Flight Interrupted

One bird’s failed escape attempt can sabotage the whole flock.

Ara_ararauna_Luc_Viatour.Wiki  blue and yellow macawjpg

Photo credit: Luc Viatour


Returning from the privy, the commotion backstage drew the Searcher’s attention.

A monstrous man elbowed him.  “Performers only.”  Spotting the Searcher’s robes, he retreated.  “Er, sorry.”

The woman’s body was tangled in a huge bird puppet.  Nice act, that one.  Flying over the crowd to music.  Strings, he’d figured.

Wait, not a puppet.  A costume.  Then how did she…?  He sighed.  Considered remaining ignorant.  Reconsidered.

Shoving the protesting manager aside, the Searcher grabbed the corpse’s wrist.  Pushing back the sleeve revealed the brand.

“You employed someone convicted of godless magic?”  Idiot.

Sad.  This was the last good theater left, too.


Submitted for this week’s Friday Fictioneers writing challenge.  Click here to see everyone else’s stories!   Thanks as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for organizing it, and this week, to Luther Siler for the original photo prompt:

luther-siler bird for ff

 © Luther Siler

Here’s another story about a Sambaran Searcher: Burning Questions.



14 thoughts on “Flight Interrupted

    • Thanks! As usual, I have a whole huge backstory in mind — here, that he’s been in the audience, and only happens to notice the commotion backstage because he went to the privy and took the wrong way back hoping it was a shortcut — but I only have time (well, words) for a tiny hint at it.

      In any case, he’s a professional. A delayed privy visit would be nothing he couldn’t handle. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find it to be incredibly useful practice, trying to keep the gist of a story in 100 words. Even with 100,000 words, there are tons of things the author knows about the characters, plot, backstory, etc. that don’t make it into the final cut of the novel.


  1. You got the scene across very well in only 100 words. We also get a glimpse of the characters of the Searcher and the manager. And godless magic evidently isn’t appreciated in those parts! Well written, Joy. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! This one was definitely a squeeze to get it down to 100, whew. Yes, these are the Sambarans in Layor, who only accept divine magic (and only from the right gods, of course), and don’t trust wizards or other arcane / godless sources. I explaining this in greater detail in an earlier story “Burning Questions,” where you get to know a very different Searcher. The link is above, if you’re interested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I intend to do some catching up on your posts tomorrow, Joy. I’ve quite a few to read but it’s 11.30 here now, and I’m on my Kindle, about to.nod off. I spend more time correcting mistakes than commenting when I’m on this thing! I’ll look forward to a good read tomorrow. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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