100-Word Fiction: ‘Until They are Gone’

Sssshhh, said Jackie, sssshhh, listen.

Pete stopped still. Silence.

Jackie beckoned.

How brown the woods looked: the conifers dulled in the late afternoon light, the ground muddy after the rain.

Jackie was pointing, his face contorted into an expression – half delight, half anguish.

Pete shook his head and whispered: What?

There! Listen!

Silence. Then a tiny sound.

Tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu.

See, a willow tit, said Jackie, pointing again towards the trees.

Pete scanned the many branches but saw nothing. Silence. He shrugged:

Are they meant to be special?

You won’t miss them until they’re gone, said Jackie.

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