A Nesting
Dustin M. Hoffman

A nest of birds squawked behind the sheetrock. We could hear their beaks clacking studs, their baby wings fluttering in tangles of pink fiberglass insulation. As we worked on installing cabinets and tacking carpet and touching up paint, they shrieked. This new home would be forever haunted by hollow bones and black feathers.
We blamed the drywallers and they blamed the framers and they blamed the landscapers. But we all had hammers. They hung at our hips, nestled in our truck beds, rested like the dead in toolbox caskets. Nobody grabbed one, punched a hole and turned the walls to fluttering.

Dustin M. Hoffman is the author of ONE-HUNDRED-KNUCKLED FIST, a collection of stories which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize.

Detail of digital art on main page courtesy of Bill Smith.

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