by Santino Prinzi

Colin, resting in the middle of the same bench he did every morning, threw pieces of bread for the pigeons who had braved the rain. Their resilience deserved the reward. He scrunched the plastic bag shut when he felt someone’s presence behind him.

“Sir, please do not feed the pigeons—they’re pests, they blight the city.”

“Yes.” Colin coughed.

He waited for the council warden to wander off before he resumed pulling off pieces of bread from his loaf and throwing them on the wet ground. They were gobbled up before they could go soggy. He remembered a time when the pieces wouldn’t even hit the ground, a time when there were so many different types of birds and he used to be able to name them all, but not anymore.

“Sir, I’ve asked you once already. If you continue…”

Colin screwed up his bag, lifted himself from the bench and shuffled away from the warden as quick as he was able. The pigeons, sensing that their free buffet had finished, flew away.

The warden sat down on the bench and sighed. He didn’t know what he hated more: the old man, this job, or the pigeons. A glint from the centre of the bench caught his eye.


For the birdsongs and crumbs of life we shared.


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Santino Prinzi
Santino Prinzi is currently an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University, and was awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize. His flash fiction and prose poetry has been published, or is forthcoming, in various places including Flash Frontier, the 2014 and 2015 National Flash Fiction Day anthologies, Unbroken Literary Journal, Spelk, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and others. For more information check him out at or follow him on Twitter: @tinoprinzi.

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