Crow Song #FirstLineFriday

bird-414104_1920

It sounded like birds were being murdered, the noise of their cries was that loud. I opened the blinds on the kitchen window which looked out onto the back garden. There on the lawn were four large crows fighting each other.

I had no idea what to make of it, other then they were fighting over food. It was too late in autumn for them to be mating. I knew nothing of birds though, nor put any food out for them. I was aware my neighbours did though, so perhaps that’s why they were attracted to my garden?

A half reminded, old poem came into my mind; one for sorrow, two for mirth or joy, three for a boy and four for a girl. Wasn’t that how it went? I couldn’t remember, it was something grandma sung. It didn’t matter.

I didn’t like the birds fighting out there and making all that noise. I went to the back door, calling my cat as I did so. He was old and lazy now but the sight of him might spook the birds into flight. I unlocked and opened the door, the cat came slowly towards me.

We stepped out almost together and the birds saw us both. Their horrible calling screeched upwards as if they were unhappy to be disturbed from their argument. One of them took flight, large black wings beating and the others quickly followed.

‘Make sure they don’t come back,’ I told the cat, ‘damn birds.’

I hobbled back inside, my knees aching and my chest heaving. It had been worth the pain to stop that racket. I settled into my arm chair, relaxing into the peace. I shut my eyes and began to drift off, exhausted all ready.

A tap tap on the window, stirred me. I didn’t want to awake but it could be important. The nurse coming to check up on me or my daughter visiting. I opened my eyes, moved my almost ninety year old body and looked towards the front window where the tapping sound was continuing.

A large crow was sat on the window sill outside, tapping it’s sharp beck against the glass.

 

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/first-line-friday-october-11th-2018/ with thanks).

Advertisements

Kitty

british-shorthair-3113513_1920

Disturb my nap time will you? No, I don’t want to be petted right now. See these claws? They’re about to go into you! Then we’ll see how you like it!

Silence

refrigerator-2520412_1920

Everything was too loud and bright; birds singing in the trees, dawn peering around the curtains. A cat meowing to be let in – her cat? Then someone’s whistling and echoing footsteps. A car engine started as she reached over and turned on the lamp which triggered an explosion in her head that sent her back down to the pillow. Groaning, she tried to get up but knew she wasn’t going to make it. She reached for some water and pills, taking them quickly. Then searched for her ear defends and a blind fold.

Silence at last.

 

(Inspired from; https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/27/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2018-rules/ with thanks).

Getting Ready

blur-1867322_1920

It was getting to the end of the year again and the orders were mounting up. Kate owed a small online pampering productions business. It was her most busiest time for making things and it also meant she had no time for herself. The small house smelt like an any famous bath and beauty shop, the air heavy with essential oils, soaps and baking powers.

Even though it was cold, she sometimes had to leave the kitchen and dinning room windows open to get rid of the overpowering smell. Kate had grown use to it over the years she had been making things, but it did get too much. She also had to keep the cat shut up in the living room or her bedroom. The cat was old and had spend most of her life inside, so she didn’t mind.

Every day it felt the same; get up check the new incoming orders, note them down on her list. Then carry on with making orders. The ones she finished, got packed up and ready for posting. Once a week, on Monday, she checked stock and ordered more as well as her bank account to make sure payments were correct. Sometimes, she would work late into the night or get up early to make sure a product was made in good time or an order ready to post the next day.

It was hard and sometimes she wondered why she was doing this but then she would think back. All the jobs she had done after uni had been dull and not tested her enough. Plus, she had hated working under other people and the struggle to the top always felt out of reach. So, one day she had packed it all in and decided to be self-employed and her own boss.

The going had been tough and a few times she had given up but then things had slowly turned around and every year she had gone from strength to strength. Now, she couldn’t be happier.

Ebb #writephoto

When the tide went out it left the small beach cove layered in seaweed which made it a dangerous place to go for an walk. It was my favorite spotted though because it was empty of people and great for finding items to make my crafts with.

I was walking along the edge, putting interesting bits of wood, shells and other items in my basket. The sea, though distance was still loud as the autumn wind was strong and a drizzle was falling. Letting my raincoat hood fall back, I heard the loud cries of a cat.

