In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
There I was, minding my own business as I walked back to 1504 after another uneventful day of failing tests and not understanding the math lecture, when I saw a sudden flash of gray approaching across Yare. As I turned around to see what was happening, the beast let out a shrill battle cry reminiscent of the tornado siren’s howl on a frosty Illinois morning. Realizing the peril I was in, I bolted towards the halls, but several more of the feathered fiends descended on me from the roof. I was a goner then and there.
A few weeks earlier, my friends had told me how they were relentlessly attacked by the Academy’s resident Canada geese, the trauma from the events reflected in their quivering voices and sudden panic attacks (although these may have been caused by the Clash service hours requirement). Me, being the emotionally supportive and upstanding friend I am, told them to grow up and not let a couple of raccoons with wings boss them around. Geese. Ha! If a goose came after me, I’d make quick work of the varmint and turn it into a great wing dinner to go with the sauerkraut I’d been fermenting in my desk drawer. At least that was what I told myself. I surrounded myself with a fortress of lies, shattered that day by the goose-shaped battering ram of fate.
There had been plenty of strange things in the news—spy balloons, toxic train fires, supposed subversion of Canada by CCP motives—but none of that was on my mind when the geese attacked. Only survival.
I had nothing to defend myself against the sky terrors except my book bag, and I swung it around to try and scare them away. It was no use. I was paralyzed with fear as they narrowed in on my location like IMSA students drawn to the last Pop Tart at grab ‘n go, and prepared to fight to the death.
The first goose collided with me from behind, knocking me to the ground and clawing at me relentlessly. I wasn’t going to let them take me down like I was some kind of pathetic coward, so I curled into a ball and began shouting for someone to help. I thought they would tire themselves out eventually, but they kept on attacking me with the same sustained ferocity.
“Well, Stevie, this is it,” I said to myself. At best, I’d be immortalized as “Goose guy” on ISMA Memes, at worst, the geese would drag me away and give me an unceremonious burial in No Pond, my disintegrated remains being viewed by generations of ABS students under their microscopes. Just then, I checked the time.
7:29! 1504 had managed to get everyone checked 14 days in a row, and we were just one day away from candy for everyone. I took my book bag and viciously attacked the geese with a seemingly superhuman drive to not incur the wrath of my fellow 04 denizens. I managed to run into the building, get checked, and then run back outside to finish off the geese once and for all. With the knife I’d “borrowed” from the supply cabinet, I decapitated one of the birds with one swift stroke, its psychopathically expressionless head landing on the sidewalk with a surprisingly loud clunk. The others flew away, although not without leaving several droppings on the sidewalk as a parting gift.
Just as I was about to take the bird back to my room and clean it before I could stick it in the air fryer, I noticed the wires protruding from its neck. The head suddenly began to whirr to life again, saying strange phrases in a broken robotic voice.
“M-m-mission report, March 23. S-structural weaknesses in roofing and drainage systems can be r-reported. S-send data back to T-t-t-trudeau.” As I picked it up for a closer examination, it suddenly changed to, “Position compromised, s-s-self destruct initiated.”
I was interested to hear what else it might say, so I put it next to my ear to hear it better. I thought it would be like ChatGPT and write essays for me, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It exploded and knocked me out cold. “You… betrayed… me” I croaked to the mechanical goose as I dramatically fell to the ground.
Well, that’s how I ended up in the ICU. The doctor said it was because I chugged 10 bottles of Mountain Dew and fell off the balcony in my wing trying to fly, but I’m sure he’s in on this whole plot. He seems Canadian to me, I just don’t trust a man with a beard (unless he’s Dr. Rettberg). If those franglish-speaking frost rednecks kill me off, it’s up to you, dear reader, to let the people know what happened to me. Don’t let my death have been in vain.