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Writer_H
Scratcher
28 posts

Birds Of Grief - A Short Story

“Mae!”
I turn from my spot on the porch, my feet ceasing their idle swinging. A petite woman is standing in the driveway, her casual lavender clothes standing in stark contrast to the withering yellow grass. Her shock-white hair is pulled up in a loose bun atop her head, and at first glance it looks like a bird is sitting there.
“Grandma Korrie?” I ask, startled to say the least. She’s not due to come for another day! Then I mentally smack myself. Of course it’s Grandma! Who else would come all the way out in the country in mid-November to go birdwatching?
Even from far away, I can tell that she’s smiling. And before I can register the thought, I’m up and running, the grass scratching my bare feet. But I don’t care in the least, because Grandma’s here. I spread my arms wide, intending to tackle-hug her. She smiles and walks closer, opening her arms as well.
And then I trip over a root, and my waiting arms are roughly embraced by cold dirt and dead grass. Grandma laughs and offers a hand. I grab it, and nearly pull her over trying to get up.
“Well,” says Grandma, dusting off her hands in such a comical manner that I have to laugh, “I must say, I wasn’t expecting that, Mae.” I smile. ”Neither was I.”
Grandma reaches over and tousles my hair fondly. “Well, I thought we’d go to St. James’ today, instead of Central Trail. What d’you think?”
I mull it over for a few seconds, debating the pros and cons of each birdwatching site. “Um… Sure! St. James,” I decide, already envisioning the crows we’d see. St. James is famous for its ‘morbid birds’ - the crows, ravens, turkey vultures and such.
Me and Grandma are ornithologists. Some might call us birdwatchers, but we’re more than that. We are lovers and scholars of birds.
“Great,” says Grandma, her amber eyes sparkling. “I’ve been wanting to check on that murder!” Anyone passing by would have been quite disturbed, and may have called the police, but I know better. A murder is the unfortunate - but proper - name for a group of crows.
I follow Grandma to her small grey car, and halfway there she stops me. “What bird nest is that?” she asks me, pointing to a nest high up in a lean birch tree with scraped bark. I examine the nest as best as I can from down here, and then the tree. A slow smile spreads across my face, and I turn and rap my knuckles against the tree.
“None,” I say, after doing another rap just to be sure. “This tree is dead.” Grandma bursts into applause, admiration shining bright in her eyes. “Very good, Mae! I thought I’d stumped you!”
Are we going to St. James, or will we stand here looking at trees all day?” I ask despite myself. Grandma winks. “We both know you would enjoy that. Especially if there are birds in the trees!” I shrug, and kick a small stone along the grass. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t go far. It rolls to a stop some ways ahead of us.
I look back to see Grandma following me to the car, her small hand purse swinging gaily. “Come on,” I say, reaching for her arm. “At this rate, we’ll be there next year!” Grandma laughs good-naturedly, patting my hand. “Patience, Mae. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But she speeds up all the same, her shoes making pleasant crunching sounds on the grass and leaves that littered the lawn.
Which reminds me… “Shoes!” I shout, running in the direction of the house. “I’m getting my shoes!” I holler over my shoulder, in case Grandma wonders where I’m going.
She crosses her arms. “And I’m slowing us down?” But there’s a twinkle in her eyes, and she’s laughing as I run back to the house. I somehow manage to avoid tripping the whole way. Swinging open the wooden door, I hastily shove my feet into some red sneakers and run back outside where Grandma Korrie is waiting in the car.
I slip into the car, doing my seatbelt quickly. “So,” says Grandma conversationally as she turns the ignition and starts down the driveway, “Anything new?” “A cardinal couple nested in the old sumac tree,” I offer lamely. “Preparing for winter, I guess.”
Grandma laughs again. “You guess? You were able to distinguish a cardinal’s cry from that of a crow since you were four! Don’t say you guess!” My face heats up, and I manage a quick smile. “I know,” I elaborate, the look on Grandma’s face making me laugh all over again.