Frowning, I followed the sound and a few meters down on the beach I saw a movement of black and heard a strangled cry. Placing down my basket, I carefully walked over the seaweed and slippy rocks. Twice, I felt like I was going to slip but I was able to keep my balance.

From out of a large pile of seaweed rose a small, skinny black cat. He’s huge green eyes focused on me and he’s meows were so pleading it was heartbreaking. I slowly crept closer, but the cat didn’t try to run away, in fact he seemed to be awaiting me. Bit unusual for a cat!

‘Okay, kitty. I’m only here to help you,’ I said gently.

I began taking the long strips of wet seaweed off the cat’s back, thinking at any moment he would do a runner. My fingers touched the cat’s fur and I realised he was soaked through. He meowed at me and kept trying to pulled himself free.

‘How long have been here, cat? Did you decided to take a walk and fell into this seaweed?’ I asked.

He meowed at me some more. I took the last slimy piece off his back then moved on to his legs. Somehow, he’d really got himself wrapped up.  As I untangled a third leg the cat struggled out and shook himself.

‘You’re free now,’ I said with a smile.

The black cat pressed up against me, meowing more softer this time. I stroked his wet head and back. He was so skinny! His tail swayed around, sometimes hitting my leg, I ignored that as I glanced around.

‘Will you let me carry you?’ I asked, ‘just in case you get stuck again?’

Carefully, I picked him up and let him climb up to my shoulder. He pressed his head to my ear and give a low purr. I turned and began making my way back, slowly. It was hard going with just one arm for balance and the sight of a cat blocking my view but we made it back. Just in time for it to start raining.

I grabbed my basket and hurried home. The cat not seeming to mind as he bounced on my shoulder. Entering the  seaside village, I made straight for my shop front then around to the back door which was my front door to my apartment above.  When we got in and up the narrow stairs, I set the cat down then my basket. Taking off my shoes, coat and jumper, I left everything at the front door and went to get a towel.

I dried myself off then the cat. He wasn’t wearing a collar but he was too friendly not to be someone’s pet. Though, I’d not seen a black cat around here, since my own; Web who’d died two years ago. Luckily, I had kept her stuff and I give the black cat a bowl of water and a handful of cat treats that I’d not thrown away yet.

In the coming months, I tried hard to find the cat’s owner, but no one ever came forward to claim him. He made himself at home and was loved by everyone who came into the shop. People also said how fitting it was for a black cat to live in a witch’s shop. I had to agree and some days, I did wonder if he had actually come to me. A witch wasn’t a witch without her black cat familiar!

Oh, I called him Ebb by the way. That seemed kind of fitting.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/10/26/thursday-photo-prompt-ebb-writephoto with thanks).

What Wasn’t There

pexels-photo-207574.jpeg

Introduction

My name is Bobby Wallbank. I’m a security guard for a company that buys up old buildings and land to do them up into housing, offices and shops. I’m use to the strange goings on in the night. All my life I’ve been able to ‘see’ and ‘sense’ the supernatural. The gift has always run in my family and many have made good use of it. My gran was a witch, my mother a healer, a second cousin a medium. I decided I needed normality, but sometimes I can’t ignore the gift. 

I keep a diary each year of the strange things I’ve seen/sensed either on CCTV cameras or my own eyes. I like to tab favourite pages; the supernatural happens I like the most and were rare. 

Friday 27th January 2017. 2:37 am.

A shopping trolley which had been laying on it side in the back car park for five hours started appearing and disappearing about four times before totally vanishing. The camera froze soon after. Went out to check and there was no sign of the trolley. Camera started working again soon after. 

Wednesday 1st March 2017. 3:56 am.

Saw a man dressed in a suit hurrying down the street. He suddenly disappeared beside a wall. Couldn’t find no trace of him on any of the cameras. Rewinding the footage, couldn’t see the man again. I know he was there though. He had been wearing a strange hat and carrying a briefcase. 

Thursday 20th April 2017, 1:09 am. 

