― Jarod Kintz
From, “Gosh, I Probably
Shouldn't Publish This”
Deep Flock never wavered in her recounting of the Flamingo Flock, that mysterious ritual operating in cahoots with Volley for a Cure that plants pink birds of prey — sometimes in seemingly endless numbers — in the front lawns of the unsuspecting under the cloak of darkness.
Since its community inception, this 2-year-old craze had always aroused the investigative corner of my passion for uncovering the truth. I wanted to know why. What could possibly lead any reasonable person into such a life of midnight madness, one that willingly spreads a misguided message of pink power while unknowing victims sleep peacefully inside their quiet homes?
Until now, these were questions without answers ... because in the world of Flamingo Flocking silence is a code and anonymity a mandate among those within its wayward inner circle.
But late one night at the office the phone rang. I answered. The gravelly voice spoke in a low and fragmented tone. Uncertain even if my caller was a he or she, I listened and with marked intensity. Within seconds, I realized. This was THE call, one for which I had waited most of my career.
“You wanna know about Flamingo Flocking?” came the slow, almost deliberate, masked words.
The No. 2 lead pencil fell from behind my left ear. My jaw dropped. My hands trembled. I could feel the blood rush to my head, not a bad feat given the laws of gravity.
With stunned pause, I finally stammered, “... Y-yes.” It was then I gripped the moment. This was fate.
“Yes!” I roared into the receiver.
“But it’s already tonight,” I clarified.
“... Later tonight.”
She gave me the time, the place. I now assumed it was a she because most Flamingo Flockers are shes, so I am told. Some have called them the Amazons of a Pinker Night.
“Will I be meeting with you?” I sought.
“Then who?” I asked.
“Show up. Find out. Don’t be late. And don’t call the cops. If we see just one bubblegum top drive by, the whole gig’s off. And we won’t even talk about what could happen to you. Flockers don’t play.”
She wished me a pleasant evening. I did the same. Common courtesies dwell even in the world of flocking.
I watched the office clock. As the hands approached midnight, I collected reporter’s pad, two pens and a late-night cup of joe, and headed into the abyss, pondering that which lay ahead, uncertain as to future, fortune or prize.
I arrived first. Standing under the soft light of a streetlamp at a downtown corner, my eyes scanned the surrounding veil of black. All was still. And cold. I felt a shiver. The cup of joe was empty. I wished openly for more. Yet no one heard. Then the silhouette approached. Short. Stocky. A bit labored in step.
It was Deep Flock. That’s where I left “Inkspots” readers last week. It is where we resume today.
This meeting came not by chance and its dialogue was no holds barred.
And now the rest of the story.
“You’re late,” I said.
“You’re early,” the silhouette retorted.
She halted her forward step three strides away. Distance was her ally. The night hid her face, all save the eyes. Like darts, they pierced the air and bore pink tunnels into my chest.
“OK, Jimmy Olsen,” Deep Flock began. “Listen close because I ain’t saying it again. You want to know why Flamingo Flockers flock? We do it ...”
My fingers tightened around the pen. My eyes strained to make out any part of her face. The lump returned to my throat.
She paused. She paused again. And again. The silence roared eternal.
“Yes?” I prompted. “You flock ... ?”
“... Because,” she offered.
“Huh?” I asked. “You flock ... because?”
“Because what?” I demanded, an edge finding its way from my lips.
Deep Flock returned to her rhetorical ways.
“Why does a man climb a mountain? Why does a man go to the moon? Why does a man free fall from a plane?”
“Because a woman pushed him?” I quizzed, feeling clever.
“Get serious, Clark Kent,” she smirked. “Because he can. Same as a woman. Because we can. It’s why we flock. It’s the secret of the Flamingo Flock. It empowers us. It emboldens our daughters. Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves.”
“Like an addiction?” I asked.
“Like a fact of life,” she corrected. “It’s who we are. It’s what we do.”
“But ... you flock even good people? That doesn’t bother you?”
“Collateral damage,” she answered. “Besides, it’s for a good cause. Volley for a Cure is the best. Did you write that down ... THE BEST?”
“Got it,” I assured. “Are there many out there like you?”
“No numbers. Not tonight. But there’s more than you’d ever believe.”
“Are you growing?” I asked.
“Like wildfire in a forest of dry pink.”
“Is the city in danger of takeover?” I pressed. “Is this the start of Pinkageddon?”
“Good one, Perry White. Let’s just say this. Before it’s over, Cleveland’s new nickname will be ‘The PINK City With Spirit.’”
“Deep Flock, is there no end to this madness? Is there no answer. How much longer must townsfolk fear going to bed at night not knowing if they’re next ... if marauders in pink will be coming?”
“Not much longer,” she assured. “It’ll end soon. But we’ll be back ... in 2013. Mark your calendar. Tell the people to mark theirs.”
“You’ll never agree to lay down your flamingoes and let the people rest. You know, give peace a chance?”
“Not until we beat breast cancer. Not until our job is done. That’s why we do it, Geraldo. That’s why we’ll always do it.”
Deep Flock grew silent. She seemed tired, yet determined. With a wink from her pink eye, she turned slowly and faded into the awaiting shadows of the night.
Our interview was done ... for now.