Featured Review on this writing by Kevin Michael Smith

The Mortician's Raven

Reads: 127  | Likes: 4  | Shelves: 3  | Comments: 5

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium


It's just a story right? that within twenty-four hours of being touched by a black feather, you are dead!

Submitted: September 18, 2018

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Submitted: September 17, 2018

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“It’s just a story? Right!”

Emma Reed sat shaking, nursing in both hands a cup of sweet tea her friend Julie Hamilton had just made her. Emma tried to sip her drink, but her shaking was creating a mini tsunami within the cup, its mini waves lapping up its sides.

Julie, placed her hand on her friends arm and gently took the cup away from her. “I’ll make you a fresh one later.” She said walking back to the kitchen.

"It's just a story? Right!" shouted Emma to Julie. "About the black feather landing on you!"

Julie stared out of her kitchen window. What was she to say? “Of course, it’s just a story. There must be hundreds of people who’ve had black feathers fall on them and there’re still here.”

“Really? Who Julie who. Name one!” Emma was desperate to know.
Julie just bit her lip. “I’ll make us a fresh cup of tea.”

An hour earlier, Emma had been out doing her Saturday morning grocery shopping when as she pushed her cart towards the car, out of the corner of her eye she saw a black feather land on her shoulder. Screaming, she jumped away from the cart and frantically brushed the feather off.

Emma then ran her hands over her face, down her arms, body and legs. The same type of hysterical response one does when walking into a spider web.

But this was no outburst of someone with an arachnid phobia, as far as Emma was concerned the feather had just given her a twenty-four-hour notice period to put her affairs in order before being visiting by the Mortician’s Raven, an avian Grim Reaper, and taken off to who knows where.

The incident with the feather was too much for her to bear she needed to hear from her friend that the story was just that, a story. That a giant big black bird wasn’t going to come and whisk her away to wherever. She abandoned her shopping cart and fumbled for her cell phone.

Julie was having a duvet Saturday morning, when she answered her phone to a hysterical Emma Reed. Julie thought at first that her friend may have been mugged, then when she got out of her that a black feather had just landed on her shoulder. What else could she do? So reluctantly she asked Emma over.

Julie sat in her armchair wearing her favourite ‘Duvet Day’ Winnie the Pooh pyjamas. “Why don’t you just chill out here with me today? I can order in pizza, chocolate chip ice cream and diet coke for later. What do you say?”

Was she being ridiculous, she was thirty-three-years-old and still believing in stories that adults told kids at Halloween. She finished her tea and then nodded.
“Good!” said Julie jumping off the chair. “Now, which set of PJ’s would you like. ‘Frozen’ or ‘Finding Nemo’?”

Julie handed over the ‘Finding Nemo’ pyjamas and suggested that Emma took a long hot bath. Then they would sit snuggled up on the sofa watching ‘Netflix’ movies.

Emma stood in front of the bathroom mirror watching her reflection mist up from the running hot water behind her. It was good to be with Julie, but Emma was of the opinion that her friend was not being truthful with her about something. Then she had a wave of, ‘don’t be ridiculous, how can a feather harm anyone’.

Slowly, Emma took off her t-shirt and that was when she saw the black mark on her shoulder.

The screams brought Julie running to the bathroom, “What’s happened? Are you alright?”
Emma was back to being hysterical again, “LOOK!” she cried out to Julie.

Emma showed her a black sooty mark, the pattern of a feather on her shoulder. Julie looked at the black feather shape and touched it with her finger, she smudged the black feather and held up her sooty index finger. “Look Em, It’s just a dirty mark. See it comes off!”

“But…but how did it get there? And why does it look like a feather. I tell you I’m cursed!”

Emma fell on to Julie’s shoulder and wept. “Ssshhh! It’s OK. Look you’re tired why don’t you lie down in the spare bedroom, have a couple of hours sleep.” While she talked, Julie proceeded to wipe the black mark away from Emma’s shoulder with a towel.

Emma forewent her bath and changed into her cheerful pyjamas, although it was going to take more than an animated clown fish to bring her out of her depression. She opened the bathroom door and Julie watched Emma walk head down into the spare bedroom. As she closed the door, she thought she heard Emma cough except it sounded more like a ‘caw’.

Three hours had passed, when Julie felt a cold breeze around her bare legs. She got up to see if there were any windows open. She checked around the apartment, all the windows were shut. The breeze was coming from beneath the closed door of Emma’s bedroom.

Maybe she got up to get some fresh air, Julie thought as she knocked on the door of the spare bedroom. “Hi, you OK in there?” she asked.

There was no answer, the breeze was starting to chill her feet. “Em, can I come in to close the window. My tootsies are getting cold.” Still no answer.

Julie gently turned the handle.

She stood in the doorway of the spare bedroom looking at the curtains that were being whipped around by the wind coming through the open window. On seeing Julie, a large black raven took off from the bottom of the bed and flew out of the open window.

All that was left of Emma Reed was a scattering of black feathers in the bed she previously occupied. Julie Hamilton sighed, she liked Emma but knew the same fate beheld her like it did for Julies husband, Mike, when he too was touched by a black feather, some years ago, while they were both walking in the park.

Minding not to tread on any of the black feathers that were blowing off the bed, Julie shut the window then she went to fetch her vacuum cleaner.

After the last feather was safely sucked away, she returned to the window. The Mortician’s Raven sat on the roof across from her apartment. She watched as a single black feather from its wing drifted down to the crowd before.

Then there was a scream, and although Julie couldn’t hear what was said, she knew the next line the recipient of the feather would utter would be,

“It’s just a story? Right!”

 

 



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