These terrorists seem to be invisible and vanish after committing the acts, leaving no witnesses to their brutal and callous attacks and no clues left behind. Are some nonhuman entities involved in executing the carnage on human beings? If so, how are they able to do so? Will the culprits be caught? Can these strange birds be responsible? If so, how have they become birds of terror? And who has trained them to commit these acts? Law enforcement have put all on the line to solve these crimes, will they be successful, or will they also fall victim, allowing evil to prevail?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)|
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Birds of Terror
By Noel T. Skippings
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Noel T. Skippings
All rights reserved.
The police, soldiers, National Guard, and civilians stood on street corners, their guns pointed skyward at a flock of about one hundred birds. Bullets were heard all around as they took aim at the birds, trying to shoot them out the sky. Old men, women, and children ran for cover from the birds, fearing they were birds of terror, coming to bomb them. People screamed and wailed as they fled. Adults carried little children as they ran. Some children ran behind adults, trying to catch up. Feathers and dead birds fell from the sky as shots hit them. The birds started scattering and flying higher, trying to get out of the reach of the bullets, but about fifty birds were killed before the shooting ended. At least two loud explosions occurred in the sky among the birds. Those that survived disappeared. Some of the individuals fleeing the birds had fallen and were trampled by other fleeing individuals. At least three young children were bleeding as they searched desperately for their parents. It was total chaos.
Salerno Bondi smiled as he watched his birds fly around his single-family house. After a while, he opened the door, and they flew outside to get fresh air and some exercise. When they returned, he put them in their cages. Although he kept them in cages mostly for their own safety, they were free. He enjoyed the freedom that he and his birds enjoyed. It was obvious the birds preferred being in cages, because whenever he freed them, they returned and entered the open doors of the cages. Maybe they felt safer in the cages, or they preferred being there because they were sure of their meals. He and his birds had a unique relationship. It was a relationship envied by those who saw the behavior between Salerno and the birds. Some people wondered how he developed such a relationship with nonhumans.
Jayne Blulow had liked birds from when she was a little child. When she was about three years old, she asked her mother to buy a parakeet for her, which her mother did. She took care of that parakeet as if it were a baby. She kept the beautiful bird in a small cage. Jayne spent hours talking to the bird as if it were a human being and could understand what she was saying. After having the bird for a few weeks Jayne began to pat it, and the more she patted, it the more it seemed to like the patting and expect it. It was becoming obvious that when Jayne talked to the bird, the bird understood her more and more. It flapped its wings and skipped and jumped joyfully in the small cage. Everyone who saw that came to the unmistakable conclusion that Jayne and the bird understood each other.
After about a year, Jayne began to give it commands, and the bird would obey. She would tell it to sit if it was standing, and the bird would sit. She demonstrated to the bird how it should stand on one leg and then told it to stand on one leg. It did. When she told it to flap its wings, it would do so. Those who saw Jayne's interaction with the parakeet were flabbergasted. They could not understand how someone could get a bird to obey commands, especially from a little girl with absolutely no formal experience in training birds.
The parakeet was allowed out of its cage to fly around the room for exercise. But it always kept close to Jayne. When Jayne and her family were at the table eating, the parakeet was on the table close to Jayne and ate out of her plate and drank water out of her glass. If other family members tried to feed it, it would not eat from them unless Jayne told it to eat. It was obvious that Jayne and the parakeet had a strange and unbreakable connection with each other. Jayne sometimes treated the bird as if it were a human being, and the bird treated Jayne as if she were a bird. Jayne was always happiest when she was around that bird, and everyone close to her noticed.
When Jayne was fourteen, she asked her parents for more birds. Her first bird had died some time before, and she had the urge to train more birds. Her mother bought her six birds, and Jayne began to train them just as she had trained the parakeet. The six birds were different species, which she deliberately chose to see if other species could also be trained. The experiment was a resounding success. Some of the birds took longer than others to train, but in the end, it was a success. The birds could understand commands and respond accordingly. They were more trained than her first parakeet. Some of Jayne's family members asked her if she had any education in training birds since her first parakeet. They were surprised when she told them no.
When Jayne was seventeen years old, she met a boy in her class by the name of Salerno Bondi. He was a handsome young man who dressed very well and was well mannered. The boy's parents were from a different country, and he was more adjusted to their home country. Salerno's parents were not as well off as Jayne's parents, but he seemed satisfied with his status in life. He always asked Jayne if her country, which he called the host country, was attempting to conquer the world, which included his country, but Jayne said no. His country had different lifestyles, values, and cultural beliefs than Jayne's country. He always felt his country was the best example of what the world should be like and that others should follow it.
