“The best way to overcome fear is to face it head on.”
Pete gazed across Trafalgar Square and felt his heart pound. He turned to his life coach and shook his head. “I can’t.”
“You can, Pete. And you will,” she said with a confident smile. “Look.”
She produced a paper bag from her pocket and showed Pete the contents.
He frowned. “Isn’t this illegal?”
She shrugged. “Might be. But we’ll be quick. Hold out your hand.”
Pete shook his head. “Please don’t make me do this.”
“I won’t take no for answer. Give me your hands.”
Reluctantly, Pete did as he was told and offered up his cupped hands. The life coach poured a little of the illicit contents of her paper bag into his palms. Then, she took a step back and grinned at him. “Stay calm. It’ll be over in a flash.”
The pigeons descended like wolves. Within seconds, Pete was screaming.
The birds went for his hands first, pecking hungrily at the seed in his palms while their claws scrabbled and scratched at his wrists and arms. When there was no room left to perch on his arms, they settled instead for his shoulders or his head, impatiently waiting their turn for a beakful of grub.
The life coach was proud at first; her client was standing his ground and facing his fear of birds. But things soon took a turn. It seemed as though every pigeon in the City of Westminster was willing to pounce for a chance of some illegal seed.
Pigeon after pigeon swooped upon Pete until he could take the terror no more. His legs gave up and he crumbled to the floor in a heap.
Pete disappeared from sight. All the life coach could see was a flapping, squawking, writhing mound of feathers, claws, beaks and beady eyes.
And then the beady eyes were on her.
A couple of pigeons had unravelled themselves from the hoopla and taken note of the paper bag that the life coach continued to cling to. They eyed the bag, they eyed the life coach, and then they eyed their fellow birds behind them who were oblivious to the extra food which was waiting to be demolished. When they turned back to the life coach, she was already running.
She never saw her client ever again. Nobody did.
And the birds? They were done with seed, after that. Instead, they had a newfound taste for blood.
I plan many of my stories in advance but it just so happens that this one was scheduled in to post today, just a few days after the lovely Chris Hall wrote a strikingly similar story. Do go and read hers – it is significantly more atmospheric and interesting than this one!Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com