A Murder

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 23, 2018

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Submitted: June 23, 2018

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A Murder

You have a big tree next to your house, going on for eighty feet or more in height. Either some type of fir or pine, you’re really not sure which and not interested enough to find out. Whatever it is, it is one of those evergreens.

They grow quite quickly so you’ve heard, but even so, it must be pretty old to have reached that height. It’s developed a lean, quite an alarming one. It wouldn’t be so bad but it is leaning towards your house. If you get a lot of storms like last year, the entire tree could well end up toppling on to your house.

Sooner or later, it is going to have to go. But there’s no just chopping or sawing away at this one. That would be plain stupid. Do it wrong and it will still take your house down with it. No, this one will have to be dealt with by someone that knows what they are doing.

Anyway, back to the present. It is hot, warm, nice to sit outside before the heat builds up too much. The caws and cries of crows break the silence as a large flock descends upon that tree. Only to be followed by another lot. You don’t think that you have seen such a large gathering of them there before. They keep up a constant chatter and after a while about half of them take to the sky.

For some reason, their departure has stirred up the remainder who are now making even more noise. They eventually take to the sky themselves in a mass of flapping wings, cawing even when they are no longer in sight.

The next day, if anything there are even more of them, cawing and flapping and kicking up one hell of a din. When you look at the tree you can see that there is not even one branch, and the trees has so many, that does not have at least a couple of those black birds perched on it.

For a moment it makes you shudder. It is kind of creepy seeing so many of them together, especially when you think that a group of those crows is called a ‘murder’. They take off in groups, flying above your head; some of them are low enough for you to look into their eyes. But they all seem to continue with whatever it is that they’re doing, don’t seem particularly interested in your presence at all.

They go backwards and forwards for hours. Even once you have gone back indoors you can here that they have remained in the branches. Odd that they chose that particular tree. There are plenty of others of roughly the same height around, but they seem to have decided that that one is in some way special.

Let them make the most of it. After all, it is not going to be there for much longer.

The following day it’s as though they wait for you to be outside before they descend en masse down on to those branches. They caw and cry and land with a flutter until the entire tree seems to be nothing more than a seething mass of black feathers. There are so many of them that every bit of green is blotted out, covered up.

Once they are all finally settled, a silence descends. It is that more than anything else that makes you nervous. Why are they so quiet? Why are they not taking to the skies in groups like they have been doing?

It feels like every single eye is focussed on you. With the hair standing up on the back of your neck you stand up, ready to make your way indoors.

No sooner are you on your feet then they begin to swoop, to dive, and they are heading straight towards you. Talons and those vicious beaks, make contact with your clothes, you skin. They rip and tear and your screams are smothered by feathers.

Do you think they knew what was on your mind? That you planned to cut down their beloved tree? Well, that’s not going to happen now, is it!

They don’t let up, for they are carrion crows, used to feeding on the dead. All that will remain of you, once the ‘murder’ is completed, will be nothing more than bones.


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