Picking up the football which Micheal had kicked across the road, I looked up and saw a huge black bird in an nearby tree. I wasn’t sure what the bird was so I thought about the arrow diagram poster at school. Black and yellow and smallish; blackbird. All black with a grey beak; rook. Sooty black and cries loudly; crow.
‘It’s a raven that is,’ Michael said over my shoulder.
I jumped because I didn’t know he was there. I turned and pulled a face at him.
‘How do you know?’ I pouted.
‘Because I’ve seen them at the Tower of London,’ he replied.
I stuck my tongue out at him. He didn’t seem to notice and carried on talking.
‘They say if all the ravens leave the tower then England falls.’
‘What does this mean?’ I asked.
‘Don’t know,’ Michael shrugged.
We both watched the raven then with a large caw sound, it flapped its large wings and took off.
‘My granny says ravens are the messengers of witches,’ Michael added.
‘Messengers of witches?’ I repeated to myself.
He looked at me as if he knew I didn’t believe what his granny said.
‘It’s true,’ he snapped, ‘a witch tells a raven to bring her ingredients for potions and to communicate with other witches.’
‘I thought they had cats,’ I answered slowly.
‘They do, but ravens are better. They are ancient and know old magic,’ Micheal added.
I wanted to ask him if he really believed in all of this. We were too old for fairy tales but still young enough to think that supernatural people were real.
‘Maybe he’s come to take you away,’ Michael spoke in a ghoulish voice.
I shivered. hating how he stretchered the words and made his voice drip with creepiness.
‘Ravens can’t kidnap people!’ I snapped.
‘No, but they can find people who have the potential to become witches and led the head witch to them.’ Michael explained.
I pushed the ball into his chest, shoving him backwards. He was bigger and older then me but he wasn’t expecting it so stumbled back.
‘That’s so not true! A bird is just a bird And there are no witches!’ I shouted and stormed off.
I ran home which was only a few streets away. I didn’t know why I suddenly felt upset about what he had said until I saw the raven again. He was sitting on the left gate post of my house fence.
‘Hi,’ I said shyly.
He was a huge bird up close and his beak looked sharp. He put his head to one side, cawed more softly then before and jumped into my front garden. I opened the gate and watched him hopping up the path to the front door.
And that was the day my life changed…
(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/07/13/thursday-photo-prompt-messenger-writephoto/ with thanks.)