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EX2 : Fishlock Wood (standard:drama, 1773 words)
Author: red1holsAdded: Sep 27 2003Views/Reads: 2349/1539Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
My go at the TOF Project. Writing like this is so alien to me and I really need your feedback!

Fishlock Wood stands against the tide of modern farming. It nestles in
the folds of the gently rolling grasslands. Thirty-seven acres of oak, 
sycamore, ash and elm continue to defy man. Few even know the wood is 
there. The hill shields it from prying eyes on the motorway. The 
railway is in a cutting, so commuters don't catch a glimpse as they 
rattle to and from work. The Victorian urge for directness over economy 
stopped it sawing through its heart. 

It is over half a mile away to the road that serves a few farms.
Twisting, turning and bound by thick hedgerow, the lane is of no 
interest as a shortcut for time conscious travellers. 

To gain access, you need to negotiate the single footpath. Overgrown in
summer and boggy all year round it serves to deter all but the most 
motivated visitor. 

Fishlock Wood is the last home of the Black Kite. Ignorance,
Superstition and Science combined to push this bird to the very edge of 
the abyss. Yet, it is a magnificent bird. Jet-black feathers flash 
cobalt blue, as with three powerful, languid beats of their wings they 
are airborne. Unseen thermals lift outstretched wings wider than a man 
is tall. With minimum effort, they soar, swoop and circle in search of 
their next meal. 

Ignorance led farmers into believing the Black Kite was a powerful
predator rather than the truth of it eating only carrion. 

Superstition had it that they that it carried off lambs or even
children. The way it envelops a meal with two vast wings while eating 
caused it to gain the name of ‘Witches Oven'. 

Science provided the means for man to destroy that which it didn't
understand. Cold, calculating and deliberate means like traps, poison 
and shotguns. Even now it is protected, technology gives it other 
perils as the nightly crop of road kill that draws the Black Kite down 
to roads, oblivious to any onrushing car or truck. 

With so many reasons to fear man, it is no wonder that the bird chooses
the solitude of Fishlock Woods. 

Ironic then that Science rides to the rescue of the Black Kite and
Fishlock Wood. It is now the most observed site in the county. 
Volunteers give up their time to protect against those that would steal 
the eggs, carry off chicks or use the rare feathers to decorate hats. A 
network of remote cameras and web-cams watch the site day and night. 

A car turns off the narrow country lane and stops. Three people with
flashlights get out and start up the narrow path. Beams from the 
torches pick out the threads of mist forming over the boggy valley. 

In the observation centre a mile away, Eddie spots the narrow bands of
light as they pierce into the cloudy night sky. He has no hesitation in 
calling the police. The call made, he turns to the control panel with a 
deep breath and a smile. Well-trained fingers fiddle with switches and 
sliders until the green ghostly image of the three fills his TV screen. 

A man and two women pick their way slowly up the path. The man is
wearing a lounge suit, the women skirts and heels. One hugs a coat to 
her chest while the other waves her arms about wildly, mouth opening 
wide and often. The man stumbles on, waving an arm dismissively. 

The name of Fishlock Woods at the Police Control Centre 30 miles away
makes the computer spew out a list of instructions. A young constable 
leans back in her chair and raises her eyebrows. With calm efficiency, 
she starts working down the list of calls. 

On the footpath, theman has to pause and wait for his two companions
again. As he turns to wave them onward, he pauses and looks down at his 
feet. Slowly he raises one foot and inspects. He flays his arms, it his 
mouth that is opening wildly and often now. 

At the local headquarters of the Animal Protection Squad, Inspectors are
roused from their bunks. Within minutes they are all stumbling out into 
the sodium-lit night air and gunning their vehicles toward Fishlock 

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