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'The End' by 'Dr Feelgood'

It started with the Birds.
At least that's what I think.

I used to spend hours watching them hanging upside down on long grasses feeding. Birds of every size and colour haunted my garden and I marvelled at their fortitude and adaptability in our ever changing climate. One Bird in Particular intrigued me.

A Cock Robin-brash and brave and willing to go to extraordinary lengths to be fed. He regularly flew into our Kitchen under the nose of Rover our bemused Cocker Spaniel who even managed to catch him once and release him unharmed into my hands . That was the last time I saw him strut his stuff around the place . Oh yea he was still there but he seemed more furtive now,hopping under the parked car when we went close or screeching unknown expletives in Rovers direction to my increasing amusement.

Then things changed.
I had noticed an increase in the amount of Birds flocking in the callows below my house. Huge gatherings of Birds of all types and colours dotted the landscape ,packing in groups,all facing the same direction-waiting………

In total silence they stood there from dawn to dusk when as one they would silently rise up and go their separate ways to their respective roosting points. I wasn't the only one who noticed their bizarre behaviour. Horses and cows looked on in similar amazement at the gatherings and were even venturing closer. To the throng who remained unperturbed by their interest or proximity.

At least that's how it seemed to me from my kitchen window. Through my Binoculars I saw them-scanning the mass of Birds-watching their heads cocked sidewards as if listening… And then I saw them. Two Magpies at the front of the throng almost under the Horses feet dancing animatedly at the head of the massive gathering. The Cows and Horses seemed to bow in deference to these two who continued their dance at the head of the ever increasing Mass. Every day the Mass grew bigger as did the crowds of onlookers-all with varying explanations for the phenomenon. Stories of impending doom-Armageddon-Alien interference-everyone had their favourite.

It was on the seventh day it happened. I was watching the Magpies who appeared to be shrieking at the Horses. Almost Cockerel like they were-straining every sinew in their bodies-they turned to the watching throng. The first to rise were the Pigeons-up they flew and circling the field once I saw them peel off in pairs and head off in differing directions skyward. One by one each flock of each species took off dispersing in pairs to every compass point, Four hours it took for the field to empty.

And the last to leave? The Magpies waited and watched the Exodus-perched on a barbed wire fence they waited-until the last group had gone. Then turning to the watching hordes of incredulous onlookers-they screeched defiantly and took to the Sky, Scattering the Horses and Cows in carefully planned panic. Those who had ventured too close to the throng were mowed down in the stampede- old men women children dogs all perished under the thundering hooves.

We waited for the Ambulances and cursed them for their lateness.
We waited long and weary.
No-one came.
All over the country,all over the world similar happenings occurred.
Millions dead maimed in different ways.
But all murdered by Animals?
I thought back to the two magpies and their dance of death in front of the throng.
And the strange interest of the Horses and cows.
All over the world the stories were the same.
Mass hysteria added to the madness.
People shot their pets, dogs ,fish.
And I wondered where or when it would end.

Today I will try once more.
I'll don my headphones and scan the frequencies on my Icom transciever.
I'll listen long and hard but in my heart I know I'll hear nothing.
In my garden the birds are singing in lush unfettered grasses.
The Summer Sun is warm and welcoming.
I walk to the door and open it tentatively.
Outside the air is fresh and warm.
I wait and wonder how it will come.
I pray it will be quick and shudder at the thought of how our world imploded.
How simple had our arrogance been punished.
How devious been the revenge.
In the end it was that which spawned us that had killed us all.

Beside me I heard the fluttering.
I watched him as he landed on my shoulder and listened for the triumphant cry.
In the distance I heard the cacophany rise and build.
And I waited.