• Flamingo in the water
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    “Several weeks ago,” Miss Martha began, “The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s Ornithology Department contacted me to investigate a suspicious black-market bidding in Baja that sold illegal wild birds from South America and abroad. Wealthy people attended the auctions and bought the birds to keep as pets or accessories without considering the animals ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    The sudden sight of the flamingo caused me to hyperventilate, and I lost consciousness. When I came to, I was lying on the living room sofa. As I tried to get my bearings, the flamingo appeared and inspected my shoes, which someone had removed. Louis sat in a nearby armchair, his face buried in his ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    My head shook in disbelief at the sight of the flamingo; all the while, my brain created plausible scenarios that overtook any rational thought I had before. “No, no, this can’t be real.” While backing away from the pink bird, I whispered, “Miss Martha, Louis, this is a joke, right? This flamingo is an animatronic, ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    “Are these feathers from the flamingo you’re keeping?” I gave a stern look to Miss Martha and Louis while my fingers tightly gripped the pink feathers. My mind attempted to remain calm, but anger rose inside my body. “Please, tell me now.” My voice said through almost gritted teeth, which took myself aback. This anger ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    We all jumped the minute we heard the honk, and our coffee spilled over the floor and sofa. I noticed that Miss Martha and Louis didn’t budge an inch and looked annoyed towards the kitchen door. “What the he…eck, was that?” I exclaimed. In a wise journalist maneuver, I caught myself about to say the ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    “These were the most wonderful birds I had ever seen,” Miss Martha explained while she gave us coffee. “I had once thought of them as eccentric lawn ornaments of middle-aged women, ironic to say after you looked at my front lawn, but now they were in front of me. They waded in the pool and ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    As expected, Miss Martha’s living room had pink décor, though it was subtler than I had thought. The cream-colored walls were lined with photos and paintings of birds. They ranged from common backyard birds and city dwellers like pigeons and cardinals, to exotic species such as toucans, macaw parrots, and flamingos. Some of those photos ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    I continued to date Louis every weekend for over three months; we had dates in restaurants, parks, beaches, movie theaters, etc. Louis grew closer to me; he even bought a beautiful pink necklace for our twentieth date. I enjoyed our time together, but the reminder of Miss Billings’ assignment had kept me on edge. I ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    Please understand, I had desperate ambitions to be a journalist by then. It seemed like a worthy sacrifice. Most of the working staff were already cutthroats, so it looked natural from my fatigued view. Now Mackenzie Billings, though unscrupulous, still had the foresight to ensure every dubious interview and story had some truth. I manipulated ...
  • Flamingo in the water
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    “One of the photographers for the newspaper was Louis; he started his internship not long after I arrived. He’s a shy person and preferred to be behind a camera instead of in front of one. “With him assigned to another journalist; we only saw each other on occasional lunch breaks. After Miss Billings became the ...