PART ONE. Something must happen

BLOCK ONE. Tendencies

0. Halted, as if in flying

The passer-by came to a halt and winked a raindrop from his eyelids. A sparrowhawk emerged as if hurled out of the haze, rattling the autumn-brown leaves of the chestnut trees in passing, disappearing out of sight behind the churchtower. The starlings burst out of the foliage, all at once, sweeping upwards, upwards, chattering in unison, the swooshing from wings like a storm-wind, single feathers detaching themselves and falling like leaves to the ground.
Higher and higher in closed formation, and at once the hawk was there again, beneath them but gaining height, too, cruising, shifting, like a wrestler looking for a hold.
They should have stayed where they were, would have been safer in the roost.
But each time the hawk approached the flock closed into a solid wall, a black cloud against the evening sky, making the hunter rear and abandon his attack.
Again, and again, the flock all the time condensing itself with the utmost precision.
Strange, the whole thing: where was the conductor and where the score? Quite unprepared, you just happened to pass through the churchyard, and suddenly you witness the most wondrous precision, everything occurring as if in flying.

Published 19.1.08, language corrected 13.4.09.
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