Murder Of Crows

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tale of actions and consequences, Feng Shui, what goes around comes around etc. In other words be careful what you do with your anger.

Submitted: May 04, 2016

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Submitted: May 04, 2016




Murder of Crows.

"I hate it here. Why did we have to come."
Ewan kicked out angrily at a piece of wood.  When his foot made contact with it the stick split apart.
"Rotten!" Ewan was almost shouting now. "Just like this whole dump of a place."
He couldn't do it. Why couldn't his Mum understand that he was a town boy, used to having his friends around him. He was used to having places to go even though mostly it was to hang around outside.
So he'd got in trouble. There was a bit of a fuss when a fight broke out and he was caught cheering and egging the opponents on. The police had taken him home and his parents had gone mad.
"I'm going to take him to stay at Mum's old house," his mother had told his father. That'll get him away for the rest of the holiday at least."
To be fair on his dad, he had tried to put her off the idea but Mum would not be swayed.
So now here he was. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, nobody his own age around. Not even cable tv and broadband. What the hell was he going to do with himself for the next two weeks?
"I hate her!" Ewan picked up a stone and flung it at a wall. "She hates me and I hate her!"
Another stone hit the wall then Ewan felt someone or something watching him. Feeling half ashamed he turned expecting to see his mother but there was no one. Nothing.
Then when it moved Ewan noticed the crow. It was perched on a nearby branch watching him from one beady black eye. Not moving at all just staring accusingly at him.
"I hate you too! Clear off! Get away."
Ewan bent to pick up a stone, threw it and missed. The bird didn't even move a feather. It was too much. Even the wildlife round here thought he was a joke.
"I said," Ewan snarled through gritted teeth, "Clear off!"
With that he picked up a heavy stone, moved closer to the branch and let fly with it.
It hit the crow with a sickening thud and both landed on the ground not far from Ewan's feet. The stone had a sharp point that had penetrated the bird's throat. The crow moved feebly for a minute or so then stilled. Ewan moved closer for a better look. He could tell that the bird was dead by the glassy lifeless eye that stared back at him, unseeing now.
 He felt sick and ashamed. Just like he did after watching the fight. He hadn't meant to kill the bird and he hadn't meant to incite a violent attack.
"You must think of what you're doing, Ewan." His father had tried to get him to acquire more self-control but obviously he hadn't succeeded.
Ewan stared at the body. Should he leave it, cover it up, bury it?
He would do the decent thing, go back to the house and fetch a shovel. The least he could do was give it a proper burial.

His mum was nowhere in sight when he opened the shed. Not much there but a few rusty tools. At least the shovel looked as though it could dig a big hole before falling to bits.
Ewan retraced his steps, shovel in hand. No crow in sight. No bird body to bury. He must have gone wrong somewhere, taken a different fork in the path.
Ewan returned to the house and tried again. There was still no crow body in sight. That was the tree though, he was sure of it. Maybe a fox or something had dragged it off. Somehow it made him feel even more guilty. He'd tried to make amends, to apologise. He'd mark the spot where the crow had fallen. That was the best he could do.
Ewan placed a stone on the ground where he pictured the bird. Was that a spot of blood? Ewan hoped the stone he chose wasn't the one he had used to commit the murder. That would just be too insulting.
When Ewan stood upright from placing the stone he again felt as though he was being watched. Two crows perched on the same tree, both had an eye firmly fixed on him.
"I'm sorry," Ewan said, then ran back to the house as fast as he could while still carrying a shovel.
One of the crows remained in the tree while the other flew slowly after the retreating figure of Ewan.

His mother was in the garden when Ewan got back. "What on earth are you doing with a shovel?"
Thinking fast Ewan looked around him. "I thought, you know... Seeing as I'm stuck here I might as well tidy the place up a bit."
They both stood in silence and surveyed the rather overgrown plot around them. There wasn't much of the ground in view as a combination of nettles, bramble and ivy had made the place their own.
"I think you're going to have to do a bit of clearing before the digging, Ewan. I'll look and see if I can find some shears or something."
When his Mum had disappeared into the shed Ewan threw down the shovel. Now what had he got himself in to?
For what must have been hours Ewan hacked away. Even though the pile of clippings looked to be getting bigger there was still only a very small clear area. Not that the plants hadn't put up a fight. He'd been stung by nettles and scratched by thorns so many times he'd lost count.
It was only when he decided to call it quits that he noticed the two crows that sat watching him.

Ewan had no intention of getting out of bed early. In fact, as far as he was concerned the later he made it the better it was. A few less hours to meaninglessly fill. Sleeping in had never had quite the same appeal as it had now.
The tapping on his window was annoying though. It would stop after a few taps then start all over again. He'd look later. Maybe there was a branch or something that was scraping against the glass. He sure hoped he would be able to find the cause as he wasn't keen on listening to this every day.
Funny though. He hadn't heard any odd noises the day before. Perhaps the wind had picked up a bit. Pulling back the curtain, Ewan found himself face to face with yet another crow.
Hastily he moved away from the window, pulling the curtain back across as he did so. The bird steadily lifted itself into the air and flew off into the distance.
"Are you going to do a bit more work outside?" His mum didn't mention how late it was, just handed him his breakfast.
Ewan grunted non-committally. He wasn't too keen to go outside with those two big black birds watching him but they wouldn't be there for long.
"Or we could explore in the attic! There's bound to be a few things up there."
"Yeah. Might as well as my hands are sore and my arms are still killing me."