Grandma jerks the steering wheel to the left, narrowly avoiding running over a small squirrel. “Reading any good books?” she asks, straightening out and looking at me in the rearview mirror. “Yes, actually,” I say, “It’s about crows and their habits. It’s really interesting!”
“ETA three minutes.’’ declares the GPS device, breaking the silence that had ensued. Grandma sighs. “I’m seriously thinking about uninstalling it,” she announces, shaking her head. “It’s very annoying.” I laugh, and Grandma does as well.
“I'll bring it over next week,” I say, and it takes a moment for Grandma to realize I was talking about the book. “I'll be waiting,” she assures me, her rhinestone glasses twinkling in the dappled sunlight.
“ETA one minute” the GPS interrupts, and Grandma makes as if to hit it. It's such a comical move, such a move the Grandma would make, that I burst into laughter.
“You're certainly giggly today.” remarks Grandma, in response to my latest fit of laughter. “It's a giggly sort of day,” I say. “So it is,” agrees Grandma, nodding. “So it is.”
The solemn nod of her head causes us both to laugh. “Arrived.” interjects the GPS, and as I look out the window I discover it's right. We have arrived at St. James.
The trees are half-drowned in piles of their own leaves, and in the crisp November air the amber brown bark looks almost ethereal. Grandma steps out slowly, like the Queen of England might from her carriage. A raven croaks, heralding our arrival.
Grandma smiles, and holds up her hand. The raven, needing no further invitation, alights on her gloved fingers and croaks again. Grandma strokes his feathers softly. “Hello, Ebony,” she murmurs, the soft touch of her fingers caressing the bird. “I've missed you.” And she holds her hand up, and Ebony flies away, his powerful wings buffeting the air around him, and causing Grandma's hat to fly off. She laughs, bending down to pick it back up.
The crows around us are now aware of our presence, and they caw in recognition as soon as they see Grandma and me. Their cries are echoed by the canopy of trees, and in no time at all, a veritable cacophony is being held for us.
It's not for nothing that they call Grandma Korrie the Crow Lady.
I laugh as a robin, curious as to what this chaotic noise should be, hops on the ground beside us. But the crunching of leaves under my feet causes him to fly away in a tizzy, and he eyes us warily from his vantage spot on a nearby tree.
Me and Grandma walk along, almost but not completely oblivious to the gathering birds above our heads. This happens almost every time we visit a birdwatching site - or just a trail.
The birds know us. Most of them are smart enough to remember us, and those that aren’t have certainly remembered now. We come here every week, Grandma and I. We come to watch the birds, and to do workplay, as Grandma calls it.
Grandma Korrie’s job is to research and study birds for the local museums. It’s a job she took with pleasure, and does with great gusto. So on days like today, her convenient excuse for going out with me and doing this is simple: It’s work.
Grandma gently steers me towards a lesser-known fork off the main trail; where we usually find the park’s resident murder.
After walking for a while, we both scan the trees, holding up a hand to shield our eyes from the sun’s glare. “Do you see them?” I ask Grandma, who is gazing intently at a section of trees where they’re usually found. “No,” she admits, putting down her hand, “I don’t.” If this bothers her, she doesn’t show it.
A black streak flies over our heads, and a single caw can be heard above the earlier cacophony. Grandma smiles, a look of recognition blooming across her face. “Why hello!” She greets the crow eagerly, as if it was a friend she’d known since preschool, instead of a crow she’d been photographing for half a decade. But to her, they were one and the same. The rest of the murder wastes no time with pleasantries, showing off their startling black plumage and I grin as they start swarming to the clearing where we now stand.
“Sorry,” says Grandma, spreading her arms apologetically. “We’re not here to feed you.” Whether or not the flock understood is hard to tell. They seem to understand, however, when Grandma makes shooing motions with her arms. Disappointed, they fly away in a storm of feathers and caws.