For half an hour a cat was seemingly fighting with something invisible. Had complete camera coverage. The cat was acting aggressive and defensive, it didn’t seem to be playing. Cat ran off. Went to inspect and had strange creepy feeling of being watched. Felt something breathing on me. Walked around to shake it off before returning to office. Was on edge for the rest of the shift.

Monday 15th  May 2017, 4:46 am. 

Was walking around when heard moaning from a locked room. Got in and saw nothing. On leaving the room, felt a coldness and as if fingers were pressing against my back. Turning, saw the shape of something small. I called out hello? and a girl’s voice answered back. Who are you? I asked. Mummy, the voice replied. I asked more questions, but got nothing else. I left the door opened and told the child she was free to go.   

Friday 19th May 2017, 3:59 am. 

Was walking in the area I had heard the girl on Monday. I checked the room and it had been left unlocked. Heard crying, but when I called out, got no answer. Walked away and the crying carried on. During my second walk around, I went into the room again and put a small teddy bear on the floor. The crying stopped. I got the sense that girl is trapped there. I’m not sure if she was murdered or died from something else. Tried talking again, but didn’t hear anything else. 

Saturday 3rd June 2017, 2:27 am. 

Too much is happening and it’s making me regret agreeing to cover this shift. The other security person up and left, not sure why but maybe he couldn’t hack the supernatural stuff that’s happening. It looks like a group broke in last weekend and did some kind of thing that called a demon to the building. There’s been a lot of loud bangs and  flashes of light. Every time I walk around, I get this sense of evil and I want to leave. I can’t though. Maybe I can find someone to remove this demon. I heard more crying and screams too and there has been so many shadow things. 

I heard whispering voices asking for help and telling me to beware. I got the idea the good supernatural were trying to protect me but this evil is too powerful. On my break at Midnight, I felt this burning on my shoulder and when I looked I had three long red scratches down my shoulder. I washed them in water and that helped, but I can still feel them. 

Saturday 3rd June 2017, 6:00 am.

Getting ready to leave and everything is quiet here. The scratches from a few hours ago have faded and I’ve not left the office since. The CCTV have been playing up though. Some cameras blacking out and losing connection, others becoming static. The noises too have kept up. I’m glad to be getting out of here.

Monday 5th June 2017, 10: 45 pm.

Brought a friend tonight to help get rid of the demon and release some of the ghosts. What she did seems to have worked and the place is settled once more. Won’t really know for a while though. Sometimes these demons like to pop up again. I feel better too. It was attaching itself to me, I could feel it. I’ve been having weird dreams, about a dark red and black creature chasing me. I don’t remember seeing the demon fully. She give me some stuff to bless myself and the house with. Maybe I might use some in the office too. 

Friday 9th June 2017, 3:11 am.

Everything is quiet here still. There’s been no supernatural happenings and I’m feeling fine. A new woman has been hired for the weekends and to cover me, she seems nice. I’ve been teaching the ropes all shift and now she’s gone for her first walk around alone. 

Monday 19th June 2017, 11:20 pm.

She gone missing, the new woman. Yesterday she clocked in and didn’t clock out. An easy mistake to make when you are tried but she never returned home. Her family have reported her missing and lots of searching has been happening. I got asked to look through hours of footage to find out what happened to her. Maybe she did leave and went missing off site? I couldn’t find the truth though. 

No CCTV camera has her last moments. I got one of her entering the corridor where the I’ve heard the girl crying and that’s it no more. A connect error message appears on all screens in that area. So she goes in but never comes out again. 

I’ve done one walk inside now and I’ve come across nothing but the traces of all the people who’ve been through today. I even asked the ghosts to help, but nothing has come of it. I hope it’s just a simple thing that she got lost and fell or she decided she’d had enough and ran away.

A part of me knows that’s not true though. She’d been taken by that demon! 

Thursday 22nd June 2017, Midnight. 

She is still missing and everyone is restless. I have seen supernatural things in the buildings and my home. Voices calling me, telling me where to go and that I must help them. I thought she had come to me at one point but she wasn’t there long. Lights have been flicking on and off, strange lights have been coming and going, sometimes close enough for me to feel how ice cold they are. Tools and other things have been moved around, stones thrown at me and others.

