Migration (Fall Frenzy 2020 Contest Entry)
I had some free time this morning and couldn't pass up the opportunity to enter this contest, co-hosted by agent/author Kaitlyn Sanchez and author Lydia Lukidis. Now, if I'd kept up with my blog reading I would've known about this earlier and had more time to come up with something amazing before the deadline. But I'm happy (and really surprised) to report that the story idea came relatively quickly and so did the writing. I'm sure part of it has to do with the fact that one of my works-in-progress is a novel about a girl who's into birdwatching.
The rules were to write a fall-related story for children based on one of the photos provided. The maximum length was 200 words. Here it goes!
“So, Nyla, what’s the final count?” Grandpa asks on our way home from Hawk Watch Ridge. He’s driving slower than usual, which is fine by me. I’m in no rush.
“Okay, here’s the top five,” I say, and clear my throat. “Over three days we saw 15 Cooper’s Hawks, 36 Bald Eagles, 75 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 62 Turkey Vultures and…”
Grandpa drums his hands on the steering wheel like he does every year.
“…180 Red-tailed Hawks!”
We both pump our fists, like always. Only this time I’ve got a lump in my throat. We ride in silence until Grandpa breaks it: “So, all packed?”
“Mm-hmm.” I turn away to look at the golden trees out my window, trying to convince myself that change is good.
“Be sure to send me videos and pictures of all those exotic birds down there in Florida. Especially the Roseate Spoonbills. They’re neat.”
When we get home I see the moving truck has arrived. Believe it or not, the company’s logo is a soaring hawk. Grandpa points and laughs.
“Ready for your fall migration?”
I chuckle, even though I know I’m not just migrating for the season.
Boy, I truly envy those birds.