the man-made intrusions. He must find food.
Navigating through the trees he soars higher and accesses the air. He is alone. Dipping his head he retreats to lower ground keeping an ever watchful eye out for prey. Leaves long fallen to the ground are devoid of their rich autumnal colour, winter has drained them much like she has drained his resources. Far to the west he hears a call from one of his brethren, he resists the urge to trace the call and try to form a flock. He cannot afford to share his prey any more than he will have to already. Letting out a territorial hoot he wishes his comrade well; but not in his domain. The Guardians don’t often fight over food, but with so little left, loyalties change. Death will claim his bounty, but charging towards his icy grip is not something our sentinel wishes to do. He must find food.
Darkness blankets the wood, the only source of light is the man made glow to the north, illuminating the areas the human’s flock to with their young. Moving towards the light he wraps his resolve around his majestic frame in hopes of blocking the searing cold December wind. Despite the colour of the skies, night has not truly fallen. In order to survive he must be back in amongst the ivy to share what little body heat he has with his young or they are sure to perish.
As he glides closer to his beacon he is aware of wings closing in on him. Defiantly he lets out a loud hoot of dominance; he shall not share his prize. His hoot goes unanswered; which means he is being stalked by the inferior inhabitants of the sky. They know not of the mysteries of nature nor do they try to uncover her secrets. They are but humans with wings. Assessing the now audible chirping noises behind him he knows the smaller birds have come to harasses him, if not mob him.
The Guardians are often subjected to such attacks as they are feared by the lesser sky dwellers. Their superior strength and knowledge is not revered as it should be, instead they are insulted whenever the auxiliary convene. His western bound compatriot is too far to reach. He is alone. With his strength weakened he knows the mobbing will rob him of his hunt. Rushing to the ground like a bullet he leads the host that follows, just before impact he raises his head and elevates back to the sky, just as he would to hunt. This time he will have nothing but his life to show for after the expenditure of energy. Clicking his tongue in menace he weaves through the remaining trees and races to the synthetic haven in his woods. Slowing down to a favorable glide he reassesses the air. He is alone.
As the trees thin he sees the sources of illumination ahead, the human’s cars are to the side of the playground surrounded by lights. Their young clamor on twisted metal, and stolen wood. The ground has been cleared in many places here to accommodate the ground dwellers. He will find his prey here. Gliding down he searches the ground, twisting his head to ensure nothing is missed. He finds a fence post on the outskirts of the effulgent pool and perches on the edge. He will conserve his energy, until his pry unveils itself, his lethargy is creeping upon his body already he must conserve his strength.
Ever watchful of the terrain he is aware of intruder’s noisy young, which lessens his hearing; but will deafen that of his prey. Any who would have taken shelter as winter started her assent will have become accustom to such noise and will be not strain to use their deafened ears. He will capture his prey. Staying as still as he is able he wills his senses to uncover something. The humans start to leave and only one female and two young remain. The quiet seems deafening to his attuned ears. He is not the only one to notice the difference.
A brave mouse emerges tentatively from the bushes, it moves towards the discarded waste the humans have left. Slowly our Guardian unfurls his wings and gets ready to advance on his target. Narrowing his sight to the now stilled mouse, his frame is tight with anticipation. Launching himself from the post his propels towards the mouse before it can scurry to safety, he rears back his heads and advances with his claws, finally they clench around his intended body. Success. Triumphant he elevates from the ground with his prey gripped safely, he will transfer it to his beak and fly home. His progenies and he shall eat well this night. All weakness has left his body replaced by sweet victory. He soon relocates the mouse to his beak and begins to turn home.
As he flies past the playground he is struck in the breast.
Pain radiates through his body and he screeches his prize falls from his mouth. Desperately he dives to reclaim it, but his body is no longer under his control; he plummets to the earth. On his decent his left wing catches on a branch and bends in a way he has never seen. Without warning he slams into the ground rolling until he knocks into a tree truck. He gazes around and sees his prize close by, he moves to retrieve it. He must bring it home. His body ignores him. He hears footsteps running towards him amidst a score provide by the roaring wind. He is no longer cold; warmth is spreading from his breast. He can no longer feel his body, just the ever expanding warmth. He does not think this warmth brings good tidings.
As his eyes start to close he sees two approaching human young. He thinks of his own young nestled in the ivy far from this place, who would never see his gift to them. He thinks of his mates’ body in the undergrowth. He is alone. Our valiant Guardian takes his last breath as the human young reach him.
“Omg, you k-killed a bird!” the smallest young says softly with horror evident on his face. Turing to the taller young he waited for the lament he would not receive. The taller young is busy looking for another rock to use in his slingshot.
“Simon! Stop looking for more rocks! You killed a bird!” the first young chokes, his eyes filled with unshed tears. He knows the majesty of our Guardian should never have been taken form the world.
