Gone to the Birds

“Goddamnit!” Charlie’s voice echoed from the barn. Even at sixty-three, he still had a booming voice, perfect for swearing.

Martha finished drying the chipped blue plates that they’d used for lunch and put them away before heading out to her husband.

The barn door, slightly ajar, held open with six quart-sized mason jars full of pebbles, let in the afternoon light. Charlie stood in the wedge of light, hands on his hips, gazing up.

Martha pulled the door open wider and shoved the jars over with her foot. “What’s got you all worked up?”

Hanging from the roof of the barn, supported by four sturdy chains was Charlie’s pride and joy- a F4F Wildcat. The world war II plane was a copy of the model that Charlie’s father had flown against the Japs in the Pacific. Charlie’d saved for ten years to buy it, and it meant everything to him. Now bird shit frosted the entire top half like the glaze on a doughnut.

“Goddamn birds.” Charlie rumbled.

Four pairs of unblinking eyes popped up from the far side of the cockpit.

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