Fiction Horror

Gazing out my open window earlier tonight, a portrait appeared. In an artist’s rendition of grey hued charcoals shading the horizon.

Several hours later, the moonless gloom throws irregular silhouettes of the stark trees, eerie images touching the night.

I adjusted my glasses, returned my gaze to the window. I shrieked in horror. Black Crowes, hundreds of black Crows, were plunging towards earth at breakneck speed. Dark missiles of feathers and flesh aiming sharp beaks, spearing bodies.

Mesmerised, terrified. I couldn’t move. My gut convulsed with knotted agony. My feet wore lead weights encased in cement. No matter how hard I tried, I remained rooted to the floor. Watching the ground being muddied with spilled blood.

Jarring my awareness. Black Crowes flocked, crowding the sky into deeper darkness, birds overtaking the world.

“Birds are innocuous, never a fret. Why now, why are they attacking us?” My unanswered words hung, mingling with stinking air.

“Was I living in a nightmare? Was my splintered awareness watching a horror movie? Yes, that was it,” The movie ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock.

“No, this was real. No, it’s not some sixties scary movie.”

Belligerent birds, wild Crows, or Ravens, attacked humans and animals and maimed our children.

The Crow’s usual behaviour of riffling through rubbish bins, looking for scraps of food. Or prancing along the roadsides, gorging on the carnage of dead wildlife, had changed. Its nauseating reputation of attacking sick animals had altered.

Was this a warning.?

I once witnessed a Murder of Crows circling a newborn goat. The mother was stoic in her determination, protecting her kid. She was kicking and stamping at the Crows. I stood watching in awe of the mother goat’s love for her kid. I cheered her on as I threw stones at the Crows.

Dangerous glossy blackbirds, establishing their reign of terror by attacking small animals, then the little children. They’d swoop and dive, corralling the animals and children, towards empty fields. There the animals and children became sick and died, shrivelling to dust as flashes of black lightning struck them to the ground.

The raw, tormented screams echoed throughout the night, chilled tremors running along my spine.  

Dawn approached. The raucous black sentinels sat in fearsome repose atop fences, roofs, and bleak winter trees. Masking their murderous mission, cawing. Garish cawing to their kind.  

Anguished, twitching and rocking. Being frozen, unable to move, was a waste of precious time.

“Act, do something now to save them,” I screamed into my trembling gloved hand.

Fearfully, the teenager asked. “Why are the birds attacking? What have we done to cause this sickening slaughter?”

“There birds, just fucking birds. Fuck.?”

“We need help. Help,” he said, echoing my fears.

“The library, there will books there that will help,” but before I could say more.

A crushing shadow crowded the sky. The birds were attacking again. They attacked in the hundreds, spearing heads, faces, arms and shoulders, blood spilling to the ground. Pools of blood becoming lakes of carnage.

We leapt for cover into an upturned car, crouching in panicked despair, shaking. His jabber and noisy chattering teeth making me nervous. “Quiet, they will hear us,” I whispered throatily.

After many anxious minutes, the menacing birds moved away. We began nervously creeping between the shadows on legs of rubber, ducking in and out of the buildings.

Un-noticed blood seeping from the leg of his jeans. He’d torn it on a piece of jutting metal, diving for shelter. Applying a tourniquet to stop the flow, we continued with our hazardous mission.

Out of nowhere, a huge black Crow spotted us. We jump into a bin. Losing interest after several minutes, it gave, not seeing us hidden deep among the trash.

We forged on to the library. It housed an assemblage of ancient Greek mythology books on Birds.

Watching the window furtively, reading fast and scanning everything no matter how remotely connected with Birds and Myths.

The teenager hooted a triumphant yelp. He had found an ancient tome. “This is it. This is what we need”

“Shush, quiet, for heaven’s,” I snapped.

He’d happened upon a book on Greek Tales of Gods Heroes and Birds. A lessor unknown goddess linked with Crows emerged, ‘Coronis’. She was one of the Hyades, the seven sisters of light, who were rain-makers and linked to the God ‘Apollo’.

An ancient tale emerged. A mistrustful Apollo sent his trusted Crow to spy on his beloved goddess. Apollo later discovered the goddess had cheated on him with another god. Apollo then had Coronis killed by his sister. Later he punished the Crow for not halting the romance. He changed his plumage of luminous white feathers into feathers of the bleakest black.

“How do we interpret the relevance of this discovery and how do we purge our town of Crows?” I asked in masked relief.

“Look, look, this book of mythology states the Crow is an ‘Oracular’. An Oracular imposes its meanness upon other species. Its natural enemy is the Owl,” the teenager said.

“But we haven’t sighted owls in our town in generations,” I said, my fearless masked.

“The Mogo Zoo has an aviary full of owls, and it's less than an hour’s drive. Let’s get help, the cars, trucks, and vans will help us get there. We’ll be there and back within two hours. Once we gather the owls from the Zoo, the wild owls will follow our convoy,” the teenager said, raising a victory fist.

In true Ned Kelly style, we raided the armoury in the library. We donned the heaviest metal helmets and held shields for protection, setting off on our mission to gather the transport.

Dodging the savage Crows, we stumbled across a tall, imposing woman. The mayor had taken charge. She informed us the children were safe.

“Under the cover of darkness, we secreted the children to the safety of the hills,” her tenacity plain. Regardless, her words caused her head to jerk and twist skywards, her strained eyes darting with her movements.

They prepared the men and women of the town, to help rid the town of the murderous Crows. Throughout the night, they made protective shields, putting them together in haste to cover the vehicles’ windows.

The air was static with charged emotions as we reached the Zoo in less than the predicted hour.

The mayor had called ahead to announce our pending arrival. Hundreds of cages were waiting for collection. We loaded the cages into the cars and vans.

Our convoy headed home with our precious cargo. The teenager was right in his newfound knowledge. Thousands of wild owls trailed along with our caravan.

Before arriving, we release the owls. The wild owls forged ahead, attacking the marauding crows.

The cawing Crows hailed an ominous warning as we approached. Thunderous flapping wings echoed off the building and plunged the sky into creepy darkness.

“Mum, Mum, what the hell, you’re screaming the bloody house down,” My bewildered teenage son was yelling into my ear.

June 08, 2021 06:29

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