The Whisperer Expanded


© Douglas M. MacIlroy

“Cats, bats, mice, and now this. Why can’t I leave my garage door open for two seconds without some animal crawling, walking, or flying inside?”

Keith Grant had finally managed to capture the mynah bird that had soared into what his wife called “the man cave” over half an hour ago. It wasn’t that the bird was confused and couldn’t find its way out. The thing seemed to be content to sit on the top of the cabinet by the door into the house as if waiting for something or someone. Same with all of the other creatures that had spent the past week attempting to invade his home.

“It’s only happening because I’m visiting you this week, Grandpa.”

The old man looked to see his five-year-old granddaughter walk out of the house. He turned and smiled at her. It was so nice to have her back again.

“Oh, hi Danielle.”

“I told you Grandpa, my name isn’t Danielle, it’s Zooey.”

That was a nickname she’d gotten before she was two. Her older brother Taylor christened her “Zooey” because she’d try to bring home every bug and animal she encountered. “Zooey’s zoo,” he called it. Turns out, she liked the name and the whole idea of it.

“Sorry, I forgot. But why do all these critters keep coming into my garage when you’re here?”

The little girl quietly walked over to her Grandpa and gently took the bird from his hand. It sat peacefully in her open palm as she stroked its feathers.

Then, Zooey strolled out of the open garage door, her hand still wide. “I love you too, but you have to go home now.” With that, the bird suddenly took flight. “You just have to know how to talk to them, Grandpa.”

Keith pulled his beat up cap back on his head while staring at the mynah receding in the bright morning sky. Then he looked back at Zooey smiling and chuckled, “If you say so, girl. If you say so.”

Zooey had always loved animals and they always seemed to love her, but something changed after the car accident. Something had changed with all of the children, her brothers and sisters. For Zooey, it wasn’t that she was just a child who had an affinity for wildlife. Now it was like she really could talk with them as if they understood her and she understood them.

The old man probably would never figure out what changed with Zooey and his other grandchildren, but it didn’t matter. He was just happy to have them back alive and well. What only Zooey and rest knew however, was in the minute or so the accident was taking place, they all had lived for years in exile preparing for the war to reclaim Dragonworld.

Children don’t return from war, especially one that is magic and secret, unchanged.

Since 100 words isn’t much, I decided to take today’s flash fiction piece and add more of the relevant details. It still won’t tell you what happened to Zooey and her siblings, but it will give you an idea that she’s far more than an ordinary five-year-old, especially now.

To find out more about Zooey, her brothers and sisters, and the beginning of their great adventure, visit Mr. Covingham’s Secret.

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