“Look,” points Grandma, quite a few hours of birdwatching later. I follow her gaze up to the sky - and I gasp. The stars are out, and they’re much brighter than back home. I could’ve sworn I saw some constellations, and the twinkling lights make me feel so… awed. And small. “Come on,” says Grandma, standing up and leaning on a tree for support. “We’d best be going.”
In the car, we discuss many things; the birds we saw, the colour of the leaves, and donuts. “ETA one minute,” breaks in the GPS, cutting off a rather interesting debate over chocolate or cruller donuts. Grandma sighs. “Today was awesome.” I say, wishing I could think of a better word.
“It was,” Grandma agrees, opening the front door just as the GPS announces “Arrived.” I walk home, mulling over the new facts I’d learned today. The new birds I’d seen. I drag myself into bed, and promptly fall asleep.

I wake up to a blinding light streaming through my curtains. I walk downstairs, my footsteps echoing in contrast to the tranquil atmosphere of the house.
Mom is sitting at the kitchen counter. She looks like she hasn’t slept in a week. As she hears my footsteps, she turns away and wipes her face hurriedly.
She turns to face me, and I know that something’s wrong. She blinks quickly, and motions for me to sit down. “Mae, there’s….something you should know,” Mom says eventually. “Last night, going home, Grandma got in a car crash. Sh-she died.”
I feel as if I’ve been shredded to pieces and sewn together with barbed wire. “WHAT?!” I don’t care if I’m overreacting. I don’t care. A sob escapes my lips as Mom puts a hand on my shoulder. “I know you were close. I’m really sorr-” “Don’t.” I wrench myself away, tears streaming freely down my cheeks. “Don’t say you feel my pain. Don’t say you know how it feels. You know nothing. Nothing!”
I’m running before I know it, out the door before Mom can open her mouth. Before she can pretend to understand.
Grandma couldn’t be dead. She couldn’t have left me. She’d been all I had. She was everything to me. And now she was gone. Dead.
I don’t even know where I’m running. Maybe I’m just running for the sake of it. Maybe I’m running from Grandma’s death.
I don’t know until I see the sign. St. James St. Bittersweet memories come flooding back, and I blink back tears. I won’t cry. She’s not dead. She can’t be dead!
I keep running. Deeper into the forest. Deeper into Grandma’s memory.

I eventually stop at the tree. The last thing she touched, when we were stargazing. I trace my hand over where hers had touched, and am overcome with sorrow. She’s really gone.
A crow cries overhead.
Maybe it’s the maternal vibes the forest gives. Maybe it’s the crows eyeing me, like they knew of my grief. Maybe it’s just all the bottled-up sadness.
But I remember a fact Grandma told me; Crows are among the only birds to feel grief like we do. They hold funerals for their dead comrades by cawing as loud as possible.
I look Ebony in the eyes and attempt to caw. It’s a pitiful attempt. It comes out squeakily, and my voice cracks. But I’m not one to be stopped by such small things. The crows seem to sense something is up. They shuffle their feet nervously as I try again and again.
I soon find my rhythm; a balance between human and bird. The crows eye me suspiciously, but I continue. I fill my caws with my grief, my sorrow, my pain. I caw of loss, of love, of grief.
And my caw is answered tenfold. All the crows in the trees above join in, our voices a testimony to the memory of Grandma.
It’s a funeral, the way Grandma would have liked it; not bird or human, but a perfect harmony with both.
Crow and girl, united in grief.
In a way this feels better than anything else. A new part of me I’d never known about before is awake - and thriving.
We caw long after the sun goes down, until our throats are hoarse and our voices are reduced to rasping groans.
Finally, we sleep. The crows above me, the dirt beneath…. I almost forget about Mom, about home….

I wake up slumped against a tree. I start, momentarily forgetting how I got here. A small crow hops back, alarmed.
Its leg is bent at an awkward angle, and it shuffles away from me, trying to hide in a bush.
I lean forward. It shies away but leans closer, like it wants to see me but it’s not allowed to. I laugh, and it squawks in alarm and tries to fly away. I say try. Its leg, bent as it is, won’t allow it to fly anytime soon.
Holding my breath, I get up and reach for the crow….
It doesn’t move. It seems to be trying to channel its inner gargoyle, freezing in place, not even looking away.
My fingers brush its feathers and I gasp. They’re downy, like those of a duckling. And the crow doesn’t mind.
On impulse, I reach and pick it up. My cupped hands catch his underbelly, and…. It works!
Thrilled to say the least, I carry him through the forest, pausing only to release more caws of grief into the sky.
We walk slowly back home.

At the door, I pause. It’s almost like there’s a border here, between the life at home and the world I was part of last night.
The crow shuffles in my hands, and I move to open the door-
And I pause again, and let loose one final cry of sorrow.
And as I walk through the doorway, I hear it answered tenfold.




Well, this was real fun to write. I'm not even sure if it has a sad or happy ending….

Last edited by Writer_H (March 31, 2021 20:39:54)


Hi, I'm Hannah! Potato, Published Author, writer, reader, lover of crows and ravens! Always open for writing critique - both ways! I don't bite, come talk to me!