There wasn't much in the attic at all. Just a few boxes with bits and pieces dating from who-knows-when. It felt stale and musty to Ewan. He noticed a small window in the far wall and wandered over towards it while his mother was rummaging through one of the boxes.
The window was at eye level so he leant towards it and peered out. The crash when it came made him scream and he found himself on the floor. He looked up just in time to see the body of a crow, wings outspread, before it slid down.
"Oh God, Ewan! Are you okay?" His mum was not so shocked as he was. But then he hadn't told her about the previous incident and how he felt the crows were stalking him. He was too ashamed to admit to killing the bird in a fit of rage.
Ewan reluctantly joined his mother outside. The crow was laying dead on the path outside and she was standing over it.
"Oh, the poor thing. It must have been dazzled or something. We can't just leave it here though." She looked around thoughtfully then said,"Get that shovel again, Ewan. We'll bury it over there."
Ewan didn't want to bury the thing in the ground where he had been clearing the weeds. If it was there he would not be working outside any more. But how could he explain?
"Come on, lets get it done. I don't really want to spend any more time looking at dead birds."
His mum went back inside. Obviously she wasn't going to help with the removal. Ewan walked reluctantly over to the patch of earth that he'd uncovered the day before and started to dig. He kept looking up to glance at the corpse; he didn't want to but couldn't stop himself.
When he'd dug a hole that he considered big enough he called indoors.
"I'm cooking now, Ewan. Just get it on the shovel, put it in the hole and cover it up. Then we can forget about it."
As he moved towards the crow Ewan felt that he was once again being watched. And there in the tree sat four crows, all with one eye fixed on him. The urge to run was almost too strong to resist. It was only the thought of having to explain his actions to his mother that stopped him from doing just that.
As he neared the dead bird Ewan saw a wing move. His mum must have been mistaken, the crow had just knocked itself out. The minutes ticked past as he waited for another movement that didn't materialise. Gulping and nervously glancing towards the tree, Ewan reached out with the shovel and poked at the body. He waited but there was no response. Another prod with the shovel, another wait then Ewan placed the shovel under the crow and tried to lift it.
Fitting a crow on a shovel would be hard enough; fitting one with it's wings spread out was almost impossible. Eventually  Ewan positioned the shovel so he could lift the bird but before he made it to the hole it fell back to the ground with a thud. The crows in the tree cawed in unison and Ewan almost bolted. Another attempt and the body was in the hole. Frantically scooping up earth Ewan couldn't cover it up fast enough.
 To get back inside he would have to pass the tree. Ewan pulled up his hood, hunched up his shoulders and made himself approach the house, step by step. One by one the crows lifted themselves from the branches and flew across in front of Ewan, each making a single caw as they passed him.
Ewan didn't go to the kitchen. He didn't speak to his mother. He made his way upstairs, washed his hands and face in the bathroom then crawled into his bed where he spent the remainder of the day under the covers.

The next few days were wet and windy. Ewan didn't mind one bit. His mother could hardly nag him to go outside when it was raining so hard. She went off in the car during the afternoons but didn't push him to accompany her. She always came back with a few bags of food and he'd help her in the kitchen then.
For once Ewan didn't mind being bored. He would get up as late as he possibly could and spend most of the day in front of the television. It was rubbish but he didn't care. He wasn't really watching it anyway but was using it as an excuse to hide away.
Although he didn't venture outside, Ewan was constantly aware that at least one crow was on the tree at all times. He always felt that he was being observed, that he was being condemned. The large black birds seemed oblivious to the rain but sat there, still as stone. Ewan had even seen rain dripping from their beaks, and what viscous looking things they were.
The bedroom curtains stayed shut but Ewan wouldn't be able to explain why he wanted the curtains shut through the rest of the house. Not without admitting what he'd done. And even then he would sound a bit crazy. He just had to make pretend that he didn't see them there.

The rain didn't last forever though and all too soon Ewan found himself with no excuse to stay indoors. He'd make sure he covered almost all his skin up though. Hood up, gloves on and not forgetting the old pair of wellies his mum had discovered in the shed.
"Come on, Ewan. You could really achieve something here."
She wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer. He'd just have to grit his teeth and get on with it.
As he walked out in to the garden the two crows that were perched on the branches turned their heads to follow his  steps. Once he was past them they cawed in unison and it wasn't his imagination that an answering caw came from further away.
The dead crow was laying on the ground in front of him, the one that he had previously buried. Ewan tried to convince himself that the rain had washed the earth away, but had the rain really been that heavy?
The sound of beating wings made him turn. Approaching from all directions were crows. There had to be at least twenty-five of them. Ewan found himself trying to remember what the term for a group of crows was. A murder... That was it. A murder of crows! And he was a murderer of crows!
Ewan ran. Why he ran he did not know, but he was terrified. He wanted to go in the opposite direction to the site of his initial crime. The crows wouldn't let him. They flew around him, their flapping wings steering him, their constant cawing deafening him.
And then they were there. The crow's body lay before him. Even though the decay that was starting to set in Ewan could see the lethal wound that he had inflicted.
He stood still, his head bowed as the crows settled around him. He was sorry, so sorry. He couldn't hold back the tears.
"I was wrong, " Ewan whispered. Then finding his voice he said, "I'm sorry, but what can I do now? What do you want from me?"
The silence was broken only by the sound of a crow taking flight, then another and another.
Ewan let out a sigh of relief. All they'd wanted was an apology. They would leave him alone now.
But Ewan was wrong. One by one the crows wheeled around and soared in for the kill. His mother did not even hear his screams.


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