Have Birds, Will Travel

Contributor: Kristina England

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“We’re what?”

“We’re taking the birds to the beach,” Stacey said, rubbing sunscreen onto her shoulders, then down her arms, her fingers making slow, small loops.

Nick watched her apply the cream. It always confused him how a woman could make even sun protection look sexy. Or maybe it was just the male hormones that distorted the freeze frames in his brain.

He looked over at the nylon carrier, then back at Stacey.

“Why the heck would parakeets want to go to the beach?”

“To listen to the ocean, silly,” she said with a full smile, the strawberry-flavored lip gloss she had applied five minutes ago reflecting back at him.

“Okay, so play some nature music or something. Those birds aren't going to the beach”

She gave him the look that made any man check himself in the bathroom to make sure all his wonders were still there.

Nick looked at the birds. The problem with every relationship was that each person came with a level of quirkiness. Stacey’s crazy streak came with her birds. He’d dated OCD and paranoia. A bird woman didn’t seem as crazy. Or maybe it did.

The birds looked back at him and made no protest in regards to their current situation. They were quiet and content in their nylon carrier. Sure, they squawked at bedtime, but take them to the beach and they were just as happy as bikini-clad women.

He sighed. “Okay... It looks like the convertible roof is staying up today.”

She smiled, leaned over and kissed him. He suddenly felt a desire for Strawberry Shortcake so he kissed her back.

Ten minutes later, he lugged the birds out to the car. Stacey did three checks of their driving situation and they were off.

Betsy and Stan (the birds) were surprisingly quiet on the trip. The cars outside were more noticeable than Stacey’s feathery friends.

At the beach (a small one that only a few locals came to), Stacey set the bird carrier down on the sand. The waves rushed in and out, hissing against the rocks. The birds heads turned and let the water spray their little faces.

Nick laid down and watched them in silence. After five minutes, he turned to Stacey.

“I think those birds have enjoyed the beach more than I have in the last thirty years.”

Stacey smiled at him and lowered her sunglasses. “Nope.”


“How do you feel right now?”


“Then there you go.”

He turned back to the birds and continued to watch them, the sound of Mother Nature lapping his ears.

Maybe Betsy and Stan weren’t so bad after all, even if they squawked when Nick and Stacey made love.

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Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her writing is published or forthcoming at Decades Review, Extract(s) Gargoyle, The Story Shack, and other magazines.
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