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Birds Of Grief - A Short-ish Story

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QuiteWrite
Scratcher
64 posts

Birds Of Grief - A Short Story

Writer_H wrote:

“Mae!”
I turn from my spot on the porch, my feet ceasing their idle swinging. A petite woman is standing in the driveway, her casual lavender clothes standing in stark contrast to the withering yellow grass. Her shock-white hair is pulled up in a loose bun atop her head, and at first glance it looks like a bird is sitting there.
“Grandma Korrie?” I ask, startled to say the least. She’s not due to come for another day! Then I mentally smack myself. Of course it’s Grandma! Who else would come all the way out in the country in mid-November to go birdwatching?
Even from far away, I can tell that she’s smiling. And before I can register the thought, I’m up and running, the grass scratching my bare feet. But I don’t care in the least, because Grandma’s here. I spread my arms wide, intending to tackle-hug her. She smiles and walks closer, opening her arms as well.
And then I trip over a root, and my waiting arms are roughly embraced by cold dirt and dead grass. Grandma laughs and offers a hand. I grab it, and nearly pull her over trying to get up.
“Well,” says Grandma, dusting off her hands in such a comical manner that I have to laugh, “I must say, I wasn’t expecting that, Mae.” I smile. ”Neither was I.”
Grandma reaches over and tousles my hair fondly. “Well, I thought we’d go to St. James’ today, instead of Central Trail. What d’you think?”
I mull it over for a few seconds, debating the pros and cons of each birdwatching site. “Um… Sure! St. James,” I decide, already envisioning the crows we’d see. St. James is famous for its ‘morbid birds’ - the crows, ravens, turkey vultures and such.
Me and Grandma are ornithologists. Some might call us birdwatchers, but we’re more than that. We are lovers and scholars of birds.
“Great,” says Grandma, her amber eyes sparkling. “I’ve been wanting to check on that murder!” Anyone passing by would have been quite disturbed, and may have called the police, but I know better. A murder is the unfortunate - but proper - name for a group of crows.
I follow Grandma to her small grey car, and halfway there she stops me. “What bird nest is that?” she asks me, pointing to a nest high up in a lean birch tree with scraped bark. I examine the nest as best as I can from down here, and then the tree. A slow smile spreads across my face, and I turn and rap my knuckles against the tree.
“None,” I say, after doing another rap just to be sure. “This tree is dead.” Grandma bursts into applause, admiration shining bright in her eyes. “Very good, Mae! I thought I’d stumped you!”
Are we going to St. James, or will we stand here looking at trees all day?” I ask despite myself. Grandma winks. “We both know you would enjoy that. Especially if there are birds in the trees!” I shrug, and kick a small stone along the grass. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t go far. It rolls to a stop some ways ahead of us.
I look back to see Grandma following me to the car, her small hand purse swinging gaily. “Come on,” I say, reaching for her arm. “At this rate, we’ll be there next year!” Grandma laughs good-naturedly, patting my hand. “Patience, Mae. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But she speeds up all the same, her shoes making pleasant crunching sounds on the grass and leaves that littered the lawn.
Which reminds me… “Shoes!” I shout, running in the direction of the house. “I’m getting my shoes!” I holler over my shoulder, in case Grandma wonders where I’m going.
She crosses her arms. “And I’m slowing us down?” But there’s a twinkle in her eyes, and she’s laughing as I run back to the house. I somehow manage to avoid tripping the whole way. Swinging open the wooden door, I hastily shove my feet into some red sneakers and run back outside where Grandma Korrie is waiting in the car.
I slip into the car, doing my seatbelt quickly. “So,” says Grandma conversationally as she turns the ignition and starts down the driveway, “Anything new?” “A cardinal couple nested in the old sumac tree,” I offer lamely. “Preparing for winter, I guess.”
Grandma laughs again. “You guess? You were able to distinguish a cardinal’s cry from that of a crow since you were four! Don’t say you guess!” My face heats up, and I manage a quick smile. “I know,” I elaborate, the look on Grandma’s face making me laugh all over again.
