The Twentieth Duck

Note: this article is a work in progress.
It happened five years ago, in the neighbourhood of Quack Mire in Makari. The Quackening, during which the biggest ducks are selected for The Big Roast, is something that the Kendric are getting ready for. By the time the event starts, darkness has already settled over the area. Because there are no other sources of light save lanterns and the fires prepared for roasting the meat, everyone and everything casts deep shadows.
The noisy ducks are being herded from one large enclosure to another in the middle of a sea of onlookers who are all waiting for the aroma of roasted duck to permeate the air so that they may enjoy a bite or two of the succulent meat right after. The first duck is chosen, then the second, and then a number of more ducks after that. And so it goes on, the eighteenth duck is chosen, and then the nineteenth.
At this point the incident takes place, that every Kendric remembers with horror. An eerie shreek fills the air just as the last duck of the lineup of rushing birds is about to be grabbed when a gigantic bird falls from the sky just in front of the roasting fires, casting an immense and horrific shadow.
The monstrous creature stands there for a split second, leaving the terrified witnesses able to see nothing more than the shadowy outline of it, and then it begins to accelerate toward the gathering, causing everyone to scatter and flee in fear.
Within seconds, every Kendric has vanished from view. The Big Roast is completely forgotten, and the flames are allowed to run out completely unused. Even the next day, there is little activity in the neighbourhood and no laughter or chatter can be heard.
 

Secrets: What really happened

The grotesque duck was not actually a duck; it was rather an albatross that had been attracted to the festivity by the light and the smells and that had accidentally flown into a tree before crashing to the ground. After a brief period of confusion, it sprinted across the area in an attempt to obtain sufficient speed to take off once more; but, because the area was so crowded with people, it was initially unsuccessful in its attempt. Therefore, it traversed the area in a gridlike pattern until it came upon an opening that was long enough to allow it to eventually ascend back into the sky. The Kendric mistook this as attacks, and the bad lighting didn't help to identify the creature as an albatross.
 
Silhouette of an albatross with fires burning in the background

Comments

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29 Jul, 2022 20:22

A punny part of me wishes it was the 22nd duck in honour of the bingo phrase... double ducks 22. :)

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
30 Jul, 2022 08:53

Didn't know that, sorry. :)

2 Aug, 2022 14:45

Great! I am still laughing!
Ultra funny. Theater of Mind: I see the Albatros from "Bernhard & Bianca" in this predicament!
also Quack Mire... ^^


Hey there, why not take a look at my Summer Camp entries?
2 Aug, 2022 17:36

Article was inspired by WorldAnvil on Twitter, they asked that d20 means... and the "Twentieth Duck" came to mind. X-D

Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
2 Aug, 2022 23:39

I love this article so much... ;___;' Very fun article to read. I loved reading about the secret, aha. It is fun being able to know what actually happens sometimes!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
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