For this week's Fiction Friday we have to write about a telepathic parrot.

Most people just do not realise how tough it is being a psychic parrot. To be quite honest, it was something I myself had never thought about until I met Polypus. He came to see me in answer to an ad he'd read in Parroting Away.

“So, you say, you can cure all sorts of psychic ailments, so how about curing me.”

“Well, if you told me what was wrong, that would be a start.”

He fixed me with his eyes, inviting me to share his thoughts. It was only now I realised I had to do with a telepathic parrot; a most interesting case, one I’d never come across before.

“So what is wrong with being telepathic?”

Once again his thoughts came through loud and clear. His problem was not with his capacities but with his incapacities. Or should I say with one particular incapacity. People with psychic powers usually compensate in some other area of their lives. And Polypus’ real problem was that he couldn’t talk. Of course, all parrots are somewhat limited here, but Polypus had special problems. All he could manage were a few unconnected stutters. The tension between his gift and his incapacity took a great toll on Polypus.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s best to end it all. I remember watching a little girl playing. Danger was present and I flew at once to her mother but all that came out was ‘eeehp eeehp!’ She at once sensed the danger but thought it was from me, so she took a swipe at me with her handbag. Then she got up, packed the little girl by the hand and went off. Well, at least she saved her from…”

Poor Polypus really needed help. He was on the border of a nervous breakdown. But how to help him, I’d never had a case like this before. I sent him away telling him to return three days later. In the meantime I had some research to do.

It was the next night that things came to a head. I had just finished some extremely interesting reports by a specialist who claimed to have eliminated telepathic powers in well over half of his patients when Polypus cry of anguish and help came through. I was picking up his vibes loud and clear, so set off at once. Within minutes I was winging my way through the empty streets and it wasn’t long before I could here Polypus screeching, “AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH DDDDDDD NEN NEN NEN.”

I alighted on the ledge of the open window and looked in. What a sight. There was blood everywhere. Several anxious-looking policemen were standing round a body on the floor. And there was Polypus both feet planted on the dead woman’s breast, seemingly pecking away at a hole in the dead woman’s shirt, repeating the same screeching noise I had heard on my way. The moment I alighted he flew up and joined me on the ledge. One of the policemen gave a sigh of relief.

“Thank heaven, we’ve got a rid of that crazy parrot.” But there was more danger than relief in the look he gave us so I thought it best to get away from there as soon as possible. We alighted on the branch of a nearby oak tree. Trying to get some sense out of Polypus, however, proved extremely difficult. Eventually, he calmed down and after a couple of my extra special soul massages, he began to explain what was wrong.
The body on the floor was that of his owner. It seemed she had poisoned that night by her good for nothing nephew who had wanted to squeeze yet more of her savings to fund his many debaucheries. When she refused, he hit her with one of the silver candlesticks sitting on the table. Polypus saw it all. He was the only eye witness.

“But they’ll find his fingerprints on the candlestick.”

“Not a chance. He packed them both up and took them off with him. He went straight to the station and got on the train to London. I followed him and saw it all. And they’ll never find him. He’d been away for months; no had a clue where he was. His turning up was a complete surprise.”

“So he’ll get off scot-free?”

“Not if I can help it, he won’t. That’s what I was trying to tell those policemen, but those idiots couldn’t understand me. You see, he made a big mistake. When he tried to take her money by force, the old lady put up a real fight and he had to bite her in the shoulder to subdue her. That means we can find out who he is. I was reading all about it just a few days ago. It’s something called A D N. It leaves a trace and they can find you, even if no one ever suspected you of being within a hundred miles of the scene. That’s why I was pointing to the hole with my beak. I was trying to explain to the policemen.”

Once again I heard Polypus’ screeching when I arrived: “AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH DDDDDDD NEN NEN NEN.” I stared into his eyes and he was soon calm enough to try and understand what I wanted to tell him.

“Will you really do that… for me?”

“I’ll try,” I replied blushing. Maybe, this telepathy business was going a little too deep. “After all, my old mistress took me to elocution lessons when I was small. I learnt to talk with the most Oxford of accents.”

We flew off together but I managed to persuade Polypus to keep his distance. That policeman looked like he’d lovingly throttle any parrot’s neck he could get his hands on. I flew up to the window. There were a couple of plain-clothes officers

I held my head high, took a deep breath and let out the most perfect rendering of A D N you’ve ever heard, brushing my wing lightly across the teeth marks in the blouse. The two policemen looked at each other with amazement before moving across the room and picking up the phone.

Psychic parrot peeper counfounds murderer

ran the next day’s headline. We were overjoyed and went on a celebratory flight right around the park before ending up in the fountain to cool off. That's when Polypus surprised me by lifting his wing gently over my head. And despite my misgivings over a partner that could read into the heart of one's very thoughts, I said Y E S with my very best Oxford accent.


You had me at the opening line. Terrific!

25 June 2010 at 04:09  

I loved the characters here and how deep and original the whole was. Great job.

25 June 2010 at 04:39  

I like how you worked the concept into a murder mystery and how the parrots worked together to help the police catch the murderer. Very clever. What does the part at the very end mean? Maybe I read it the wrong way?
Great work!

25 June 2010 at 20:25  

I did like that the main character was a parrot, too. Great story.

26 June 2010 at 00:52  

Great writing. I like that you chose to come at it through the parrot's point-of-view. It is interesting to imagine what goes on in the minds of animals.

Great characterization. I thought it was sadly ironic that Polypus had the ability to read minds, but was unable to speak out the warnings. He's somewhat of a Cassandra figure.

26 June 2010 at 02:14  

I like the whole murder mystery feel too. Well done.

26 June 2010 at 02:41  

What a cool story: murder mystery, bromance and David Attenborough special.
Such a great hook that kept me reading.

26 June 2010 at 11:16  

I love parrots anyway, but yours is extra cool. So glad you gave it all a happy ending!

30 June 2010 at 14:21  

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 June 2010 at 14:21  

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