Grandma jerks the steering wheel to the left, narrowly avoiding running over a small squirrel. “Reading any good books?” she asks, straightening out and looking at me in the rearview mirror. “Yes, actually,” I say, “It’s about crows and their habits. It’s really interesting!”
“ETA three minutes.’’ declares the GPS device, breaking the silence that had ensued. Grandma sighs. “I’m seriously thinking about uninstalling it,” she announces, shaking her head. “It’s very annoying.” I laugh, and Grandma does as well.
“I'll bring it over next week,” I say, and it takes a moment for Grandma to realize I was talking about the book. “I'll be waiting,” she assures me, her rhinestone glasses twinkling in the dappled sunlight.
“ETA one minute” the GPS interrupts, and Grandma makes as if to hit it. It's such a comical move, such a move the Grandma would make, that I burst into laughter.
“You're certainly giggly today.” remarks Grandma, in response to my latest fit of laughter. “It's a giggly sort of day,” I say. “So it is,” agrees Grandma, nodding. “So it is.”
The solemn nod of her head causes us both to laugh. “Arrived.” interjects the GPS, and as I look out the window I discover it's right. We have arrived at St. James.
The trees are half-drowned in piles of their own leaves, and in the crisp November air the amber brown bark looks almost ethereal. Grandma steps out slowly, like the Queen of England might from her carriage. A raven croaks, heralding our arrival.
Grandma smiles, and holds up her hand. The raven, needing no further invitation, alights on her gloved fingers and croaks again. Grandma strokes his feathers softly. “Hello, Ebony,” she murmurs, the soft touch of her fingers caressing the bird. “I've missed you.” And she holds her hand up, and Ebony flies away, his powerful wings buffeting the air around him, and causing Grandma's hat to fly off. She laughs, bending down to pick it back up.
The crows around us are now aware of our presence, and they caw in recognition as soon as they see Grandma and me. Their cries are echoed by the canopy of trees, and in no time at all, a veritable cacophony is being held for us.
It's not for nothing that they call Grandma Korrie the Crow Lady.
I laugh as a robin, curious as to what this chaotic noise should be, hops on the ground beside us. But the crunching of leaves under my feet causes him to fly away in a tizzy, and he eyes us warily from his vantage spot on a nearby tree.
Me and Grandma walk along, almost but not completely oblivious to the gathering birds above our heads. This happens almost every time we visit a birdwatching site - or just a trail.
The birds know us. Most of them are smart enough to remember us, and those that aren’t have certainly remembered now. We come here every week, Grandma and I. We come to watch the birds, and to do workplay, as Grandma calls it.
Grandma Korrie’s job is to research and study birds for the local museums. It’s a job she took with pleasure, and does with great gusto. So on days like today, her convenient excuse for going out with me and doing this is simple: It’s work.
Grandma gently steers me towards a lesser-known fork off the main trail; where we usually find the park’s resident murder.
After walking for a while, we both scan the trees, holding up a hand to shield our eyes from the sun’s glare. “Do you see them?” I ask Grandma, who is gazing intently at a section of trees where they’re usually found. “No,” she admits, putting down her hand, “I don’t.” If this bothers her, she doesn’t show it.
A black streak flies over our heads, and a single caw can be heard above the earlier cacophony. Grandma smiles, a look of recognition blooming across her face. “Why hello!” She greets the crow eagerly, as if it was a friend she’d known since preschool, instead of a crow she’d been photographing for half a decade. But to her, they were one and the same. The rest of the murder wastes no time with pleasantries, showing off their startling black plumage and I grin as they start swarming to the clearing where we now stand.
“Sorry,” says Grandma, spreading her arms apologetically. “We’re not here to feed you.” Whether or not the flock understood is hard to tell. They seem to understand, however, when Grandma makes shooing motions with her arms. Disappointed, they fly away in a storm of feathers and caws.