I know what I must do. I came here tonight to set things right. I know what’s at risk. I’m not trying to get her back either, she’s already gone. But I got to stop the demon before he takes anyone else. I’m prepared and ready to go.

I’m leaving my diary here just in case I don’t come back.  

Zoanthropy #atozchallenge

pexels-photo-62640

Zoanthropy; a form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal. 

Dr Amy Percy stirred in bed and slowly came awake. There was a familiar ringing in her ears. Rolling over, she looked at the alarm clock and saw it was a two thirty eight AM. Wondering who was phoning her at this time, she reached a hand out and picked up her mobile.

Peering at the screen in the darkness, she saw it wasn’t on. Tutting, she placed it back and grabbed her work’s mobile. The screen was lit up with an incoming call from a patient; Tim Banks.

Her finger hoovered between the green answer button and the red end call. She hit answer and pressed the phone to her ear.

‘Doctor?’ a low desperate voice asked.

‘Yes?’ she answered.

Amy rolled onto her back and fixed the sheets, so she was more comfy.

‘It’s Mr. Banks. It happened again! I’ve just woken up and there’s a dead bird on my bed. My window is wide open too….’

‘What kind of bird?’ Amy asked sleepily.

‘It’s like…erm….a blackbird? Yeah. It’s neck is broken. There’s feathers everywhere! What should I do, Doctor?’ Tim demanded.

‘Throw it out in the garden. Vac up the feathers then go back to bed, Mr. Banks,’ Amy instructed.

‘I need to see you!’

‘It’s the middle of the night….phone my office and make an appointment.’

Amy ended the call and placed the phone back on her bedside table. Settling down again, she prayed that she was fully booked tomorrow so she wouldn’t have to see Tim Banks.

God didn’t answer her prayer. Walking into her office and across the small waiting room, she saw Tim wanting for her. He was wringing his hands together and was sat far away from her actual first patient of the day; Camilla Brown.

Amy went up to the receptionist and waited till the older woman, Mrs June Meakings, who was sat behind a long desk looked up from the computer screen.

‘I’ve squeezed Mr Banks in first,’ June whispered, ‘I hope you don’t mind? He seems in a such a state. He said he’d been phoning here since six.’

Amy sighed. She could feel a headache coming on all ready.

‘I have his file,’ June added.

She selected a pale yellow folder from the top of the pile and handed it to Amy.

‘I’ll take Mrs. Brown’s too. Does she mind waiting?’ Amy asked with a quick glance over her shoulder.

‘No,’ June replied.

The phone started ringing, cutting through they conversation. They nodded at each other and Amy walked into her room.

She took a few minutes to set things up and flip through Mr Bank’s file. Then she picked up her phone and asked June to send him in.

Without knocking, Tim entered and went straight to the red long, low backed sofa. He sank down then began pouring his heart out to the doctor.

‘I can’t take it any more! I’m not myself! I worry every day and night. What if I change in front of people? What if someone sees me and recognises me? What if this doesn’t go away? I can’t live like this, but I don’t want to go to the insane asylum!’

‘Who said anything about an asylum, Mr Banks?’ Amy asked, looking over at him.

She had been taking some brief notes and her pen was paused in the middle of a line.

‘Well…that’s what happens to mad people, isn’t? You lock them all away!’ Tim explained, flapping his arms about.

‘Maybe in the past. Today it’s different…’

‘Drugs? I’ve tried everything! Nothing works. Maybe it’s supernatural. Like werewolves. I’m a werecat!’ Tim declared.

‘Now, Mr Banks!’ Amy snapped, ‘there’s nothing supernatural about your condition. Were-creatures don’t exist. Just like vampires and ghosts, it’s all fiction. People like to attribute their mental conditions to the supernatural because they find it easier to understand and blame. We’ve been through this before.’

‘I know Doctor! But do you really know that? What if the supernatural is real and we are in denial? What if you have powers?’ Tim asked.

Amy stared down her nose at him, ‘Mr Banks, I can assure you I don’t have any powers. Now. Let’s go over what’s happened since last time I saw you, five days ago. How many times do you think you’ve….changed?’

