I have tried my hand at the short story, mostly writing to repack the periphery noise but perhaps someone might find they resonate. Experts on the subject will definetly (H?) know much better, however i prefer to dabble for me, rather than the reader.
The bird whisperer - 2009
Konraad Jacobus Smit was an intensely quiet man, introspective reflective to the point of being extremely rude. To Konraad, peripheral talk did not interest him at all. He enjoyed his own company and chose not to speak, let alone meet people. The very thought left him feeling cold and in a strange way violated. His small holding was a suitable distance from the Karoo town he chose to settle in. He never received visitors and his trips to town were short and decisive. When the townsfolk tried to include him initially, many years before, he made it known in no uncertain terms, he wanted to be left alone. So for 40 years he lived off the interest of his parent’s substantial inheritance, not knowing or caring about whatever happened to the family home in Stellenbosch and the holiday homes dotted around South Africa. Konraads parents passed away disenchanted by their only son, who was lavished with attention, only to reject all emotional advances unequivocally. From a very early age he willfully shunned all forms of human interaction. Now days the only time Konraad interacted with anyone was when he gruffly walked into the institution that had been managing his financial affairs. He cared not for the entire amount or for the wealth of the full portfolio, only for that which sustained him at present. Konraad knew exactly what was happening around him, he was aware of what was expected of him. For reasons not even fully understood by himself, he just did not want to give up his thoughts, feeling that every thought or notion was a valuable piece of treasure. A treasure that would get depleted with every word carelessly spilled from his lips.Konraad had a mysterious gift, a gift his parents could never understand. Where did Konraad receive this gift, this strange but wonderful ability. They fathomed over the meaning of Konraad’s gift, whilst he sat silently wishing only to be left alone with his thoughts. He watched owlishly the numerous professional people who tried to unpack and unpick the sacred trove of his mind. Reverting ever further inwards into the deep dark recesses of his inner sanctuary. Simply put, his strange gift was that he could call the birds. Konraad would sit outside on the grass and make a gargling rasping sound with his throat. A single bird would flop down from the sky and land close to him, not so close as to appear startling. The bird would appear drugged and confused, staring transfixed at the source of this strange sound. Within a short space of time birds would appear from all over. It wasn’t just the shear volume of birds but the variety, all mesmerized by the strange little man quietly gargling and gasping. The trees surrounding this spectacle would become heavy with birds. Konraad would tilt his beaked nose this way and that, perfectly mimicking a clucking chicken. Konraad would keep this charade going waiting for his favorite bird to make an appearance. The beautifully green malachite sunbird would dart this way and that through the throng of feathers, its beautiful plumage catching Konraad’s peripheral vision, before disappearing in another direction or behind a more drab, dull counterpart. The sunbird perfectly reflected his own mind and thoughts, with concepts racing through his mind, out of reach. Konraad read thousands of manuals for appliances, cars, "how to books", mathematical reference material and scientific journals. He would inevitably have better ideas, more advanced concepts than the ones put forward. He zealously guarded these concepts, however, squirreling them away like a crow, to be recalled at will and ripped and pulled apart at his leisure like a giant bird of prey. He would chortle and chuckle to himself , budgie like, for improving the relativity theory or a mathematical formula. He knew he had the answers sought after by the great minds of the day, but he would not impart with his nuggets. They were safely stored in the vault of his mind, never to escape the tightly sealed chasm, never to see the light of day.
There came a point in the calling of the birds that a single sunbird would hover effortlessly in front of him, beating its tiny beautiful wings thousands of times a minute. He would sustain this moment for as long as he could, all the while staring transfixed at the tiny frail bird in front of him, taking in the extraordinary beauty of this truly magnificent bird. The 2 creatures locked in a strange frozen moment , with thousands of onlookers.
As he reached out next to him, he reflected how ironic it was that he had been given this unusual gift. He continued to marvel at his ability and the trust this tiny bird put into him, a strange cold hearted creature, like a moth to a flame. Konraad was still enchanted by his extraordinary ability and the irony as he took aim at this little bird and squeezed off a single shot that exploded the entire mass of birds into a flurry of activity. The vortex of this turmoil left Konraad with the slowly fading flapping of wings and thousands of tiny feathers , mostly green, slowly , silently drifting to earth.