On the Prowl, 2022

Image@2022Adam Strong

A malignancy of apex predators is on the prowl. They maneuver at night from bar to bar, fanning out as solitary hunters. It’s the birds they’re after. White silkie hen, Blue-throated fantail, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, and European Shag. They beguile with confabulation, bald-faced lies, and a killer smile. Like poison candy, the birds swallow it all, falling all over themselves preening, tweeting, and chirping, in party-dress pink and lollapalooza-red. But the apex predator turns it on and off like a spigot. No one hears their mournful howl, the subterranean grieving of an imposter; emotions threatening to dysregulate. Prey—idealized, devalued, and discarded.

Karen Schauber’s work appears in seventy international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies. ‘The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings’ (Heritage House, 2019), her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology. Schauber curates Vancouver Flash Fiction -an online resource hub, and Miramichi Flash -a monthly literary column. In her spare time, she is a seasoned family therapist.

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