“Geez, Georgie lighten up, it’s only an Owl it’s not even a cool bird” Simon said leaning towards his kill “Woah look! Bull’s-eye I got it right in the ch-
“Boys! Boys come on its freezing let’s go!” the voice of the female cut across the boys discussion.
“Mum’s not gonna think it’s no big deal, she said Owls are important like the one in the story book at home, they know everything and they prot-
“Obviously they don’t know everything, or it would still be in the air” sneered Simon as he walked towards their mother’s voice.
Alone with our fallen Guardian the young looked lost, the pain evident on his face as leaned over the small frame and whispered. “I’m so sorry Mr. Owl, Simon’s only supposed to hit cans and stuff not birds. Mum was right you do look like an angel, I wish I could hear you hoot for real like the Owl in my book.” A single tear escaped his eyes and landed on our fallen’s bloodied chest before the youth wiped them from his checks with his sleeve.
Looking around the ground the youth picks up a handful of sticks and lays them gently over the body. He stands up sombrely and starts to walk slowly towards his mother
“George, come on, I’m going make hot chocolate when we get in, but not if you don’t move it, I’m freezing!” Calls his mother impatiently.
“I’m coming!” replied George as he runs towards his family. He does not look back and thinks no more of the Owl.
Our Guardian is alone.
When night finally fell, so did the first of winter’s snow. The future guardians in the ivy huddled together soon perished as their bodies could not withstand such an assault. Their mother’s body already petrified was soon blanketed with white powder.
In the clearing where our Guardian had fallen, snow quickly covered his body and that of his prize. The snow continued to fall throughout the night. By morning the ground was smooth and white, nothing gave away the location of either prey of predator. In death both were equal.
and he shall eat well this night. All weakness has left his body replaced by sweet victory. He soon relocates the mouse to his beak and begins to turn home.
As he flies past the playground he is struck in the breast.
Pain radiates through his body and he screeches his prize falls from his mouth. Desperately he dives to reclaim it, but his body is no longer under his control; he plummets to the earth. On his decent his left wing catches on a branch and bends in a way he has never seen. Without warning he slams into the ground rolling until he knocks into a tree truck. He gazes around and sees his prize close by, he moves to retrieve it. He must bring it home. His body ignores him. He hears footsteps running towards him amidst a score provide by the roaring wind. He is no longer cold; warmth is spreading from his breast. He can no longer feel his body, just the ever expanding warmth. He does not think this warmth brings good tidings.
As his eyes start to close he sees two approaching human young. He thinks of his own young nestled in the ivy far from this place, who would never see his gift to them. He thinks of his mates’ body in the undergrowth. He is alone. Our valiant Guardian takes his last breath as the human young reach him.
“Omg, you k-killed a bird!” the smallest young says softly with horror evident on his face. Turing to the taller young he waited for the lament he would not receive. The taller young is busy looking for another rock to use in his slingshot.
“Simon! Stop looking for more rocks! You killed a bird!” the first young chokes, his eyes filled with unshed tears. He knows the majesty of our Guardian should never have been taken form the world.
“Geez, Georgie lighten up, it’s only an Owl it’s not even a cool bird” Simon said leaning towards his kill “Woah look! Bull’s-eye I got it right in the ch-
“Boys! Boys come on its freezing let’s go!” the voice of the female cut across the boys discussion.
“Mum’s not gonna think it’s no big deal, she said Owls are important like the one in the story book at home, they know everything and they prot-
“Obviously they don’t know everything, or it would still be in the air” sneered Simon as he walked towards their mother’s voice.
Alone with our fallen Guardian the young looked lost, the pain evident on his face as leaned over the small frame and whispered. “I’m so sorry Mr. Owl, Simon’s only supposed to hit cans and stuff not birds. Mum was right you do look like an angel, I wish I could hear you hoot for real like the Owl in my book.” A single tear escaped his eyes and landed on our fallen’s bloodied chest before the youth wiped them from his checks with his sleeve.
Looking around the ground the youth picks up a handful of sticks and lays them gently over the body. He stands up somberly and starts to walk slowly towards his mother
“George, come on, I’m going make hot chocolate when we get in, but not if you don’t move it, I’m freezing!” Calls his mother impatiently.
“I’m coming!” replied George as he runs towards his family. He does not look back and thinks no more of the Owl.
Our Guardian is alone.
When night finally fell, so did the first of winter’s snow. The future guardians in the ivy huddled together soon perished as their bodies could not withstand such an assault. Their mother’s body already petrified was soon blanketed with white powder.
In the clearing where our Guardian had fallen, snow quickly covered his body and that of his prize. The snow continued to fall throughout the night. By morning the ground was smooth and white, nothing gave away the location of either prey of predator. In death both were equal.

Advertisements
This entry was published on July 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm. It’s filed under Creative Writing, Prose and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: