Two bird feeders, campsite, Devon UK © Tanya Clarke 2017

Two bird feeders, campsite, Devon UK © Tanya Clarke 2017

Writing Prompt No. 70

Something wasn’t right.

The air was thin and stale. The tiny bird Timothy carried in a cage lay on the bottom its chest lifting up and down, up and down. The pair of them were worried. Timothy had followed his brother down the old tin mine but was regretting his decision. Billy stopped and shook his torch. The batteries rattled in the case. The light was becoming dim and orange. Soon it would fade completely.

“What are we going to do?” said Timothy, his voice low into a whisper.

Billy didn’t say anything. The palms of his hands were beginning to sweat. He rubbed them down the sides of his trousers.


“I’m thinking. Let me think. You shouldn’t’ve followed me here.”

Timothy dropped his head tears welling in his eyes.

“I want Mum,” he said.

A light wind drifted up through the tunnel curling itself around both boys before disappearing behind them.

“Come on,” said Billy, “if there’s a breeze, there’s air, an opening somewhere.”

In the last of the torchlight, the bird quivered, its’ breath still slow and laboured. The light went out. Timothy followed his brother through the darkness feeling his way forward, with one hand on the wall.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.