The Flight of the Robin
by Jeff Baker
The small, red-breasted bird fluttering around the suburban yard looked as startled as a bird could look.
“Off the ground, off the ground, there are cats on the ground,” the bird thought, eyeing the mailbox at the end of the drive. With an effort (he’d never really flown before) he took off and arced through the air, flying haphazardly like the sixteen-year-old-kid that he was, landing on top of the wooden post the mailbox was attached to.
He remembered a story he’d read where a bird had said that feet were more important than wings. He believed it as he used his feet to clutch and claw at the post he was standing on.
Steady now, he thought as he held on tightly and glanced around. Small, light-dappled neighborhood. Early afternoon. No cats in sight.
“C’mon, Richard, how screwed are you? Assess! Assess! Clown-Face captured you and sprayed you with that stuff and you dwindled down into this, this…”
He’d been quickly caged and driven here, the maniac laughing like the insane clown he was, and pulled from the cage and tossed unceremoniously onto someone’s yard as the van drove off. He’d been stunned but he’d glimpsed the van’s license plate: I PAGG.
He turned around on the post and managed, by angling himself to glimpse his transformed body. Some kind of bird.
Okay, that was ironic. What was it the newspapers were always saying he said? “Holy Birdcage!”
He was trapped worse than when he had been in Clown-Face’s cage. That way, at least, he might have been held for ransom and eventually taken back to…
He recognized the neighborhood he was in, he knew where the mansion was, where the cave was. It was on the edge of town but it wasn’t that far as the crow, or robin flies. And Bruce would know somehow. When a robin flies into their headquarters he would figure out who it had to be.
Besides, there were ways of signaling him.
He just had to watch out for hawks on the way. Better than staying here and becoming prey for some cat.
And there would be a way to turn him back—if Bruce couldn’t find one, he’d pound it out of Clown-Face.
Unless, he thought wryly, it wore off in flight and he fell naked into someone’s swimming pool.
Richard took a deep breath, spread his wings and took off, heading home.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Obviously fan fiction. And our hero comes out better than in my first plan for the story; he wasn’t going to get out of this! But I think he does!—–jeff Sept. 1, 2022