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The Bird

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For a couple years, I was going to college in California (Pepperdine, to be precise), and one early morning, a wayward seagull flew to my window and perched itself on the little space of wall that there was between the outside of the window and the rest of the world. I couldn't help but notice it, being up all night studying for a test and my roommates all being asleep, so I decided to give it a little something to eat. I gave it a little piece of my bagel I got from the cafe by the beach and it ate it happily. Then, it flew away to
the water. The entire event didn't seem very significant at the time, so I forgot about it and continued studying until I had to go to class.

The next morning, around the same time as before, I heard a tapping on my window. The first couple of taps, I tried to ignore, but it pestered me for twenty or so more taps and I finally got up and went to see what it was. Lo and behold, it was the seagull again. The second I opened the window, it cocked its head to the side at me, expecting food. I thought it was rather cute, but I had eaten the bagel since then and I had no food to spare. I then hurriedly ran to the fridge, trying not to wake up my sleeping roommates, to find something to give the bird. My roommates, usually out partying rather than studying, used up more energy than me, and so they ate far more food than I. There was barely anything in the fridge except for some pulled pork my roommate had gotten and put in some plastic wrap, so I unwrapped the meat, took a bit of it out, and fed it to the bird. The bird seemed to like it better than the bagel, and then it flew away, just as it did the preceding morning.

For the next three months, the exact same routine continued. The bird tapped on my window at nearly the crack of dawn, I woke up, and I fed it. I didn't realize it, but I had been feeding it gradually bigger pinches of the pulled pork, as I wasn't really paying attention to the rations of the stuff except for when it ran out and my roommate went to get more. As such, the bird grew ever so slightly larger as the days, weeks, months progressed. As I stated before, I didn't think much of it.

Also, at a certain point in the middle of the second month, I noticed that the bird had been getting more aggressive with its tapping on my window. Again, I didn't think much of it, but I couldn't help but notice that, almost at the end of every week, the seagull had been tapping on my window harder than usual. It got to a point where one of my roommates woke up and walked to me with a baseball bat, asking if there was a robber in the house (mind you, this was a college). To solve this problem, I tried listening to the sound of the bird landing near my window, which was a light "plop" that was quite hard to hear, and go for the window at that. Most mornings, it worked. On the mornings that it did not, the bird would tap harder than ever. Eventually, a small crack formed where the tip of his beak was constantly hitting the glass. Once again, I didn't think much of it.

However, my not-thinking-much-of things would soon end.

One morning, much earlier than usual (probably around 2:00 am, if my memory is correct), the bird tapped on my window harder than ever, so hard that I could hear a screeching crack in the glass. This woke me up immediately (and, surprisingly, it didn't wake any of my roommates) and I walked over to the window to see what was up.

What I first saw was on the window. The once tiny crack had grown to a fairly large lightning bolt shape.

Then, I saw the bird. It looked bigger than I had ever remembered it, and I remember its pupils being large and its beak being wide open. The second I stepped towards the window, its eyes fixed on me from its previously blank stare into space. The whole situation was very unsettling, and it started to get me thinking that I should not have fed the bird in the first place. But, for then, I had to digress.

The seagull stared at me with those strangely unsettling eyes for a few more seconds as I opened the window, and then I spoke to it in a soft whisper as to not wake my roommates.

"Hey, buddy," I said in my typical "talking to animals" voice, "What're you doing here so early?"

The bird just continued to stare at me, its beak hanging open as if it were in shock.

My eyes drifted away from the bird's eyes, which were as unsettling as ever, to its beak. And it was then that I noticed (almost) the most unsettling thing about the bird that night:

Its beak was covered in blood.

At that point, I didn't exactly know what to think. Maybe it had gotten in a fight with another animal and its beak was injured? I had no idea.

Rather than helping the animal, for some reason, I instinctively went for the refridgerator for the pulled pork. I unwrapped it, took the whole batch over to the bird, and took a pinch of the pork out, as I had been doing for the past few months with the bird. At the sight of the pork, the bird looked increasingly eager and hungry. I dropped it at his feet, and he hastily gobbled it up. Then, I started to walk away, as I had also been doing for the past few months, because, at this point, the bird would leave.

But it didn't leave.

It just stood there, staring at me with those damn eyes, its bloody beak still wide open and gaping.

I noticed this out of the corner of my eye and turned around to walk back towards the bird. I had found this to be quite odd; the bird had always left at this point. What was so different about that night?

"Want more, buddy?" I whispered to the bird, dropping another pinch of pork, which it ate even more hastily than the last.

The bird still didn't leave, and it was beginning to, dare I say it, scare me a bit, so I tried to shoo the bird out of the open window.

Then, the bird flew into the air, making quite a noise that still didn't manage to wake my roommates, and plucked the entire batch of pork out of my hand. It then landed, nice as you please, pork in beak, and I landed on my ass on the floor. This caused my roommates to put pillows over their heads, annoyed by the noise.

I was rather peeved at the seagull, now, as he was very aggressive with me, and I proceeded to shoo him out even more aggressively, quietly muttering "Go! Go away!".

Annoyed with my shooing, the bird flew into the air and hovered in front of me. Whenever I made a move with my arms to shoo him out, he moved back. When I pulled back my arms, he moved forward. This continued for about a minute or two until I finally shouted "I don't want you here anymore, OK?! Leave!!".

Two things happened after those words were uttered from my mouth:

The first was that my disoriented and tired roommates awoke from their respective slumbers and sat up to see what all the commotion was.

The second was that the bird shot at my stomach like a missile, knocked me onto the floor, and proceeded to gouge my organs out with its beak.

The experience was, suffice to say, terrible. The pain was absolutely agonizing. My limbs were too much in shock to even strike the bird, so I literally layed there as the bird tore me to shreds. The only time it ever held back during the attack was when it was to swallow small bits and pieces of my bloody entrails it had ripped out of my body, going right back to the carnage afterwards. I was screaming in pure agony as I layed there, paralyzed by shock, as my roommates tried prying the bird off of me. The last thing I remember was the bird breaking an artery and passing out from the blood loss.

When I woke up, it was morning, and I was in a hospital room with the bright sun shining in my eyes and bandages wrapped all around my lower torso.

A few seconds after waking, a doctor walked into my room. He remarked that I was awake, and then explained that I would be fine and my missing organs weren't vital, and the ones that were did not threaten my life for now and could be easily replaced within the course if a couple weeks. Then, he explained that one of my roommates, Kyle, had gotten his finger bitten off by the bird the previous night, which shocked me even more, and my other roommates had suffered a few minor cuts and scratches, but they were fine and in the waiting room.

The entire experience was quite traumatizing, to say the least, but I'm just glad everyone is OK and that it is over. Somehow, though, still in my mind, I know that the seagull is still out there, waiting for another unfortunate soul to feed him his dinner and then become his dinner. However, I also knew that the bird wouldn't come back to our room, as he had already made a meal of us. Therefore, in my heart, I know it isn't really over, and it will never be over as long as that bird is still alive and flying...

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