Tim thought, his eyes studying the ceiling before he answered with, ‘about three times, maybe more.’

Amy wrote that down in her notes then asked another question, ‘What have been the rough times of these changes happening?’

Once again, Tim give it some thought before answering, ‘Well, it’s been the same as normal. Mostly at night. I always go to bed at ten on on the dot, as you know. So, around midnight maybe? Or in the early hours? Though I think there’s been two in the afternoon for sure now.’

‘Oh, really?’

‘Yes. Doctor. I had a nap you see. I’ve had a bad cold and with not really sleeping at night, I decided to have a doze in my back garden. The first time I awoke and was soaked wet through! It was like…pond water and I smelt of fish. It didn’t rained at all and it was blazing sunlight.’

Amy pressed her lips together, but didn’t say anything. Tim went on.

‘When I got changed, I peered over the fences of the nearest houses and the one right on the end has a large pond with fish in it! Well, I broken in and looked around the garden. I found a dead fish beside the pond and the stones were all wet.’

‘Another animal could have done that,’ Amy mused.

‘The next day I had my second nap,’ Tim continued, he’d not heard her, ‘and when I woke, I was soaked again and there was like slime all over my hands. The fish smell was worse too. I went back to the pond and it was empty of fish! I think I’ve eaten them all!’

Tim dropped his head and pressed his hands to his face. His shoulders were shaking. He took in a few deep breaths and seemed to compose himself again.

Amy pulled a face and scribbled some more notes down. This was a complicated case and she had been out of options for awhile now. She had contacted other doctors in and out of the field, but they had been stumped too. A man who fully believed he turned into a cat wasn’t something that could be easily fixed.

When You Are Alone At Home

pexels-photo-300001.jpeg

I hated being all by myself at home. It was too quiet and there never seemed to be anything to do. Most people would like that, I guess. They’d see it as a chance to do those odd jobs or hobbies or watch TV which they couldn’t do when parents and kids were around. Yes, I could do all that, but I didn’t feel in the mood for any of it.

Maybe it was the lack of motivation? The pressure that I must do something! I had the space, the time, the chances, so yes, I must do some kind of activity which I couldn’t do other wise.

Nothing was coming to my mind though. I listened to the ticking of the kitchen clock, the dripping of the rain outside and the cat purring around my legs. I put the TV on, but only for background noise and just to hear voices so I wouldn’t be lonely.

I wondered if this was how it was when you got old and housebound. Would I just watch TV all day and doze? Would I reflect on my past and wonder what the rest of my future would be like?

I hope I’d lived a good past.

The cat jumped up and snuggled into my lap. We’re not friends, but with my parents gone for a few days, she was attention seeking. I petted her and listened to her purring more loudly.

I’ve have to get a cat when I was old and stuck inside. It would have to be a nice cat though. One who’d sit in my lap all the time and not be so wild. An indoor cat. Maybe, one of those with a really long coat and bright blue eyes. I hope I’ll be able to brush it though….

I channel flicked, but didn’t find anything worth watching. A nagging voice in my head told me to do something. ANYTHING!

Picking the cat up, I placed her on the floor. Disgruntled, she looked at me then trotted off. I went into the kitchen, though I was hungry and began looking around. Finally, I decided to do some baking.

I wasn’t that good to be honest, but at least it would kill time until the evening. Then there’d be soaps on and quiz shows and murder mystery dramas. I could get snacks and chill out, maybe the cat would come to me again?

I pulled one of my favourite cooking books off the shelf and flipped through it. What could I make? Something simple, easy and tasty. Cake? Cupcakes? Yes, that would do…chocolate cupcakes!

I set to work and found my mind better now it had something to focus on.

Cat Life

Black and White Cat in a Tree

In the mornings, he would sit in the tree and watch the village. At lunchtime he would come down, visit three houses for lunch then curl up somewhere warm and quiet for the afternoon. In the evenings, he strolled around till late then mewed at doors till someone let him in.

