Tammy walked down the rickety wooden stairs, careful not to slip on the runner that hadn't been cleaned in what seemed to be years. She grabbed her coat, car keys, a small piece of stale bread, and her shoe box and headed out the door. As she walked up to the still stunned Blue Jay she looked around at the stark contrast the beautiful azure bird made with its brown sullen surroundings.
The bird lay on its back, with its beady eyes closed. Its remarkable blues and silvers seemed to liven the late autumn covered lawn. She crouched down to the bird and carefully scooped it up into the box, placed the stale bread within, and closed the lid.
The wind was beginning to pick up, whipping her stringy hair all over the place. She quickly opened the car door and got inside. Winter wasn't far off, but she could do her best to delay the inevitible by blasting the heat.
As she pulled out of the driveway she turned the radio on, some AM talk radio station, and listened as they attempted to project just how much snow would be coming later in the week. "Great, another fantastic winter," she sourly said to herself. A sudden heavy realization that Pam wouldn't be around to share in this winter hit her hard. She thought of their childhood growing up together and both hating winter, but not quite enough to ever move away. She remembered the smell of sleepovers at Pam's house, that musky mix of smoke, pets, baking, and pine needles. Probably rank to a normal on-looker, but to her it was like home. She remembered those Christmas mornings waking up early, running upstairs to see the giant mess of presents "Santa" had left them. Pam's mom always went out of the way to make her feel like part of the family.
A sudden horn followed by a loud crash broke Tammy's train of thought. She had zoned out while backing out of the driveway. She quickly unbuckled her seat belt, threw the Explorer in park, and jumped out. A red sedan swerved to miss her back end and hit the neighbors brick mailbox housing. Tammy allowed an onlooker to pass by before running across the street to see if everyone was unharmed. As she approached the car a grey-haired old man with a bowler hat slowly crept out of the car. It was Mr. Goltz, her parole officer.