Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Prophecy

Philip Hornbuckle was soundly asleep until suddenly he felt something smacking his face. He slowly opened his eyes, and found that his face was covered in orange peels. In the distance, he saw Munny Pang, on the back of train, eating an orange. Philip sat up, and small pieces of gravel stuck to his unshaven face. He looked around, and realized he was asleep on a bed of grass next to the railroad tracks. "Oh. I must have fallen asleep looking for Paco" he thought. He stretched his arms and checked his watch, expecting it to be the early morning hours, "4:05 in the afternoon?!" he yelled, "I'm supposed to be at work in fifteen minutes!" He jumped up and ran off towards World's Best Pizza. He could hardly see through the fog on his way there, and almost ran straight into Wren Henry in the midst of his panic. Finally, Philip arrived at World's Best Pizza, threw on his apron, and went to the front of the restaurant to manage the register. Half an hour passed, and the restaurant remained empty. Finally, at 5:15, Sasha Tary strolled in with some strange news for Eduardo, the owner of World's Best Pizza. 
"Hi Eduardo, your sister is buried by St. Cecelia's Church, right?" Eduardo nodded with a confused expression on his face, "well. I'm not sure how to say this, but your sister's grave has been...disturbed." Eduardo let out a defeated sigh.
"PHILIP! Get your stuff. We're closing down early so I can go handle this mess." Philip quickly gathered his stuff, wished Eduardo luck, and started his walk home. As Philip was walking through Howell Park, as woman approached him. She was dressed in various of shades of red, and appeared to be in a hurry.
"Hello, are you Philip Hornbuckle?"
"Well, yes I am." Philip replied, unsure how the woman knew his name. Slowly, the woman reached into her pocket, pulled out a crinkled envelope, and placed it in his hand.
"This may seem odd, but an old blind man told me to find you in Howell Park right about now, and give you this envelope." Philip looked at the envelope in his hand, and looked back up at the woman as he began to open it.
"Did he happen to tell you-"
"Listen I'd love to answer your questions" the woman interrupted, "but I'm really in a rush!" With that, the woman ran off, bumping into Philip on her way out, and causing Philips finger to scrape the envelope.
"Ouch!" yelled Philip, "Papercut!" Philip shook the blood off his finger, and opened the enveloped. In messy handwriting, the envelope read:
"You may not know me, and you probably never will. But that doesn't matter to me, because even though I am blind I still see the truth. I had a vision of you, Philip Hornbuckle, and this is what I saw, the truth with all its power lives inside me." Philip looked at the sentence in shock. "No one knows where Paco is. No one ever will. The truth of what happened to Paco is something only I know." Suddenly, Philip realized what this prophecy meant, and accepted his fate: a life without Paco.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Thirst

Philip awoke from another night's rest feeling just as upset as the day before. And the day before that. And the day before that. Philip sat up in bed, and began to think about all his memories with Paco. He thought about when he got Paco during his first year in college, because he was having trouble making new friends. He thought about all the movie nights, fancy dinners, and concerts that he and Paco had bonded over. Now, all he could think about was what would happen if he never found Paco, or Paco never found his way back to The Victorian. Philip didn't have many other friends. In fact, the only time he really engaged in human interaction was during his shift at World's Best Pizza and his weekly Bird Watchers Club meetings, and even during those times Paco was with him. Philip quickly shook his head, and started to get out of bed. He tried not to think about living life without Paco for too long, the thought was too upsetting. Philip threw on his favorite trench coat, grabbed his keys, and set out for Howell Park to look for Paco. As Phillip walked through town, something seemed slightly odd. People were running around frantically, carrying large jugs of water, and asking around to see if anyone would be willing to share anymore water with them. "Geez" thought Philip, "don't these people have enough water? I mean it's not like the town is on some insane water shortage or something." Philip continued thinking about the strangeness of the whole situation as he searched for Paco in Howell Park. Suddenly, Philip came upon a stream in the park he had never seen before. "Paco always loved the water! Perhaps he flew here!" Philip began to look on every tree surrounding the river. No Paco. So he bent down, and began to check in the stream to see if Paco was taking a swim.
"Great. Another weirdo looking for water. Listen dude, you need to look somewhere else for water. This is my spot, and I don't share. Maybe you should check Rainbow River."
Philip turned around to see a woman standing behind him, with an frustrated expression on her face.
"My apologies" said Philip, "I didn't mean to invade your territory, but I wasn't looking for water. I was looking for my bird, Paco." The woman's face softened slightly before she spoke again,
"Oh. Well maybe you should start looking for water, instead of wasting your time trying to find your lost bird. Tell you what, I'll even share some of my water with you." The woman handed Philip a jug, and began to fill it up from the stream. Phillip looked at the jug in confusion.
"Thank you, but I think I'll just get my water from the store."
"Hah! The store! Do you really think they have any water left? C'mon you better start filling that jug before I don't want to share anymore. It's like you don't even know there's a water shortage right now." Suddenly, Philip understood why everyone in town was running around in a panic, and quickly began filling his water jug next to the woman.
"Thank you for sharing. My name is Philip, what's yours?"
"Cecelia Fisher" the woman said, and continued to fill her jug.
"Well, Cecelia it's nice to meet you"
Cecelia smiled at Philip, and two continued to talk about their lives as they filled their water jugs. Before Philip and Cecelia even realized how long it had been, the sun began to go down.
"Oh no!" cried Philip, "I have to go before it gets dark! I need to keep searching for Paco! It was nice to meet you Cecelia!" With that, Philip jumped up, bolted into the night, and forgot to bring his water jug with him.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Southern Living