Jayne usually told Salerno her country was not only the mother of democracy, but also a country that gave everyone — including him — a fair chance at being what one wanted to be and doing what one wanted to do, and her country respected men and women equally. Deep down inside, Salerno realized what Jayne said was the truth, but because his parents and his people taught him otherwise, he refused to acknowledge it. He liked the freedom and lifestyles Jayne's country offered, but that was something he couldn't admit to his parents and his people. Had he done so, he would be considered a traitor and might have even been killed by his people.
One day, Jayne and Salerno were at the college cafeteria having lunch together. She told him of her love of birds and how she trained them to perform many acts. He could not believe her, so he asked her if he could come over to her house to see their tricks because he had developed a love for birds also. Jayne told him he could, and his visit was arranged for the following day. When Salerno saw what she had taught her birds, he still couldn't believe what he was seeing them do in response to Jayne's commands. To say he was impressed was an understatement. He asked her to teach him how to train birds, and she agreed.
Salerno spent many afternoons at Jayne's house, learning how to train birds. He was training the birds one day when an idea came to him. It made him smile. Jayne noticed him smiling and asked, "What are you smiling about?" He lied and told her he was smiling as he thought about how intelligent the birds were. The truth is that he was smiling because he had thought of how he could train birds to execute tasks he and his people would be proud of. He asked Jayne where she had bought the birds, and she told him. She then asked him, "Are you thinking about owning birds?"
He thought for a few seconds, unsure what his answer should be. Then he said, "No, I'm just enquiring."
* * *
At age twenty-one, Salerno had already successfully attended university. He and Jayne had parted ways and were out of touch with each other. The last time he had seen Jayne was when she was eighteen years old, and it was a brief, chance encounter. By then he had mastered training birds. He was now employed at an electronics store, making a fairly good salary. He was living in an apartment by himself as his parents had returned to their home country. It was time, he thought, to purchase birds and train them at another level. However, he thought that if he trained birds in an apartment, it could be suspicious because other tenants would always be around, and the landlord or landlady and the maintenance person might try to inquire about the birds, so he decided to purchase a small, reasonably priced house in a somewhat secluded location.
He found the ideal house after just two weeks of searching. It was on a cul-de-sac about half a mile from the nearest house, and the price was right. It was a cozy, one-bedroom house with a living room, an eat-in kitchen, and a full bathroom. Salerno was extremely excited as he walked around the house and the backyard. The backyard had many trees and shrubs, which were conducive to bird keeping and breeding, and gave the appearance of an aviary. Salerno bought wood and made several cages for birds, which he placed in the backyard. The cages were properly concealed from the road and other areas by the house and the trees and shrubs. The property was ideal for his plans.
At the beginning Salerno bought one dozen birds. They were all the same species. He thought that it would be easier to begin with one species because it may be better to train them. He began the training immediately, and it was going well because Jayne had trained him properly, and he was applying that training successfully. After a few weeks the birds were responding to commands in the manner that he wanted them to respond. They were standing on one foot and flapping their wings to commands to do so. They were turning around and around and singing to commands that he repeated again and again. One day when Salerno's friend and cousin Josef was at work, Salerno took two of his birds to Josef's house, and drove back and forth from Josef's house to his house about six times, allowing the birds to familiarize themselves with Josef's house and the course to and from the house. Every time he did that Josef was not at home.
Josef and Salerno were friends from when they were very young and when they lived back in their country. They are approximately the same age and from the same area in their country. Salerno decided to visit Josef alone. He left his birds at home. They were happy and excited to see each other and engaged in general conversation. Both Salerno and Josef harbored the same dislike and hateful feelings for the host country, although the host country had given them an education and employment to help them provide for them and their families. Josef thought that the host country should not be allowed to exist. On several occasions one of Josef's friends by the name of Leon Chanley, who was not born in the host country told Josef that Josef was ungrateful because all the host country did for Josef, he, Josef, did not mean the host country any good and wished it harm. Two days earlier Leon said to Josef, "Josef, you are ungrateful. You are living in this country where you come to better yourself because life in your country is tough and unbearable, yet you have the gall to hate this country and its people. Whether you like it or not this country is the greatest country in the world. Its worst problem is better than your country's most positive attribute." Josef became infuriated and got up and left the room where he and Leon were sitting. He had said to himself, "I thought that Leon and I were friends. I should have known that no one from this country could be trusted. Leon can go to hell." Josef had no knowledge that Leon was not born in the host country. He vowed never to speak to Leon again unless it could not be helped. He told Salerno about what Leon had said, and Salerno asked him, "Are you still going to be his friend?" Josef looked at Salerno with wide open eyes and replied, "Are you crazy?" He went on to say, "Everybody from this country is alike. You see one and speak to one you see all and speak to all."
