Little Birdie

 

The boy discovered the ball when stumbling through the field home one day. The sleek black orb glittered in the sunlight, and as the boy ran his hands along its curvature, something seemed to vibrate inside. After steadily getting more and more adventurous in his handling of the ball, he decided to take it home as a personal treasure, and placed it on his bedside table with a sweater for a pedestal.

Its surface was warm to the touch, and seemed to grow hotter by the day. The boy sometimes wished he had friends to show his new prize to, but then the orb’s lustre would overtake him and he’d continue marvelling at it for hours on end. He told his parents he thought the black ball he’d found was special and they nodded as they unloaded him from the car or shoved his lunch box into his waving arms. Avid as he was in his study of its sparkling surface, he would try to avoid paying much attention to his reflection, warped and eyeless, on its surface.

Upon coming home from school one day, nausea greeted the boy when opening his bedroom door. The ball had been split apart, its perfect beauty now replaced with a mess of dull black shards. Reeling as he was from the shock, it took him some time to register the little rasps that issued forth from the dark space under his bed. Gently convulsing with sobs, he made his way over and looked beneath the frame. There, a bird-like shape draped in a sick skin lay, its large white eyes gazing up at him pathetically as its breathing laboured.

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