Here is another little story from Cracked Flash – this one was a runner up.
By Sara Codair
They unfurled their wings, shifted their weight and lifted off the rotting branch. Fuz smiled as the north wind hit their face. It was damp and mild, a sure sign spring had arrived in mid-regions. Circling high above the mud-sodden earth, they searched for one last southern meal.
They dove when they spotted slow movement – a tiny rodent whose legs were getting sucked in with every step. Within in seconds, the little critter was in Fuz’s claws, being carried back to the their nest.
After a hearty, albeit muddy meal, Fuz sprayed the nest with their scent and flew north.
Three days later, Fuz arrived to the mid realms, only to find the ground there had already turned to claw sucking mud. Their stomach grumbled as they circled over mud and water. They plucked an eel out of a pond and perched on a damp rock to eat it, but it wriggled all the way down.
Each year, it seemed the mid-realms spring got closer to that of the southern realms.
Fuz signed, flapped their tired wings and was airborne once again, hoping the north was having an early spring too, or else he would freeze to death.
Touching down in the north, Fuz was glad to have solid ground beneath their claw’s. The sun was shining, and prey animals were scurrying about – a living buffet. They feasted on rodents, lizards and insects until their belly felt like it would burst. Then they found a solid tree branch – one they noted was still devoid of leaves, and sprawled out for a nap in the sun.
Later, the howling wind woke them. The sun was gone, and frost coated the edges of their feathers and beak. They stood, struggling to take off, but the wind was too strong and cold.