Blue Bird


For those of you who follow this blog, you might have noticed a pattern. I usually offer rotating posts of poetry, flash fiction and short articles about writing. I’ve hesitated to offer my latest flash fiction piece because it’s a bit on the weird, morbid and tacky side. A while back  in a post called Bluebirds and Rock Gods, I admitted I had a story idea that I felt had to be written about a pestering bluebird. In the post I said I thought the story needed to be a bit creepy and dark. A fellow blogger, Joe Pineda, gave me a bit of advice. He said to try to keep a sense of humor in weaving a morbid tale. The story ended up going a place I never thought it would go. In fact, when I finished it, I had one of those “I didn’t know I had it in me” kind of moments. If you are easily offended or prefer not feel like you need a shower after reading a story, by all means pass this one up. I won’t be offended and we’ll both feel squeaky clean. Otherwise….

The doctor walked into the examination room, acknowledged his new patient with a nod, sat down and flipped through the chart of Neil Holcomb. He pushed his reading glasses up his bulbous nose, checked off a couple boxes on the chart and then looked at his patient, who seemed nervous, his armpits wet with sweat, even though the room was quite cool.

“Well, Neil, you weren’t very specific with your complaint today. You said you were having ‘guy’ problems. Could you tell me more?”

“Doctor, I was fine until two weeks ago. Ever since then, my mojo has been out of whack. My stick has been in park. I can’t get it up, and when I do, I can’t keep it up.”

“That’s not an unusual problem Neil.” The doctor glanced at the chart. “You’re 28 years old with a job in management?”


“Have you been under a lot of stress lately? Have you and your … let’s see here – you’re not married. Have you and your partner noticed any symptoms prior to last week?”

“I don’t exactly have a partner.” He looked down at his hands and shifted in his chair, embarrassed and uncomfortable.

“Oh. I see.”

No you don’t doctor. The problem isn’t just me. It’s that damn blue bird.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow and with hesitance asked, “What bluebird?”

“The one that showed up pecking at my window right as I was about to shoot my load. It scared the hell out of me and it wouldn’t leave and well… ever since then I can’t get hard and if do I can’t stay hard.”

“You’re telling me that a bluebird is causing your erectile dysfunction?”

“It sounds crazy when you say it out loud like that. But it’s true. And the thing stares at me. As soon as I even think about trying again – there it is. At my living room window. At my kitchen window. At my bedroom window… day, night, afternoon. Doesn’t matter. I can’t even think about unzipping my pants and that bird shows up with those beady little eyes, cocking its head from side to side and then starts pecking at the window.”

“Neil, have you tried closing your blinds?”

“Yes, I’ve closed the blinds but I can see its shadow, and not only that, how does it even know what I’m doing when my blinds are closed? Explain that.”

“I don’t think the bird really cares what you’re doing. I think the bird interrupted you at an inopportune moment and now you’ve gotten too focused on the bird, and it’s caused you some temporary performance anxiety. There are some things we can do, and if you’ll follow my advice you’ll be back in business in no time.”

Neil did just as the good doctor suggested. He mounted a birdfeeder away from his house so that the bird would be drawn to it instead of his windows. He took the pill sample the doctor gave him for ‘encouragement.’  He made sure all the blinds and curtains were closed. Then he turned some music up in the house so he wouldn’t even hear the pecking if the bird did show up. The doc also suggested turning the lights down in the house and  relaxing.

He didn’t see or hear the bird. Perfect. He turned on one of his favorite porn sites and began to feel a stir. He hesitated for a moment and then unzipped his jeans. No bird. The good doc was right. He watched the images in front of him and began to enjoy the moment. He closed his eyes, allowing the fullness of the experience to take over. His mojo was back and he loved every second of it. He opened his eyes to take another glance at the naked beauties on the screen. He froze in terror. Perched on the top of his laptop were two of those blue birds, looking at him in curious wonder. Was he seeing things? Had he lost his mind?  He tried to move but he was too scared to, and dammit his erection wouldn’t go away after taking that medicine.

The birds seemed to be in conference with each other. With dread, Neil realized they weren’t bluebirds.

They were woodpeckers.


Image by Microsoft ClipArt

Please also check out Joe Pineda The Bard of Steel


41 responses »

  1. I like stories that are slightly from the dark place. Too much sugar and roses is just Disney. Ok with a younger person, but not too engaging too often as an older one. Good job.

    Also you put a sort of disclaimer at the top, kind of like I did the other week. I’m just recalling what you said to me, and you were right then!

      • This is a blog Sheila, so why not use it to express in different ways? Plenty of blogs out there edit themselves too much, and end up losing a little bit of personality, or leaving a little bit of their soul out.

      • You make an excellent point. There’s always that little bit of fear plus I’ve already taken some heat from some folks over my writing. I appreciate your encouragement!

