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.