Porcelain Birds

“Did you see that?” Amanda said. She pulled her bike off to the shoulder and waited for Sarah to join her.

“See what?” Sarah asked. She distractedly brushed a lock of hair from her eyes.

“Those birds.” Amanda gestured at the flock now residing in a nearby tree. A moment before they had been in the road, pecking at the remains of some unfortunate animal. “When they took off,” she continued, “the sunlight on their wings made them look kind of metallic.”

“It’s probably just natural oils or something.” Sarah sounded bored. “Birds have those, y’know. Keeps them dry or something. C’mon.” She started to pull her bike back onto the road, but a shimmery, glass-like sound drew her up short.

Several of the birds were shaking out their feathers. Small slivers glinted as they fell to the ground, tinkling together like glass snowflakes.

Amanda swallowed, suddenly nervous. She had just realized that these glass-like birds seemed to be watching her and Sarah — and that they were utterly and completely silent.

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