From the top of the Farm’s rusted water tower, Seth watched a red SUV bump its way down the gravel lane toward the gate. The path was overgrown with brambles and thistle weeds; barely visible were the old gravel tire grooves from back in the day when the Farm allowed visitors. Seth watched the vehicle carefully zigzag around the pot holes—holes Seth had scooped out himself with a shovel a few years after his momma died as a preventative measure. Seth watched as the vehicle drove all the way to the end of the lane, stopping where the lane bumped into a rusted iron gate hooked to a rusted fence made of chicken wire. He watched as the car idled for several minutes, a thirst building in his mouth as he waited to see if they’d turn back. But they didn’t. When one door opened, all four doors opened, and out four people piled.
Seth could see right away that they were a real nice family. Even from way up on the water tower he could see how nice they were and it tingled his belly and made him feel warm, like he had just swallowed a big gulp of sunshine. He could see they were really nice and good looking and must have come a long way to see the Farm. No one else had accepted his invitation so he felt a particular affection for this mom and dad and two girls. Yes, yes, he had promised himself and the remaining two Farm animals that he wouldn’t allow any more visitors after his momma died, but these people showed up here on his property expecting to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure; and he could tell they were real nice. Besides, those old love birds Charlie and Beth might enjoy having someone new to feed them crackers.
Through the over-sized cage, Seth poked Charlie with a stick. “Wake up, Ol’ boy. We’ve got visitors.”
Charlie squawked and sputtered before opening one suspicious eye to glare at Seth. There wasn’t much left of his once colorful feathers and he was looking quite pasty, like a cooked bird, not at all like the exotic love bird the Farm had once boasted. Curled up next to him was his lover Beth. She had been such a beautiful, flighty thing when Seth’s momma first captured her. Seth had been just a boy himself, not even in puberty yet but he knew Beth was a goddess, a gorgeous creature with golden hair down to her waist then, but now she had saggy tits and skinny chicken wing arms. Seth didn’t much like to look at her anymore. Maybe that’s why he had started sending out one-way tickets of information about the fabled Farm to different channels on the Internet. It was all Beth’s fault.
There were lots of people who were willing to explore new, undiscovered places, abandoned houses and buildings. Places like the Farm, except Seth didn’t plan to let the world see the Farm. Or Charlie and Beth. It was just a way to get people there. And what luck to have such a nice family show up. Sure he had made a promise not to lure anyone here but that was a long time ago. That was right after his momma died, right before he realized Charlie and Beth weren’t love birds anymore. Why would they be with the way Beth looked now? Charlie didn’t want any of that and neither did Seth. This was all Beth’s fault. That this real nice family from Idaho was here at the Farm and would never go back home was definitely all that old bird Beth’s fault.
He heard them then, the family coming closer to the house. All they’d have to do was go around the back and they’d find the unusual petting zoo. There once were a lot of exotic mammals but they’d all died, except Charlie and Beth. And now the two love birds were huddled together squawking up a lot of noise. Seth knew what they were saying because he spoke bird. Run run run, squawked ugly, wrinkled Beth. Save yourselves, squawked pasty, balding Charlie. No worries though. This real nice family didn’t speak bird.