Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Silent Hill, But A Noisy Bird

I recently told this story at work, so what the heck, I may as well tell it here. At work it got a laugh, so I have high hopes for it here.
More than a decade ago, my wife and I had an apartment. In this apartment we had a collection of… Unusual pets. We had lizards, turtles, a hedgehog, snakes, a 4 foot iguana and last but not least, an African gray parrot. The parrot was a problem, at least for me. You see, the thing he hated men. Whether it had been abused by a man or was just naturally insanely feminist parrot, I have no idea.most times when it saw me, even just passing the doorway to the room it was in, it would squawk and screech and either act threatening or hide in its cage.
On the night in question the evil bird was in its usual perch on top of its cage. I was strictly leaving it alone, as was my habit. I did, however, try to remain within the view of the feathered feminist, hoping it would eventually grow used to my presence.
Now that so much time has passed, I have absolutely no memory of where my wife was this evening. All I know is she was not  and I was alone with the bird. I had come home from work and decided to break out my PlayStation and do my best to finish the game Silent Hill. I pulled the console close to my game chair and started in.
My 'game chair' was a shaped block of foam with fabric sewn over it in the shape of a small easy chair. No frame, no hard edges, nothing to gouge me or to break if I happened to throw myself about in the chair in either excitement or anger at whatever game I was playing. A soft, comfortable perch.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the game Silent Hill, it was a horror role-playing game. There was a bit of a mystery to it, and lots of suspense.  An abandoned town, fog and snow, strange dogs without skin attacking from the darkness.
Very creepy.
As the game went on I followed clues through the town, avoiding monsters as I went. The clues lead me to the old abandoned school. I entered the school.
As my virtual mystery grew more suspenseful, my real-life day wore on. The sun went down. I leaned toward the screen. I slipped further forward on that soft, frameless chair, until my behind was perched on the edge, barely clinging to it.
Inside the virtual abandoned school, my avatar was suddenly attacked from behind by a pack of little zombie babies, undead toddlers armed with knives. It happened quite quickly and unexpectedly, one of the little daycare refugees leaping out and sticking his shiv into the back of my avatar's leg.
I was focused. I was concentrating. I was completely sucked into the game.
The bird (remember the bird?) chose that exact moment to screech loudly.
I screeched back. In terror. My legs shot out straight as they tried (I think) to leap to safety. Instead, they lost their purchase on the floor and I slid off the front of that chair I was perched upon, landing hard on my ass.
My tailbone slammed into the floor, and dammit if that didn't hurt! The small part of my brain that was still locked into 'virtual land' was sure that one of those little 'tykes of the living dead' had just stabbed me in the ass with their pig-sticker. I scrambled away from the chair, eyes wild, looking for my decomposing assailant...
... but all I saw was the big grey bird from Hell, standing on the top of his cage, head twisted around to look at me with just one eye. I realize that beaks, by their very nature, are inflexible and can not bend, but I swear to God that demon parrot was grinning!
I rolled to my feet just in time to see the do the 'two feet one beak' shuffle right into the safety of its cage. I pointed my finger at the bird and said "You're lucky!" I checked to see if I had wet my pants (I hadn't) and  turned on some lights, as the apartment was now quite dark. I tried to return to my game.
I couldn't.
I couldn't concentrate on it. I found myself keeping one eye on the cage in the corner of the other room, waiting to see the bird emerge. For its part, the plumed terror kept making little sounds that sounded exactly like chuckling.

I turned the game off and watched TV.


Talk to you later!

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