 

(Story inspired from: https://first50.wordpress.com)

 

 

The Visitors

755px-old_french_fairy_tales_0047

The High Priestess had heard the crying at the temple door for some time now. She had been hoping that one of The Sisters Of Syreth,  her followers, servants or anybody else taking shelter in the temple tonight would have opened the door by now. Wondering why that was, the High Priestess swished down a connecting hallway in her large and heavy blue dress.

Going through a small door, she entered and passed through the huge nave down a side corridor. The air was heavily scented with hot wax, incense and winter flowers from the mountain sides. Flickering candle light glowed from clustered candle groups, but it was not enough to keep the shadows away. A handful of people were sitting in the large, cold wooden pews. Most were silent in prayer or sleep, but every now and then sobbing, moans and whispered voices could be heard.

The High Priestess stuck to the shadows and hurried past. It was late in the night and she had all ready given a long service this evening then spent time with a number of different people. She was tried and had been trying to fall asleep, but the crying had disturbed her.

Going through the large doors into the small welcoming area, she saw the door opposite which led to the porch was all ready open. Voices and light were drifting from the area. Not bothering to be quiet she walked on and came to a stop behind a small group of people. There were five of them; two Sisters of Syreth in there pale blue robes, a male servant and a tall man dressed in a travelling cloak.

‘I am telling you, do not let them in!’ the man was saying.

‘Everybody is welcome in this temple of Syreth. She is the Goddess of protection and guardians. It is our duty to offer whatever we can to anybody who comes to our door,’ the High Priestess broke in.

The two Sisters turned and did little bows. The male servant, who was holding a lantern bowed too, but his was a lot lower. The traveler did not move and the High Priestess saw the tiredness and worry on his face. But he was also trying to mask his fear. Behind them all and coming from the other side of the temple’s double front doors the loud crying continued.

‘What is it? Who is crying out there?’ the High Priestess demanded to know.

There was a pause then the traveler spoke out, ‘creatures. I saw them on my way here and I think they followed me. You must not let them in for surely they are demons.’

‘What do they look like?’ The High Priestess asked.

‘There is two of them,’ the traveler replied, ‘one small, the other tall. They look like ghosts to me. I heard them whispering and calling out to me. But I did not stop. I rushed here and closed the door upon them and since then they have been crying,’ the traveler explained.

The High Priestess fell into thought.

‘We want to open the door to see for ourselves,’ one of the Sisters spoke.

‘Perhaps in the darkness the gentleman was mistaken,’ the second Sister finished.

‘I am not blind! I know what I saw!’ the traveler snapped.

‘Of course,’ the High Priestess murmured, ‘please see to his needs,’ she said to the servant.

The servant give a nod and led the man away. The traveler began to mutter under his breath, but he followed the servant and the steady lantern light.

The High Priestess went to the door and opened it. She peered out then stepped aside.

A strong winter wind blew harsh snowflakes into the temple and set the candles flicking violently. Coldness seeped in and snatched what little warmth there was within the stone walls away. The sound of the river gargling and the rattling of bare tree branches echoed through the temple.

The crying stopped. A large white and light brown cat padded inside followed by a pure white young female deer. Snow dusted their coats, but they seemed unharmed.

‘Do you seek shelter here?’ asked the High Priestess.

‘Yes,’ the cat spoke in a clear voice that was not male or female.

The two Sisters gasped and backed away. They reached for each other, holding hands tightly. Fear passed across their faces, but they did not run away.

The High Priestess shut the door. Snowflakes were melting in her long loose blonde hair and the wind was tugging at the edges of her dress like a naughty child.

‘You are both welcome here,’ the High Priestess continued.

‘Thank you,’ the cat replied.

‘What are your names and how can we help you?’

‘I am known as Horven, the druid,’ the cat spoke, ‘and she is the Princess Graceuvial.’

The white deer nodded and seemed to give a little bow with her long neck.

‘A Princess?’ The High Priestess breathed.

‘We have become lost in the snowstorm,’ Horven added.

‘Yes. It is quite a bad one,’ the High Priestess responded, ‘please let me take you to some warm rooms. There you can rest and I shall see to it you have everything you need.

‘Thank you,’ the cat said.

The High Priestess held out her hand then led the way into the Temple.

 

(https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/microfiction-challenge-27-rescue/)