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Feathered Revenge

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By William F. Madison

“Up there, Rusty, there’s one of them buggers,” said the down on his luck miner, spitting a load of tobacco juice and pointing across the Ponderosa pines to a small green and red spot about 200 yards away.

“We gonna eat tonight, by god, and that there bird is going to buy it for us,” Rusty said in a whisper as he drew a bead on a thick billed parrot.

At the same moment when the crack came from the gun barrel, the bird fell from his low perch — a few of his prized green feathers left floating in the air.

“Whoo dogey. That’s some fine shooting,” the miner said. “1902 is gonna be our year. Hell, maybe we’ll forget the mining and just get feathers out here come springtime.”

Little did they know, but that was the last thick-billed parrot to ever be found in the the wilds of the desert Southwest.


Julie Moran loved riding horses. No matter how busy life got, she always found time to ride Bingo north of her house in Cave Creek. It was a time for her life’s joys that did not include her cell phone, kids or any of the distractions that come with the world in the 21st century.

On this day, however, as she gazed north, she saw a dark cloud on the horizon. She stopped Bingo and squinted into the sky, the cloud grew darker and larger until she realized it seemed like the largest flock of green birds she had ever seen.

Just as her fear began to overtake her along with a sudden desire to get Bingo into a gallop and head to the barn, she saw what looked like a nuclear-powered tumbleweed come rolling faster than any car from the west. It quickly settled into the barren desert a few hundred yards ahead and directly under the path of the oncoming swarm.

As it stopped its roll it began to spin in place. Julie was staggered when thousands of spines began to fly off the spinning object, taking down the flock as they passed over whatever it was that was attacking them. Julie stared amazed when she realized the birds were really mechanical parrots, but from where, she couldn’t figure.

“Thanks to you, King Cactus, the Phoenix metro is safe from the crazy mind of the Parrot,” said Bob Richards, the head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety during the superhero’s debriefing.

“Dr. Phillips has completely gone off the deep end this time,” King Cactus said. “Who would have figured this diabolical event was possible? She was a respected scientist. That fall from the Ponderosa pine turned her good intentions to re-introduce the thick-billed parrot to Arizona turned into a form of urban terrorism.”

Meanwhile, in a holding cell in a remote location, a woman dressed in green feathers kept repeating, “I almost did it, great grandpa Rusty, I almost did it.”
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