“It’s only for a few weeks,” said the officer, a blue and yellow budgerigar in an official cap. Kikri hadn’t asked his name.
“Just do it,” he muttered.
The officer hesitated, then nodded to the black-feathered nurse, who pecked at the keys awkwardly, not using her toes. “Restriction or full grounding?” she asked.
The machine whirred to life. “It won’t hurt,” the budgie assured him, bobbing. “They almost always grow back.”
Kikri extended his wings and allowed them to be guided into the dark recesses of the clipper. Like having your nails trimmed, he told himself. He looked away.
Ray Bradbury Award Nominees 2015
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