I ran on a few more steps until I was below a streetlamp and stopped, panting and sweating.

The yellow pouring forth from its ancient bulb was my arena, a dozen feet across.  Hell hath no limits,

nor is it circumscribed, but I was yet alive and happy to constrain myself to set bounds. Beyond that

ring I could see nothing. Quickly I retrieved the pellet-gun from the bag but no sooner had I done so

than the first of them barrelled into me, a missile of feathers and malice. It bit and stabbed with its

beak and flapped its muscular wings, aiming for my eyes and face, ridiculous feet kicking at my chest.

I managed to get a hold on a wing and killed or crippled it with a few swift twists of my hands, the

twig-crack of ribs, the hot spits of blood. I could hear more ululations in the sky above. That first

attacker had knocked the air-gun from my hand and into the snow and gouged deep cuts into my

fingers with its beak. I fell to my knees and swept my hands across the pavement through the snow

but it was no use, for all of my preparations I was alone. Blood trails stood out stark against the white,

and the dead gull was already half-submerged. A tip of beak, a hint of feather, and a crooked wing

stood above the snow.

 

Transportation Press will soon be announcing our publishing program for 2018-2019. In the meantime, we are posting anonymous quotes from novels we like. The first person to pick the novel will receive a free copy of one of our publications. Drop us a line.

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