Bumwattle’s Bird

Author’s Note: Hello friends and fiends alike.  It’s good to be writing #fridayflash and #fictionfriday this week after a couple off.  This week’s story is inspired by a prompt from WriteAnyting.  “Include a telepathic parrot in your story.” Hope you like it and feel free to comment.


It was late on a Monday.  I don’t like working late, but some cases, well you have no choice.  I had just put the finishing touches on a murder case.  Young couple gunned down for the money in their wallet and purse.  Dead for a little less than two hundred bucks.  Case like that makes you want to look for answers.  The kind of answers you can only find on the bottom of a bottle of cheap whiskey.  I was into my third belt when there was a knock on my door.  This time of night only people fool enough to knock on my door were druggies or any of the other desperate dregs of society.  I opened my desk draw and placed my hand on my snub-nosed .38.

“Come in,” I shouted and tightened my grip on my trusty piece.

It was a man.  Too bad, ‘cause these stories usually involve a dame with long stems and devil-red lips with nails to match.  He was thin, skin and bones thin with long wisps of hair that seemed to float around his head of their on accord.  He nibbled on a Saltine cracker as he walked toward my desk.  The crumbs fell down the front of his stained shirt.  He did nothing to dust them off and it looked like he had at least 30 crackers worth already dusting his front.  He was a mess but he didn’t appear to be dangerous so I took my hand of my gun but left the draw open just incase.

“It’s late Mr….”

“Bumwattle. Bodyodor Fartsbreath Bumwattle, at your service.”

“I don’t have time for games, sir.”

“No, no games I assure you.  That’s my name… I’m almost certain.”

“Alright Bumwattle what can I help you with tonight?”

“I have the strangest notion that I’m going to die tonight and I need someone to look after my parrot.”

“I may be able to help you with the first part but I ain’t no zoo.  Why me?”

“Well frankly Mr.—“

A large parrot flew in from the hall and landed on my desk startling he hell out of me and knocking over some papers in the process.  He had a magnificent blue head and a large menacing beak.  I instinctively reached to pet it.  It was soft, baby-skin soft and it took a poo on my desk.  Normally I’d be upset about that but something in the bird’s large black eyes made me not care.

“Alright, Mr. Bumwattle I’ll see what I can do.”

“Oh thank you,” he said handing me a ratty stack of papers from his back pocket.  “Here’s some paperwork including a copy of my will.  I changed it already to put your name on as caretaker of my magnificent bird.”

“Says here your name is Jonathan MacDougall.”

“Well yes, it’s spelled “Jonathan MacDougall” but it’s pronounced “Bodyodor Fartsbreath Bumwattle.”

I stared at him waiting for him to crack a smile.  He never flinched.  Instead he went out into the hall and returned a short bit later with a box of items.  His dumb bird stared at me the whole time.

“You’ll be needing these when I’m gone,” he said and placed the large box in front of my desk then put his hand on his heart and fell over.  I raced around to resuscitate him, but nothing I did worked.  After the coroner left and promised to call me with his findings and the cops stopped their questions it was late.  The parrot hadn’t moved during the whole fiasco.  It just kept staring at me.  No matter where I was in the room its beady black eyes bored holes into me.  I tried to move it off the desk but nothing doing.  I cleared a small spot on the desk for my head and slept.

A knock on the door brought me out of dreamland and back to the world of the living.  I looked up at the bird knew it was hungry.  I ignored the knocking and pawed through Bumwattle’s box.  There were several boxes of crackers.  I opened one gave a few to the bird and nibbled on one myself.  The knocking on my door grew louder, more insistent.

“Come in,” I called as I flopped myself down in my leather chair behind my desk.

It was a dame.  A real knock out.  She had long curly hair, black as night, hazel eyes that had a look of desperation and tenderness and a pair of stems that went all the way to the floor.  She pulled the long cigarette from her ruby red lips and smiled.

“Detective Ace Blackwood?” she asked.

I glanced from her to the bird.  It squawked and pooed on my desk.

“It’s spelled “Detective Ace Blackwood”, I said.  “But it’s pronounced “Pittstains Melodrama Skidmarkundies.  Wanna cracker?”

16 thoughts on “Bumwattle’s Bird

  1. Had a great belly laugh at the names that you used. Haven’t had that good a laugh at a name since reading Slartibartfarst in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
    What a clever interpretation of the prompt. Fantastic.
    Still laughing.

  2. Too funny and just a little bizarre. Our critters do practice mind control, so I’m not really surprised. 🙂

    Love the noir flavor, and pairing that with humor is a great touch. Well done.

  3. “Too bad, ‘cause these stories usually involve a dame with long stems and devil-red lips with nails to match. He was thin, skin and bones thin with long wisps of hair that seemed to float around his head of their on accord.”

    Cracked me up, especially after the ‘tightened grip on my trusty piece’ line. Then, the names. Silly, funny, inspired story–great use of the prompt.

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  5. Chris, this story is so bizarre and so funny. I love the whole twist of the evil parrot.

    Wanna cracker? That’s just a killer punch ending. And I’m still laughing at the character names.

    Great job!

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