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Peacocks



The tall, hungry-looking girl and the bird were being photographed together against the terracotta stone backdrop of the 17th century manor house. One was the focus, the other was the prop. One was all glamour, draped in aquamarine chiffon; the other was pecking in vituperation at the gravel.

“Amazing darling. Hold that pose. Give me more hair. Fuller lips. Great! Pull your top down a bit lovey.”

The skinny photographer lept around like a hyperactive spider. Around him, a tiny (but essential) entourage hovered, keeping out of both birds' way. They had all learnt early on that morning, where the safe zone was.

A maze of birdseed decorated the patio; it served as a lure for the peacock, with only partial success. The bird did his own thing. The model, who hadn't eaten in hours, kept eyeing the seeds hungrily. She was trying to work out how many calories there were in maize. The peacock drifted nearer to the valuable chiffon gown.

The model, nervous, on edge, shrieked, “Keep that bloody bird away from me can't you?”

“Think Karma darling, think Zen thoughts.” The photographer babbled on. “Lift your arms, like you're going to fly.”

Obediently the model lifted her stick thin limbs so that the chiffon fabric would appear wing-like, and would blow gauzily in the breeze. All was a vision of glorious aquamarine and turquoise glimmering in the sunshine until...

….the peacock, plunged in urgent forward momentum, aiming for the only bit of fat on the model, her juicy big toe, which was protruding from the sliver of shoes priced at several thousand.

Screams split the air, “Ow! It got me! That damn bird bit me! I'm going to need antibiotics in case I catch Ebola.”

There was some sniggering among the tiny entourage at that outburst.

“Great shot though darling, with you leaping up like that. Very energized.” The photographer commented. It was part of his job to stay calm.

The peacock, by now totally fed up with the carnival unfolding in his private domain, pulled in his own his own aquamarine cloak and mooched away to find his more tolerant mate.

This story was written by Alyson Faye, who is currently setting up a Wordpress blog site for herself and her fiction. She's on Facebook as Aly R, and has several pieces available online.
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