Looking down at the rushing river, I hit a rock with my foot.
“I cannot follow what I cannot see,” I said.
The wind scraped sand across my face. The sediment in the canyon looked weather beaten. The clouds blocked the sun.
An eagle screamed. I watched it fly above my head.
It came out of a nook in the rocks 30 feet or so above me. I saw the edges its nest and began to climb. The jagged rocks gave me a strong grip but cut up my knees.
I heard the chirping of eaglets and carefully slowed as I came upon the nest.
I reached the nest’s edge—a web of tightly woven leaves, twigs, and branches. If I was half the architect, I could have built myself a mansion out of the scraps of this canyon.
I looked down at the gray, fluffy birds. They topple each other over but are careful not to go near the edge.
“Careful,” I remind them.
What wondrous winged pellets. They have no idea what they will grow up to be.
I wondered what it would be like to be a flying predator.
I stepped off the cliff and flew over the river. Nothing could reach me, but I could see everything.
A rockslide demolished part of the river. A King snake slid out danger.
I was alone. The ravens turned around when they saw me. The sparrows kept their distance. The sea gulls would not make eye contact. I was king of skies.
I let out a mighty reverberating scream. The clouds moved and the canyon shook.
Below a little girl shrieked.
“Stop!” I screamed.
“Help! Someone help!” she screeched.
I unfurled my claws.
“Little bastard. Quit running!” I squawked.
She tripped. Mud marred her face.
My claws dug into her skulls.
“Stop. Please stop.”
A whimper rose.
She stopped thrashing around. I stopped falling and hit the ground.
Half my brains were carried in the sky in the claws of that mother eagle. Time and space fell into my stomach, and I don’t know what happened next.
The canyon appeared to me in a haze of black, red, and blue.
“Bastard got taken out by an eagle,” the officer said.
“A natural mom. She knows a child killer when she sees one,” someone replied.