Fall of the Birds
Bradford Morrow; Kindle Edition, 35 pages
Published October 30th 2011 by Open Road Integrated Media
A new novella by acclaimed author Bradford Morrow about a man who tracks an inexplicable plague of bird deaths, and the mystery’s profound effect on his family
Hundreds of red-winged blackbirds are discovered scattered, lifeless, around a greenhouse in Warwick, New York. Heaps of common grackles litter the fields of a farm upstate near Stone Ridge. And in Manhattan, a Washington Square restaurant is forced to close its doors when a flock of pigeons inexplicably dies on the sidewalks out front. From Pennsylvania to Maine, birds are falling from the sky en masse—and nobody can figure out why.
An insurance claims adjuster and avid birder is one of the first to recognize that something is wrong. His stepdaughter, Caitlin, has also noticed—their common interest in birds is one of the few things they share these days, since her mother died of cancer just six months ago. As they travel the Northeast together to investigate the ominous deaths, a bond forms that might prove strong enough to mend their broken family.
Fall of the Birds is a moving story of a haunting near-future and a tribute to the power of love that can survive even the most harrowing of circumstances.
I totally and completely LOVED this novella! Totally loved it, with fangirling delight and cherries on top and all xDDD
The story itself is incredibly touching, I instantly irreversibly loved Caitlin and her step-dad, and Laurel too, because of how much they loved her and suffered after her passing. I was actually amazed of how intense an emotional roller-coaster this novella was, I mean these 30 something pages pack an incredible punch! I was very close to tears all over the place; admittedly, topics revolving around birds are sort of delicate for me. I mean, as a symbol, I love birds; they’re these magical creatures that link the ground we stomp on to the skies we pray to, they’re beautiful creatures. And they do have the odd habit of showing up at the most emotionally charged moments, swirling in the sky with that grace that only they have and giving you the precious seed of hope and maybe tranquility.
That’s what a solitary bird makes me think about, a couple dancing together in the sky, the most. Bigger numbers of them give me the instant flashback of some horrible The Birds scene that I accidentally glanced at when I was a kid. I don’t know what that movie is about and I don’t want to find out, those scenes gave me so many nightmares when I was a kid, I want to ignore its very existence. Just like that other nightmare of mine, the Pennywise clown from It? I’ll never get this whole culture of fear thing, I’m sorry. Ranted, apologies.
This novella therefore manages to make me completely love it though, staring birds, there’s a huge freak-out potential in it for me; this speaks to the mastery of Bradford Morrow’s writing, I think. The writing style is absolutely beautiful, I loved every single word, each phrase, every last bit of it really, and it’s a rare occurrence. This is just too beautiful for words.
And if you haven’t made up your mind about trying it or not, just listen to the author in this short clip; notice the feeling watching it gives you – that’s the feeling reading the novella gave me. It’s perhaps some magical talent of this writer, to create such a delightfully peaceful yet intensely emotional state of mind.
I do strongly advice you to read it, it’s a short and incredibly beautiful novella, filled with memorable scenes and picturesque imagery that is bound to stay with you, tucked away inside your heart, as all true beauty is.