Cindy Young-Turner is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Cindy Young-Turner
“Wanda, we’re all going out to the wire tonight. You coming?”
Wanda sighed and dropped another worm into the open mouth. “Wish I could, Carol, but this one is so hungry. I can’t leave her.”
“Mama, mama! Hungry!”
“See what I mean?”
Carol flapped impatiently. “Can’t you get Jack to watch her? You need a break!”
“Jack’s busy with the older girls, teaching them how to fly. We had to get them to leave the nest. He wants to make sure they’re ready. Hold on, be right back.” Wanda swooped down to snatch up another worm for her hungry chick. She thought about all the good times she’d had on the wire, twittering away with her friends. Those were the days, before all the eggs and the hatching and nurturing. She’d been more than just a mama bird.
“Carol, I really want to, but you know I can’t.” She landed in the nest and delivered another worm. “Maybe in a few weeks when she’s older.”
“That’s what you said the last time. A few weeks. And then there were more mouths to feed.” Carol squawked. “Suit yourself then.”
Wanda watched Carol fly off to the wires in the distance. Already some of their friends had gathered, and their playful songs echoed on the breeze.
“Yes, little one? Are you still hungry?”
“No, mama, sleepy now.”
Wanda curled up next to her fuzzy chick. Sometimes being a mama really was what she liked best.