- Vol. 06
- Chapter 02
They sat on twigs in four different trees at the four corners of the park and glared in each other’s direction, occasionally breaking into song which, though pleasing to the human ear, was invariably a ribald musical calumny of one rival or the other.
The same naïve humans who smiled at this lyrical vituperation were rumoured among the avian community to have a myth of apocalypse which could have been a dark interpretation of reality. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse they called it, or something like that – as if man or any manifestation of the creature could bring the world to an end on his own or with four mates. Nah, man was too gregarious – not like the robins.
And yet no-one expects The Four Robins of the Apocalypse.
Fluffy – so called for obvious reasons, even the crown feathers puffed out like a surreal explosion of black beard - piped a subtle insult in the general direction of the north-east corner where Bee-eater perched.
The latter had been busy over the decades laying out the foundation for the End of Days and wasn’t shy about it, twittering its cheery song of starvation as it hopped from tree to tree to bounce off the surface of the lake and resonate throughout the park until even the leaves shivered with dread.
For now Bee-eater ignored the slight. He was busy dragging an earthworm from its burrow before the colder weather drove them deep underground. He liked a varied diet. It kept him regular.
Irked at the lack of response, Fluffy flitted to a higher twig and turned her attention to the south-east where Stalker held sway, but there was no answer from that corner either. She was too busy following the man with the Staffy, charming him and whispering hate into the ear of the dog several decibels outside the dopey human’s hearing.
Fluffy puffed herself up and half-glided down to the forest floor among the pine needles and pecked at a few crawlers, eating one before getting bored. She chirruped a blistering curse at Ennui, the last of the four.
Her voiced echoed alone in a strange silence. Cocking her head in self-rebuke, she stopped dead, realizing that Ennui was singing her own song of hopelessness which none of the others could quite match, or hear. But Fluffy could see the foliage wilt and knew by the manner of its fall that this was no ordinary autumn.
She fluffed up her feathers in preparation for her own chorus of destruction, and the static sizzled towards a blinding explosion which would crack the planet.