Don Herron has forwarded me a message from the REH Inner Circle group, where he and Frank Coffman were reminiscing about the 2007 Howard Days festival, specifically an event that occurred on our drive back to Cross Plains from Enchanted Rock State Park. We had all gorged on sausage and beer at a fantastic German restaurant in the ‘burg — that would be Fredericksburg, a town legendary for its amazing Teutonic cuisine. While the rest of our group dozed contentedly, Don Herron navigated down an endless Texas highway in the light of the dying sun. Suddenly, WHACK! — something fairly big hit the windshield full on. Feathers and gore splattered across the glass and up over the hood. In an instant it was over, leaving only a quivering glob of bird brains on the windshield to mark what had happened:
Everyone was startled into wakefulness by the sound, but the van itself hadn’t swerved an inch. Don drove onward, his nerves and thews all steel springs and whalebone, in total control of the vehicle:
Throughout the van rose a mad howl of exultation as we beheld the quivering remnants of that ghastly communion between bird and barbaric man. We beat our chests and tore our hair and tattooed a lugubrious melody on our shields, as drenched in ornithographic bloodlust as Solomon Kane in “Wings in the Night.” We knew, with a dread instinct older than Atlantis and Acheron, that this fallen creature was but an emmisary for enemy legions far more horrifying. Yet as the sun fled and darkness engulfed the world, we drifted back into an easy sleep, secure in the knowledge that the Dark Barbarian was at the wheel, holding the terrors of the night at bay with an icy stare that was hoary when the Earth was young.
UPDATE: I’ve been alerted that the people reminiscing were hoping to see some bird brain sunset pics. These two are the best I have: