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The Feather
By: Sue Carter

The light breeze caused the water to ripple against the shore’s edge. It brought with it the scent of pine needles and the damp earth. It brought with it the echoes of birds and the forest creatures. The sun slowly rose above the trees and chased the morning mist away.

But the man on the beach saw none of this, his sightless eyes starring unblinking at the morning sky. “Poor sod, “thought chuck as he watched the photographer finish shooting the scene. Charlie ‘Chuck’ Higgins, fourth generation police officer in Henry Falls sighed deeply and walked back to the corpse.

“All done Chuck!”, yelled Pete, the photographer, “Can’t stay, I’ve got a wedding at 10!”. Henry Falls being such a small town, Pete made his living with photography, whether it was a crime scene or a wedding or pictures for the local paper.

Chuck stood by the corpse and scratched his chin thoughtfully. There were no visible signs of injury and in his hand the corpse clutched a strange feather. It was about six inches long and 2 inches wide at its widest point, black with beautiful swirls of yellow and blue. “I’ve never seen anything like that before, “thought Chuck.

Shrugging off a sense of doom, he nodded to the paramedics to take the body to the morgue and walked back to his car. As he drove down the dirt track towards the main road, Chuck’s mind started to wander, “damn if I don’t have enough to worry about, “he thought, “Jennie’s birthday is in two days, Jane’s mother is coming to town next week, there’s the robbery at old Mrs. Perkins and …hey what’s that?”, as a feather appeared and landed lightly on his windshield. Stopping the car slowly so as to not dislodge it, he peered through the glass at it. “Well hey that looks like the same type of feather as that guy had in his hand,” he thought as he climbed out of the car.


The ambulance had to stop abruptly as it rounded the bend and saw Chuck’s car in the narrow road. Cursing softly, quitting time and a cold beer close by, they jumped down and walked up to the car, stopping as they saw the body lying in front of the car. Clutched in its hand was a black feather.

"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
~John Diefenbaker
"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
~Elmer Davis

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