Blue Bird Day at the Billboard Club
Lew, Francois, and Joan head over to the Billboard Club to try and find the missing piece for their mall heist plans...
Thanks for stopping by! Today’s post follows the story of a lost pigeon named Lew in New York City as he and his friends set up for a mall heist.
Here’s a link to the full Lew library:
Thanks and have a wonderful week!
As day turned into night, Joan and I flew back to the cinema roof to meet back up with Francois.
Joan’s story had made feel a bit better. She was just like me – lost in an unfamiliar place. Although it didn’t seem like Joan found the city unfamiliar anymore. She carried a certain sense of belonging, much like Francois. She had a casual poise about her as she moved through the city, as if she already knew instinctually where all the dangers were and so could just breeze around without a worry.
And yet some part of me felt sad for her in a way that I hadn’t felt sad for her before. She knew this place like the back of her hand and fitted in perfectly, but it still hadn’t been her choice to come here. There was just something so wrong about that. Maybe she just wanted to be back home.
We got back to the cinema roof and Francois was perched on the ledge waiting for us.
“You two took your time,” he said.
“Any progress at the mall?” Joan asked.
“I think it’s going to work,” said Francois. “I went around the building and looked through all the windows. I found a bunch of those same metal vents inside the mall. If everything connects up, we’re in business.”
“So long as Ruby can open the vent,” Joan added.
“Well, let’s go find out,” said Francois.
We flew across town to the Billboard Club. It was night-time as we arrived. As we went up to the entrance, it was extra loud in there that night.
Going inside, the place was filled with little blue birds – the same blue birds I had already been seeing all over the city.
“Here we go…” murmured Francois.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“It must be Blue Bird Day,” said Joan. “As if every other day in this city isn’t already Blue Bird Day…”
We made our way through the crowd. The place was a full-on party with blue birds dancing and singing and charging about the place chasing each other.
We cut across the packed dance floor to the counter but couldn’t get close because of a massive horde of blue birds lining up for food. Through the mass of birds, we spotted Ruby rushing around filling up bottle caps with seeds.
Francois called out to her, trying to get her attention, “Ruby!”
She didn’t look up though. She hadn’t heard him; she was too busy working.
As we tried to make our way through the crowd, one of the blue birds in front of us turned towards Joan and stared her down.
“I know you,” they said to her, a venom in their voice. “You’re one of the bullies from Central Park. You’re part of Mac’s group.”
“And?” asked Joan dismissively.
“You guys think you own every bin and scrap in the city, don’t you?” the blue bird went on.
Other blue birds were turning towards us. A scene was building.
One of the little blue birds jumped forward from the side and gave Joan a shove, then scurrying off again and re-joining the anonymous crowd. There was a brief quiet. I could see Joan and Francois calculating in their heads just how out of control things were about to get.
Another blue bird popped up and gave Joan a push.
“Gather up,” said Francois sharply.
Joan was immediately by his side, back against back, facing outwards.
“Get over here,” Francois snapped at me.
I rushed over and the three of us stood together with our backs against each other, facing outwards.
The deadly serious expressions on Francois and Joan’s faces made everything all-the-more terrifying. This was serious. My eyes went wide with panic.
The blude birds had swarmed around us like ants around a fallen crumb. As a pigeon, I had to fight the skittishness that is absolutely core to my being.
Blue birds were randomly pouncing forwards and taking swipes at us. They were shouting at us, but I could barely hear what they were saying. I felt like everything was spinning.
Suddenly, an almighty craw! screeched out and silenced the Billboard Club. The band stopped playing, everyone stopped dancing. The blue birds eased up, no longer yelling or swiping at us.
Everyone looked up towards the source of the sound. Howell was standing on top of the counter with his wings fearsomely outstretched.
“Leave them,” said Howell, his voice still booming.
Relenting, the blue birds stepped a little bit back.
“Francois,” said Howell. “See me out back.”
Howell stepped down from the counter and disappeared back into the room beyond.
The blue birds eyed us off, still livid.
Francois stepped forward and had to wait a second for the wall of blue birds to finally make way. We all then followed after him, through the crowd and behind the counter, making brief eye contact with Ruby as we passed by.
The back room itself was quiet. It felt good to not be surrounded by bodies and noise. I could finally catch my breath again.
“I don’t like fights, Francois,” said Howell. “They get in the way of business.”
He was chewing a clawful of seeds.
“What was that all about anyway?” he asked.
“Blame Mac,” said Francois.
Howell wasn’t too interested.
“Has Joan joined your little heist crew?” asked Howell.
“She’s just helping out,” said Francois.
“Anyway. I’m guessing you’re not here to dance, Francois,” said Howell. “What do you want?”
“We’ve got a vent to open,” said Francois. “Then we’re into the mall for the heist. But we need Ruby. She’s the last piece of the puzzle.”
“Is that right?” said Howell. “Go get her then.”
Francois nodded at me and I made my way back to the main area to get Ruby.
The counter was still busy with blue birds. I saw Ruby with a customer. I walked over to her.
“Hey, Lew. I’m a little busy, sorry,” she said as she saw me, immediately rushing over to the next customer.
“It’s important,” I said. “Howell said to come and get you.”
She turned towards me and sighed.
“Let’s go then,” she said.
We walked back to the room beyond the counter.
“There you are, Ruby,” said Francois as we entered. “We need your help.”
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