One day when Salerno visited Josef Salerno had two birds on his shoulders, and Josef asked him, "Man, what are these birds about?" Salerno smiled and said, "These birds are going to destroy the infidels." Josef could not understand and he had a puzzled look on his face. Salerno had a cynical smile on his face as he replied, "One of these days you will understand." As Salerno said that he stood up, shook Josef's hand and said, "Peace brother. I must leave now. Salerno then left with his birds perched on his shoulders. Josef was left wondering what Salerno meant by what Salerno had just said. After he could not think of a rational explanation for what Salerno said, he concluded that Salerno was just stating something that made no sense.
For several weeks Salerno took his birds to Josef's house and back when Josef was away from the house. As he traveled to Josef's house he would repeat "Josef, Josef, Josef," as he pointed to the house. One day Salerno strapped a note to one of the birds which read 'Josef, how are you today?' It was signed Salerno. He had a knot tied on the note that could be easily released by the bird using its feet to release it. He had taught the bird on several occasions how to release the note. After tying the note to the bird, he opened the door and said to the bird, "Josef, Josef, Josef," and sent the bird off. The bird flew away in the direction of Josef's house and after a few minutes it was out of sight. It was gone for approximately an hour when Salerno became concerned, thinking that it might have been involved in an accident or caught by someone. He became irritable and fidgety and started pacing the floor, when five minutes later the bird returned without the note. An hour later Josef called Salerno and apologized for not being home when Salerno stopped by.
Josef explained that he was delayed on the job because the relief worker showed up late. He asked Salerno "Is something wrong?" Salerno lied and said I wanted to discuss something with you, but that can wait." After Salerno hung up the phone he was jumping and saying "Yes, yes, yes." His experiment was successful. Salerno left some more notes at Josef's place that the birds delivered, and each time he would find an excuse as to why he left the notes. Surprisingly, not only did Josef not know that Salerno's birds delivered the notes, but he accepted Salerno's excuses. Salerno had used each bird at various times to deliver the notes. Although Salerno thought about telling Josef that the birds delivered the notes, he did not do so because he figured that if his birds were ever suspected of wrongdoing Josef might assist the authorities in determining that the birds belonged to him. In addition, he figured that even if he revealed his secret and plans to Josef, Josef might have not believed him anyway. Salerno vowed that he would not tell anyone his secret, and only he and his birds would be cognizant of their actions. His aim was to bring his enemies, the infidels, to their knees and terrorize them as much as he could, and he would do it covertly.
The following several weeks Salerno found a reason to send his birds to Josef's house to deliver notes, which Josef thought that Salerno had brought and left there himself. Every time the birds delivered the notes Salerno made sure that Josef was not at home. Josef asked Salerno again why he, Salerno, was leaving the notes when Salerno could have called him on the telephone, and Salerno told him that there is no privacy any longer with telephones, because law enforcement and others bug phones indiscriminately. Josef accepted that excuse, although he thought it was somewhat strange, because if someone did not do anything illegal then that someone would have to fear nothing. Salerno told him, "I constantly hear of the government or some other entity bugging people's phones and listening in on their conversations. I don't want that to happen to me." Josef replied, "That's true. I remember the Snowden guy who fled to Russia. He said that it happened to many people. I still think that he was a traitor. I will never turn on my country." Salerno was happy that he tricked Josef into believing why notes were left at his house, and that the motive was innocent.
After Salerno saw that his experiment with his birds was successful in the delivering of notes to Josef's house, he decided to expand his project. One day he took his birds with him to an old dilapidated building about three miles from his home. He took a photograph and drew a sketch of the building and made several trips back and forth to and from the building. After several practice runs he placed a small back pack about three inches by one and a half inches with pebbles in them, one on each bird's back. He put a red x to the front door of the dilapidated building on the sketch and instructed the birds to deliver the packages to the front door of the dilapidated building. After about fifty minutes the birds returned without the packages. He then got into his car and drove to the dilapidated building wondering if the birds had done as they were instructed to do. On his arrival at the building he was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see the two packages that he had strapped to the birds at the front door of the dilapidated building. He patted and kissed the birds and gave them an extra feeding of a stimulant laced food and drink. Whenever the birds were fed that they became really excited and appeared to be full of energy.
Excerpted from Birds of Terror by Noel T. Skippings. Copyright © 2015 Noel T. Skippings. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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