Garden and Nature in Words

The Crest

He woke
with a dull ache in the neck
and when he tilted his head enough
the comb touched
an open sore
where maggots grew fat

She approached the shed
drawn by a noise
not from the ventilation fans
ta teesh
like a metal brush tapping cardboard
and when she got inside to see
teesh ta teesh
forty thousand pairs of feet padding on the floor litter
flecks of it drifting upwards on warm currents of ammonia
in unison like a single creature
ta teesh
with its head lifted
teesh ta teesh
tall grass underfoot
groves of giant conifer to the east
flying reptiles throwing shadows against cliffs of granite to the west
teesh ta teesh
something moving ahead
it scatters
now chase
crest full up against the wind
the king in full flight
muscles straining
clawed feet
carving through the ground
earth shuddering at each step
jaws gaping
a trail of saliva drifting behind
prey looming
a nightmare all it knows now
as a talon catches its leg and brings it closer
to those jaws
closing over its back
biting clear through the spine
and again
jaws forcing shut
shredding everything in between them
bright blood floods the earth
as he feeds

The kill attracts attention
but they keep their distance
nothing dares approach
while the carcass is consumed in whole chunks
spreading blood and flesh
over the same spot where one day a woman will stand
watching her stock
no longer scratching the floor
no longer moving at all
but staring at something she could never see
a glimpse of a freedom 70 million years old

They starved to death one by one
and were discarded into the earth behind the shed
like the failed eggs of their ancestors
before long other pits were dug on other farms
then on all the farms
all full of little broken birds
thinking they still ruled the world

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6 thoughts on “The Crest

  1. Shane! I really enjoyed reading this. Your writing style/technique is spot on – with the suspense building throughout. What a great combination of alliteration, metaphors and onomatopoeia.

    • Thanks sis. I didn’t learn them words at school so give me a bit of time to confirm if I agree with you! :) No time for learning. Had to walk there in bare feet. Even in winter.

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