Philip Hornbuckle was asleep on his sofa after a long night working at World's Best Pizza. He still had on his flour and pizza sauce stained shirt when he awoke to a loud knocking at the door of his apartment. Philip quickly realized that the knocking must have started far before he woke up, because Paco was flying around the apartment in a panic. Philip jumped up, accidentally knocking over his coffee table and sending Bird Watcher's Club sign-up sheets flying everywhere. He ran to the door, and opened it to find a large group of men and women eagerly holding cameras and notebooks at his doorstep. "Can I help you folks?" Philip mustered as easily as he could after such a startling wake up call. "Hi, uh, sir." started a young man in a polished suit, "I'm Langford, and I work with Southern Living magazine. We're making a piece about southern towns making a comeback. We were hoping to feature you, but first I should everything alright in here?" Philip looked at the man in confusion, then back at his apartment. Philip's apartment was covered in sign up sheets. There was a pile of dirty World's Best Pizza shirts in the corner, and next to them a bookshelf filled with tattered bird encyclopedias. Paco was still soaring around the apartment. "What do you mean?" Philip asked the reporter, "everything in my apartment is how it always is." The reporter let out a forced laugh, "Oh of course..." he responded, sharing glances with his team mates. "So what do you think? Can we feature you?" Philip nodded excitedly, "Of course you can! I can't believe someone wants me in a magazine! Come in! Come in!" he ushered. Langford and his team filed in the apartment and began to set up camera equipment. "First we're just gonna ask you some questions about the town, and everyone that lives here. What's your name by the way?" Langford asked. "Oh, I'm Philip." Langford nodded and opened his notebook. "Okay, so what's your favorite thing about this town?" Philip barely had to think. "I love Howell park!" he exclaimed, "there are so many interesting birds there. Me and my best friend Paco spend all our free time there. You know, I once even saw a rare nepal there." Langford scribbled furiously. "So, tell me more about Paco. Who is he? What's he like?"
"Well Paco is my bird, and best friend." Philip went to gesture to Paco, but quickly made a realization. In all the chaos of the reporters arrival, Philip had forgotten to put Paco back into his cage. Paco was no longer in the apartment. Paco was gone. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Power outage

Philip Hornbuckle walks out of World's Best Pizza right at the end of his shift towards 7:15. He watches as the sun begins to sink behind The Victorian, lighting up the sky with hues of pink, orange, and yellow. Suddenly, Philip feels a sense of panic, and begins to think he has forgotten something important at work. He gazes into the pocket of his trench coat, and feels a sense of relief wash over him as he sees the blue and green feathers of his best friend Paco. Philip begins his daily walk home through Howell park. As he is walking through the park, he hears a loud pop, and is suddenly surrounded by darkness. "Oh no!" cries Philip, "How will I be able to see if anyone has signed up for my Bird Watchers Club in all this darkness!" Philip hears a familiar squawk. "What is it Paco?" Another squawk. "I guess you're right, even if I can't see if anyone has signed up for my Bird Watchers Club, I'll always have my favorite bird right in my pocket." With that, Philip smiles, and continues his walk home through the darkness.