“Look,” points Grandma, quite a few hours of birdwatching later. I follow her gaze up to the sky - and I gasp. The stars are out, and they’re much brighter than back home. I could’ve sworn I saw some constellations, and the twinkling lights make me feel so… awed. And small. “Come on,” says Grandma, standing up and leaning on a tree for support. “We’d best be going.”
In the car, we discuss many things; the birds we saw, the colour of the leaves, and donuts. “ETA one minute,” breaks in the GPS, cutting off a rather interesting debate over chocolate or cruller donuts. Grandma sighs. “Today was awesome.” I say, wishing I could think of a better word.
“It was,” Grandma agrees, opening the front door just as the GPS announces “Arrived.” I walk home, mulling over the new facts I’d learned today. The new birds I’d seen. I drag myself into bed, and promptly fall asleep.

I wake up to a blinding light streaming through my curtains. I walk downstairs, my footsteps echoing in contrast to the tranquil atmosphere of the house.
Mom is sitting at the kitchen counter. She looks like she hasn’t slept in a week. As she hears my footsteps, she turns away and wipes her face hurriedly.
She turns to face me, and I know that something’s wrong. She blinks quickly, and motions for me to sit down. “Mae, there’s….something you should know,” Mom says eventually. “Last night, going home, Grandma got in a car crash. Sh-she died.”
I feel as if I’ve been shredded to pieces and sewn together with barbed wire. “WHAT?!” I don’t care if I’m overreacting. I don’t care. A sob escapes my lips as Mom puts a hand on my shoulder. “I know you were close. I’m really sorr-” “Don’t.” I wrench myself away, tears streaming freely down my cheeks. “Don’t say you feel my pain. Don’t say you know how it feels. You know nothing. Nothing!”
I’m running before I know it, out the door before Mom can open her mouth. Before she can pretend to understand.
Grandma couldn’t be dead. She couldn’t have left me. She’d been all I had. She was everything to me. And now she was gone. Dead.
I don’t even know where I’m running. Maybe I’m just running for the sake of it. Maybe I’m running from Grandma’s death.
I don’t know until I see the sign. St. James St. Bittersweet memories come flooding back, and I blink back tears. I won’t cry. She’s not dead. She can’t be dead!
I keep running. Deeper into the forest. Deeper into Grandma’s memory.

I eventually stop at the tree. The last thing she touched, when we were stargazing. I trace my hand over where hers had touched, and am overcome with sorrow. She’s really gone.
A crow cries overhead.
Maybe it’s the maternal vibes the forest gives. Maybe it’s the crows eyeing me, like they knew of my grief. Maybe it’s just all the bottled-up sadness.
But I remember a fact Grandma told me; Crows are among the only birds to feel grief like we do. They hold funerals for their dead comrades by cawing as loud as possible.
I look Ebony in the eyes and attempt to caw. It’s a pitiful attempt. It comes out squeakily, and my voice cracks. But I’m not one to be stopped by such small things. The crows seem to sense something is up. They shuffle their feet nervously as I try again and again.
I soon find my rhythm; a balance between human and bird. The crows eye me suspiciously, but I continue. I fill my caws with my grief, my sorrow, my pain. I caw of loss, of love, of grief.
And my caw is answered tenfold. All the crows in the trees above join in, our voices a testimony to the memory of Grandma.
It’s a funeral, the way Grandma would have liked it; not bird or human, but a perfect harmony with both.
Crow and girl, united in grief.
In a way this feels better than anything else. A new part of me I’d never known about before is awake - and thriving.
We caw long after the sun goes down, until our throats are hoarse and our voices are reduced to rasping groans.
Finally, we sleep. The crows above me, the dirt beneath…. I almost forget about Mom, about home….

I wake up slumped against a tree. I start, momentarily forgetting how I got here. A small crow hops back, alarmed.
Its leg is bent at an awkward angle, and it shuffles away from me, trying to hide in a bush.
I lean forward. It shies away but leans closer, like it wants to see me but it’s not allowed to. I laugh, and it squawks in alarm and tries to fly away. I say try. Its leg, bent as it is, won’t allow it to fly anytime soon.
Holding my breath, I get up and reach for the crow….
It doesn’t move. It seems to be trying to channel its inner gargoyle, freezing in place, not even looking away.
My fingers brush its feathers and I gasp. They’re downy, like those of a duckling. And the crow doesn’t mind.
On impulse, I reach and pick it up. My cupped hands catch his underbelly, and…. It works!
Thrilled to say the least, I carry him through the forest, pausing only to release more caws of grief into the sky.
We walk slowly back home.

At the door, I pause. It’s almost like there’s a border here, between the life at home and the world I was part of last night.
The crow shuffles in my hands, and I move to open the door-
And I pause again, and let loose one final cry of sorrow.
And as I walk through the doorway, I hear it answered tenfold.




Well, this was real fun to write. I'm not even sure if it has a sad or happy ending….
wow- this is really good!!!!! thank you so much for participating and good luck!!

(by the way, what option did you choose?)

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