The Visitation – Flash Fiction for 7/13/12

Last December a flock of about fifty black vultures came and settled in the hardwoods on the wooded slope below our house. They hung around over a week, and then one day they were gone. Madison Woods photo prompt and their visitation were the inspirations for this week’s flash fiction.

Below, I’ve posted a photo from when the vultures were here last December.

If you would like to join the Friday Fictioneers, click here and then click on the Blog tab and follow. the directions.

Photo courtesy Madison Woods


It was December when the vultures came. First, just one, but soon a second landed in a tall bare oak. Then another, and another. When they were all gathered, there were exactly fifty. Next morning they were still there, striking their crucifixion pose, wings outspread, warming themselves in the sun.

What did they want? Why had they chosen my woods? Had they somehow sensed my loneliness? I spent all day watching them. Being in the cabin didn’t feel right anymore.

A couple of weeks later a woman was tallying the buzzards in the trees around her trailer. She counted fifty-one.

Black vulture doing crucifixion pose.

20 responses to “The Visitation – Flash Fiction for 7/13/12

  1. I would have freaked out if that had been my property…..thinking “Ooops..bad omen here” and not slept a wink until they disappeared. ps: Love your story about Silver. Left a comment. I’m #14 on the list.

  2. The buzzards come back to Hinkley, Ohio every year on March 15 (my birthday, whatever that means!!) Hey, buzzards need a place, too! 🙂 Don’t have to worry about any dead animals lying around while they’re visiting.

  3. I wonder if the lady took off with them too bringing the flock number to 52…some days I too want to fly away and leave it all behind but I think I would prefer to be an owl or something. Nice take on the photo this week.

    ~Susan (

  4. Dear Ron,

    This story was a bucolic American gothic, if that is possible. There is so much mystery, unspoken yet right there in our faces, quietly demanding that we both run away and remain. Ghost story, bird story, horror story, mystery. Buzzards in the Himalayas might be able to shed some light on the scene for us.

    I hope those buzzards disappeared and that you’re posting this story and not some auto-publish feature.



  5. I loved the implied transfiguration in here. I took it as the mc becoming #51. And I loved your photo! I couldn’t get close enough to mine to get so good a shot. Whenever I pass them posing like that I always look twice. Great story 🙂

  6. Nice and creepy at the same time, Ron. The MC went off willingly with the flock, so they don’t seem such a scary bunch…but what if the target doesn’t want to go quietly?

    ps Congrats on the new addition to your family!

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