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Birds of a Feather

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“As you can see… the mystery still continues,” Reporter Jim said ominously to the camera. Him and Camera Jim decided to look for another story to report. They always came across good stories when they stalked - or observed, according to them - the other egos in the manor. And today, they believe they had found the perfect story to report on.

Randall wasn’t usually the centre of attention in the household. He was a tame guy when compared to the other egos, had a friendly attitude and didn’t create too much chaos. But he had his secrets.

The Jims noticed that Randall disappeared after lunch and didn’t come back for a couple hours. Every. Single. Day.

And if that wasn’t a potential news story then the Jims might as well resign right now. So they decided to follow Randall’s routine to see if they can find a juicy story. 

“What schemes could this man be hiding? Perhaps there are darker intentions hiding behind that kind smile.” 

They followed Randall to one of the city parks, the other ego had no clue of their presence. The park was beautiful. Paved walkways showcased the best sights in the grand area. A vast number of trees loomed over various fields, accompanied by small patches of well tended to flowers. No wonder why Randall liked it here, the intricate pathways and pretty scenery probably reminded him of Central Park. In fact, the place was so intricate that the Jims lost track of Randall and had no idea where they were.

“Jim? Our adventure has taken a dangerous turn…” RJ said grimly to his brother. “We may not live through this, but we must push on.”

CJ nodded and shook his camera up and down.

“This park is cruel… if we’re this stuck then who knows what happened to Randall?”

Just as RJ spoke about Randall, a kind eldery woman walked up to the pair. “Are you boys looking for Randall?” The Jims nodded as the woman smiled. “Oh, he’s such a nice young man! He and I feed the birds sometimes.”

RJ glanced at the camera with a surprised expression. They were expecting this report to have a plot twist with the horrific discovery of Randall’s true colours. Instead, they got this wholesome reveal… light-hearted stories didn’t do nearly as well as dark stories.

“Ma’am, can you please tell us the whereabouts of Randall? It’s for an important story!”

“Why of course, deary! He’s usually hiding in his secret spot away from others. Right behind those trees and to the left of those rocks.” The woman pointed the Jims in the right direction.

“Thank you, ma’am,” RJ quickly replied as he grabbed CJ’s arm. “Come on, Jim! Let’s see what we can find.” They ran in the direction where Randall was. After some, ungraceful, running they saw the other ego sitting against a big rock. The setting would have been boring, if not for dozens of pigeons surrounding the man.

RJ turned towards CJ and put his index finger to his lips. As he crouched behind a tree CJ zoomed his camera lens onto the image. It was hard to spot Randall amongst the flock of birds though.

“It appears that Randall is being mauled by vicious beasts,” RJ whispered into the camera, uncomfortably close to the lens. “What should we do, Jim? Should we help him?”

CJ nodded his head again.

Luckily, the rustling noises the Jims made could be brushed off as an animal skittering around. Unluckily, RJ got his foot caught on a root and fell right in front of Randall, startling a few birds to top it off. 

“U-Uh…!” RJ stared at Randall with wide eyes. CJ went over to him to help him up, seemingly just as flustered.

“Jims?” Randall sat dumbfounded as he looked at the twins. He tried to calm a few of the startled birds down. “What’re you guys doing?”

“Uh oh, Jim! He caught us!”

“...Caught you doing what?” Randall squinted his eyes wearily. The Jims were chaos incarnates, any sort of plan they came up with could mean trouble. And right now he had too many precious little lives with him to risk anything. 

“Randall has caught onto us,” RJ spoke to the camera as if the person of focus couldn’t hear him. “We must be extra careful as he has what appears to be a small army.”

“I’m just feeding these birds, y’know?” He shook a paper bag full of seeds as emphasis, the pigeons immediately cooed loudly. “These little guys won’t harm anybody. You can join me if you want.” As if on cue, a couple of the birds next to him moved away to make room for the Jims. 

After a few seconds of confused staring, RJ shuffled over by Randall’s side and sat down. CJ stayed back to get a better shot of the two, totally not because he was afraid of getting pecked to death, he just wanted good footage. Randall snickered at the nervous twins.

Now up close, RJ got a better view of the other ego. Randall was unfazed by the various pigeons perched on him and waddling around him. His hardhat wasn’t on for once, instead it was turned over on his lap and housed the biggest pigeon RJ’s ever seen. Occasionally, he took some seeds and tossed it towards the eager birds.

“What were you guys doing anyways?” Randall asked, accidentally startling the jumpy twins. 

“We were recording a special report,” RJ admitted. “Thought we would uncover something intense, we didn’t expect… this.”

“You’re like King,” CJ whispered behind his equipment. 

“Nah, I don’t base my life on these guys. That takes real dedication. I just like birds, loved ‘em since I was a kid back home.” Randall gestured to the pigeon in his hardhat. “In fact, Herb here followed me from New York.”

The Jims were awestruck as Randall continued to talk. The shock of having dozens of birds judge them was starting to wear off, only to be replaced with news opportunity. People loved animals, they could turn their report into a nature documentary! 

“Herb,” RJ spoke into his microphone. “What’s it like to live in the wild?” He then put the mic in front of the bird’s beak.

Herb cooed softly and promptly pecked at the mic’s foam.

“Wow, you…” Randall had to cover his mouth to stifle his laughter. “You guys are really something. ‘Fraid Herb isn’t one for interviews, but here,” Randall pointed to RJ’s hand. “Gimme your hand real quick.” He poured some seeds onto RJ’s hand.

There was a split second of peace as the rest of the pigeons stared at the seeds. All it took was one of them to fly towards RJ’s hand before a couple hungry birds ambushed the poor ego. RJ let out a startled yelp and stretched his hand as far away from him as possible.

“J-Jim?! I’m being attacked - Oh. Oh wait, this isn’t too bad actually.” The pigeons were being surprising gentle as they pecked at the seeds, never hurting RJ and focusing on the prize. The Jims stared in fascination, CJ zoomed his camera on the scene. RJ laughed and excitedly looked at Randall and the birds, using his free hand to pet the pigeons at random.

“Told you they wouldn’t hurt anybody.” 

Everyone focused on the pigeons, sometimes the Jims asked random bird questions and Randall answered without hesitation. The Jims were oddly tame considering their nature. They got more than enough footage for their report and set aside their equipment in favour of paying more attention to the animals. CJ helped feed the birds too, nearly shedding tears of joy when a pigeon found solace perching on the top of his head.

“I’m glad you guys like it here,” Randall said while petting Herb. “If you want, you can join me when I come here again.”

“Yes, yes please!” The Jims cheered in unison. They were shaking with excitement. Not only did they get on Randall’s good side, but they also made a bunch of feathery friends! It took a lot of willpower to not take a pigeon back home.

“Alright, alright, calm down you two.” Randall started to get up, still carrying Herb in his hardhat. He emptied out what was left of the seeds onto the grass and watched the birds flock around the pile. “We should get going now. I was gonna treat Eric to ice cream later.”

The Jims picked up their equipment and trailed behind Randall, both more than willing to let the other ego guide them out of the park. Herb was still sleeping in the hardhat.

“Hey, between you guys and me,” Randall jokingly whispered. “Sometimes I sneak Herb into the manor by hiding him under my hat when I wear it. Eric loves it when I do that.”

Both Jims nodded, glancing between Randall and Herb. No wonder why Randall never took off his hat sometimes. Admittedly, CJ turned on his camera again during their walk and caught Randall’s confession. They’ll fix it in post.