The Boy Who Would Not Shoot At Birds

Posted: December 3, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,


They laughed at the boy who would not shoot at birds, who would not even hold the gun in his hand. They laughed as the birds came crashing down, one, two, three, squawking bloody messes of broken bones and crumpled feathers.

It’s weakness, the instructor said, hand like concrete on the boy’s shoulder, squeezing bones brittle as the broken birds. Weakness to be afraid of the gun. Of the noise. Pick up the gun and fire. Kill something.

But he wouldn’t.

They laughed at the man who did not believe in war, at the boy who would not fight. Traitor, they jeered. Coward.

When the men came with riot shields and rifles and torches, they were cheering or they were silent.

And the boy who would not shoot at birds stood in their path.

You want them, he said, you go through me.

Word Count: 143

For FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yinglan for providing the prompt photo!

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    Powerful. True courage in taking a stand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A picture of the truly brave!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tannille says:

    So glad the protagonist didn’t falter to peer group pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. notestowomen says:

    Holding or firing a gun doesn’t make a person brave, it’s standing up for what you believe in that does. Good story about courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Abhijit Ray says:

    That is quiet courage of a man who can face a bullet but would not kill an innocent bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. michael1148humphris says:

    A great piece of writing,

    Liked by 1 person

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