  2. A little twisted always gets my vote. It’s no mystery why Showtime’s TV series are popular. Loved this piece, Sheila. The ending was unexpected and clever. What a fun read. 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie! I really appreciate it. You know that guy, Mr. Nastypants? that gets in your head? Well, I had a similar visitor in my mother’s voice over this story! lol I’ve already warned her this material may not be suitable for her…

  3. I’m happy that my advice inspired you to do something different! From the looks of it, you were pretty successful too. Not only is it morbidly funny; I think it’s your best story I’ve commented on thus far. The choice of topic helps it stand out a lot, but it’s only excellent because it’s supported by great writing. The one sentence finale is I think one of those writing conventions you can say are a staple of this kind of genre.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a guy or maybe it was intended, but I associate the color blue a lot with this story, and not just because of the bird. I’m sure you’ve heard of blue balls too.

    • The blue really worked out well with the theme of this. I was agonizing over the name when it hit me – Keep it simple and call it Blue Bird. I really appreciate your input and comments. I felt like I took a chance with this and it’s validating to hear that it was a chance worth taking. 🙂

  4. what an excellent story! i was totally surprised by the ending…. which reminds me….old Neil Holcomb better be careful with his open window – somewhere across the river there lurks…

    “Extinct” Woodpecker Found in Arkansas, Experts Say

    thanks for sharing!

  5. haha. cool ending. i didn’t find it all that dark though, more quirky and entertaining. keep exploring the broad, varied spaces available to the writer.

    • Thanks and it was fun to step out my comfort zone in writing this one. I believe I may try to do some exploring today, in fact 🙂 thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment – it’s always appreciated!

  6. excellent sheila, the humor certainly blends with the dark elements very nicely. you made me laugh a quite a few times with this. good for you for doing that:))) hope your morning is starting out beautifully. i’ve got another reading today – a big event of local and a couple of regional poets.

    • Well thank you much. Sounds like you’ve got a fun day ahead. Around here, it’s stay in and stay cool – temp got to 109 yesterday – another hot one on the horizon again today I’m afraid. Enjoy yourself at the reading!

  7. Ha! This is great fun! I’m not sure about him trying to find some “special alone time” in the kitchen, though!

    • Glad you enjoyed it and thought it was fun – as intended 🙂 That bird seemed to find him if even the thought crossed his mind…and I’m pretty certain a guy doesn’t care what room he’s in when he’s thinking about sex…I could be wrong lol Thanks so much for taking the time for this little tale.

    • So glad! I’m usually so damn intense that I don’t write ‘funny’ very well – I was stretching my writing fingers on this one. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time 🙂

  8. This is a very clever idea, Sheila, and I quite liked the bits that made it what you referred to as “weird and morbid”. Gruesome I cannot handle, but bizarre, strange, and anything that falls in those realms, I am all in for.

    Wonderful ending, too!

    ~ Cara

    • Cara: Thanks so much! I really appreciate the support on this one especially – it was a pivotal moment in my writing relationship and what I’m willing to share. That may sound a bit odd over a crazy little story like this but nevertheless the validation from others means a great deal.

      • Thanks for visiting the blog and for your ‘likes’! You might enjoy one of my free dark tales – Issue 49 – which has some dark humour (link on blog), although it is a little er…British. Good to make your acquaintance.

      • I’ll definitely check it out 🙂 I may enjoy that it is a little er….British. I was actually accused recently by one of your countrymen of being a bit ‘twee’ over something I said to him. After I looked up what that meant I laughed til I cried. I am so NOT twee… lol

      • Having read one of your stories, ‘twee’ is not at all applicable. Tobias and Trish, in ‘Issue 49’ are not twee either, but hopefully you are like neither of them!

      • I will, with great confidence, say that I am nothing like Tobias or Trish – lol but what an entertaining story…something about the combination of dark and humorous that I’m drawn to. Very much enjoyed it – thanks for letting me know about it.

      • Thank you for your kind comments – I’m delirious to the point of nearly smiling that you enjoyed it and amazed that you actually read it. You see how easy it is to gain a fan for life?

      • Incredible! Now all you have to do is persuade another twenty or thirty million to buy a book and you will confirm your abilities!

  9. Love this…am I reading too much into ‘wood peckers’…. I’m entertained by how much this story frightened me, I was very anxious reading it, worried about the horror that might unfold and also charmed by the way it uncovered my own awkwardness and prudishness about the subject matter.


    thank you

    • I’m sure you didn’t read too much into ‘woodpeckers’ – it was meant to be both dark and funny, a bit on the quirky side. So glad you enjoyed it. By the way, writing the story uncovered my own awkward and prudish feelings, as well and why I was nervous to even publish it, but I’ve gotten good feedback about it, so I’m glad I went for it now. Thanks again!

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