My Flash Fiction has themes of loneliness, independence, and acceptance. I was inspired by kids who don’t have stable families, and are forced to find their own support amongst other groups. As captain of my drumline, I think a lot about how important it is to create a welcoming community for everyone in the group. A lot of members in drumline rely heavily on the group for support. Since marching band is such a time consuming activity, it is many students’ only outlet outside of school and home, so I make sure it is an inclusive and happy environment. We are a tight nit group, and welcoming to others at the same time. During the marching band season, we are together from sunrise to sunset, and we even eat lunch together. There is no doubt that we are a family, and as a leader of this family, I value community and inclusiveness above everything.
The experience of leading a community inspired me to create this story. You can’t truly value a real family until you’ve felt lonely before. I knew a baby bird being abandoned by its mother would tug on the reader’s heart strings, because who doesn’t get emotional when someone so innocent is hurt like that? My goal was to catch the reader from the beginning and make them feel attached to the baby bird. Doing this makes the abandonment affect them more from an emotional standpoint, making the relief of finding a family in the end more effective for the reader.
Bloo couldn’t believe he was flying with his mother! Well, sort of. He was still a baby, with wings barely larger than his beak. His mother carried him in a sling which she held in her mouth as she glided through the sky. The rest of Bloo’s siblings were already flying, but Bloo was not jealous. He waited patiently for his wings to grow. But he guessed his mother was giving him a chance to know what it feels like to soar through the clouds.
They flew over a deep green forest. Bloo looked up at his mother, sunrays illuminating her feathers. Her eyes pierced the horizon ahead of her; she wasn’t stopping any time soon. Bloo made a small chirp to try to talk to his mother. She peered down, annoyed. Bloo had unconditional love for his mother, but he was the weak link, the runt of the family. The mother began to slip one string of the sling out of her beak. Bloo’s eyes started to water. He was about to fall out of the sling! He chirped desperately for his mother’s attention. She released the sling, and Bloo spiraled down quickly, wailing and screaming. He tried to use his wings to slow his fall but he cascaded down fast, the sling trickling down behind. As he fell through the trees, he looked up at his mother, soaring quickly into the distance. He did not understand how he could have been abandoned like this. The shock and fear of hitting the ground caused Bloo to black out. He fell in a river, and floated downstream until he was stopped by a fallen log.
Bloo woke up in a daze. He looked next to him and saw the sling on the log next to him that must have floated with him downstream. It was all he had to remember his mother and his family.
His somber thoughts were interrupted by loud squawking. Scared, Bloo raced out of the lake and hid behind a tree. He looked up to find a family of birds flying by in formation. The mother was front and center, leading her pack. As they approached the end of the river towards the waterfall, they made a sharp turn down the cliff and flew to their nest below. Bloo was in awe of their unity.
Weeks passed, and Bloo watched the flock of birds fly majestically by everyday. Despite his loneliness, the birds presence kept him company and provided sanity and a routine for him.
Bloo admired their slick, black feathers and strong wings. Their strength and synchronization was dazzling, yet intimidating. Bloo knew he would never be as strong as them.
One day, as Bloo was watching the birds make their flight home, ne noticed a small speck trailing behind the formation. What was it? Bloo wondered. As the flock flew closer, he began to make out two small wings. It was a baby bird! He was struggling to keep up while the rest of his family sped by.
Suddenly, a violent gust of wind blew against the trail of the birds. While the rest of the flock kept flying forward, the baby bird fell back and lost his flight. He spun down and down into the river and began floating downstream. Bloo jumped to action. He ran from his hiding spot onto the fallen log hoping he could catch the bird.
When he was able to reach to him, he swooped him up and brought him to safety. Bloo squawked and screamed for the flock’s attention, who were too distracted to notice what happened. They didn’t hear him, and Bloo knew he had to help the bird himself.
He frantically searched around and called out for help. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the sling his mother carried him in, and an idea sparked in his mind.
Bloo tied the two ends of the sling into a tight knot and carried the baby bird in one wing.
He took the sling and bird right over to the waterfall and peaked over the edge of the cliff. He saw the baby bird’s nest on a tree below, with his family chaotically searching around for him. With the sling in one hand and the bird in the other, Bloo made a courageous hop off the cliff. The fabric in the sling acted as a parachute, letting the two gently float down to safety.
His plan was working, and Bloo was finally flying!
Bloo’s claws reached the branch of the tree, and once the family of birds saw him, they cheered with joy and relief.
Bloo was a hero, and the family of birds were forever grateful for his courage. They celebrated with a meal of juicy worms and bugs, and Bloo was immediately welcomed into the new family.