I found a bird in my house the other day. I saved it from my cats and got it to fly out of a window after a while. The next day, my parents found a baby bird (alive) in the house. I thought about how distressed the larger (assumed mother?) must have been while I was trying to get it out of the house. I couldn’t figure out why the bird wouldn’t fly out of the window. However, now I realize that it didn’t want to leave its baby behind. Does the bird think the humans will kill her baby? Does she think the baby will starve to death? Does she think the cats got her baby? Will she find the baby if we put it back outside?
This made me think of how humans would react if roles were reversed. What if we ventured into someone/something’s house where we didn’t belong. What if the beings we invaded we stronger and more powerful than us?
My idea for a piece of visionary fiction would explore the ideas of humans constantly venturing where we don’t belong and doing so with entitlement/selfishness.
An abandoned city located in the United States. There was an atomic bomb that wiped out the entire city population. Because of radiation, nobody was allowed into the city or even within the state surrounding the city. Even government officials were too scared to go into the city because of all the fear the attack generated. People tried to forget that the city even existed, and it hadn’t been seen or spoken of in years.
Don: He was poor and tried to get money to buy a house for his pregnant girlfriend and future child at the time. He lied to his girlfriend about finding a real job. He became desperate and decided to rob a nice house in the next neighborhood. Little did he know that the homeowner was inside while he was trying to steal. The homeowner attacked him. Don hit the homeowner with a bat to free himself. However, he accidentally killed the homeowner. After being in jail for 12 years, he is released. Now that he is free, he wants to make a better life for himself and his son. His son’s mother won’t let him see his son because she thinks he is a bad influence.
Jacob: Don’s son. He is quiet and timid. He misses his father and blames his mother for not allowing him to see his father. He does not know the full story of his father’s incarceration. He knows that his father robbed someone’s house, but he does not know that he also killed the homeowner. Don’s father thinks he knows the whole story, but Jacob’s mother kept it from Jacob to spare his feelings.
Don tried unsuccessfully to get a job. Nobody will hire him because of his criminal history. He decides to kidnap his son and go to live in the abandoned city. He believes that the radiation will no longer harm them and that there are probably valuable items left behind in the rubble.
Jacob is nervous, but excited to get to know his father and go on an adventure. After exploring the city for a while, they notice a bunch of buildings in great condition. They wonder how the bomb managed to not harm these specific buildings. Maybe they didn’t survive the bombing. Maybe they were built by humans. Were there other people living there?
The buildings are inhabited by giant owls. Don and Jacob hide from them and see a group of them kill and eat a deer. They are incredibly intelligent and speak to each other in scary, chilling voices. They know about human societies and can even mock human speech. They are angry at how humans treat other birds and hunt them for sport. They only kill other animals for food. Don notices that they have some special device that they all seem to worship. He plans on stealing it and selling it to the US government.
Don and Jacob are hiding from the giant owls, when Don accidentally mentions how he regrets killing the homeowner. Jacob is angry and scared to be around his dad after hearing this. He runs away from his dad, farther into the bird’s territory. Don can’t find Jacob. Don sees a giant owl faced with his back toward him. He accidentally trips, and the owl turns his head around to face Don. It chases Don out of the building because he knows that the other owls will want to hurt him. Don leaves his son behind and tries to think of a plan to get him back.
The owl that chased Don finds Jacob. He doesn’t know what to do. Did Don leave for good? Will the other owls accept Jacob since he’s only a kid? Should he just leave Jacob there to die and not get involved?