The Queue #FridayFictioneers

The rain dripped of trees and umbrellas, splashing into puddles as people queued. There was a chatter of voices, rustling from clothes, cars driving passed and an angry raven squawking close by.

I waked by and wondered why there was a queue. I was too shy to ask so kept on walking. The line was long but when I got the front, I still couldn’t see what they were waiting for.

I hoped it was nothing important. Had I missed some voting day or celebrate visit or grand opening day?

No….They were queuing to get Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks!

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/09/25/27-september-2019-2/ with thanks).

No Head #TwitteringTales

fine-art-4260034_1280

She was totally normal expect she had no head. No one knew why this was but she was able to live.

A raven, always on shoulder, spoke for her. He’s words poetic and full of riddles.

She sold flowers, the raven told fortunes. Together they were a spectacle to behold.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2019/06/11/twittering-tales-140-11-june-2019/ with thanks).

Messenger #writephoto

corvid in flight - Sue Vincent

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.)

Little Black Book (Part 4)

Book, Open, Pages, Literature, Textbook, School

Kimmy’s breath caught in her throat. It’s not really me, she thought. Lifting the notebook up, she inspected the drawing, her heart pounding loudly. However, there was no deigning her single plaited hair, large headphones and button nose. There was also that look of concentration on her face which she really hated because it made her look like she was pulling a funny face.

Biting her lip, she turned the page back as her IPod decided to play a Bullet For My Valentine song. There she was again! This time though her expression was distant and thoughtful as she was looking far too the right. The page slipped from her sweating fingers and her eyes unfocused for a few seconds. Lowering the notebook, she took a deep breath and turned to the window. The train was pulling into a station.

There was a movement of people and faint voices. She kept her head turned, ignoring everyone. A blast of cold air tickled her then rolled around her legs before the doors shut once more. The train shuttled off, the PA pinging on to announce the destination and stations on the way. The window view changed to outer edge city, with rows of houses, towers of apartments and storage buildings framed by a darkening sky.

Kimmy felt a tap on her shoulder.

She turned. There was a good looking man about her age standing there. He had longish black hair falling over his clean shaven face, brown eyes and a slightly desperate expression. A large pair of padded headphones was wrapped around his neck. He was wearing a long black leather jacket, heavy metal band t-shirt, black jeans with looping, dangling chains and large multi bucked boots.

Kimmy slipped one headphone off her ear.

‘I’m sorry, but there’s nowhere else to sit,’ he said.

She glanced at her backpack on the chair next to her then back to him.

‘I’ll put in the luggage rack for you,’ he added.

Nodding, Kimmy put the notebook between her legs and passed over the bag. He took it off her and slotted on the bottom shelf. He put his own next to it then sat down as she shuffled over.

‘Thanks.’

‘It’s fine,’ Kimmy muttered to her knees.

She slipped back her headphone, kept her eyes down for a few moments then picked up the notebook again. Turning away as much as she comfortably could, she opened the pages randomly. A raven glared up at her with a single beady eye. The feathers were wonderfully drawn and coloured in deep black. A string of red hung from a sharp looking beck and there was an eyeball at the raven’s clawed feet.

Over the page, another raven with its beck open in a scream sat on a skull who’s empty eye sockets stared haunting up at her.

Kimmy felt the man shifting. The back of her neck prickled as it seemed he was watching her. She glanced. He was. She stole a few more peeks and saw the look of puzzlement on his face. He also appeared to be leaning further over as if trying to see the notebook better. Kimmy thought about closing it or turning more away, but it was the growing look of recognition on his face that kept her frozen.

Finally, she slipped her headphones off and turned to him. Shock spread across his face then vanished as he turned away. He took off his own headphones then turned back to her. Kimmy closed the notebook.

‘I’m sorry. It’s just that…I think that’s mine…’ he trailed off.

 

To Be Continued…

Bird

Writing Prompt: What lies beyond the fog?

Walking out of the thick grey fog, Ivo saw the tower’s blurred point ahead. A sense of relief washed over him and he sighed deeply into the full face gas mask. Heavily trudging over soft ground, which had once been green with grass, he heard the sharp calling of a large bird. He slowed his steps and slipped his gloved hand inside the right side pocket of his floor sweeping leather coat.

Glancing carefully about and wishing the fog wasn’t so thick, he looked out for the bird. He withdrew the small camera and brought it to chest height. Trying not to look down, Ivo let his fingers fumble over the rough surface and take place over the shutter button. Growing more determined and tense he pressed forward.

A flicker of black caused his rubber booted feet to pause. Ivo tried to slow his breathing, which had become loud in his ears and licked his dry cracked lips. He inched forward, the knowledge that this could mean so much for his Faction pressed down on his shoulders. He felt a twinge in his lower back and wondered about slipping his rucksack off. Thoughts that the bird could get scared or someone could dart out of the fog and take it, made him change his mind.

He took another few steps forward and saw what he had always longed to see; an alive and normal looking black bird. Ivo’s fingers clicked the camera’s button and without looking down, he brought the device up to him and looked at the cracked screen. The image of the bird was there. Quickly, he took another few photos and watched as each time the black bird, which was perched on a rusting wheeled trolley, appeared on the screen.

‘It’s unbelievable,’ he uttered as he marvelled over it.

The bird stretched its wings as if to take off and Ivo’s breathe caught in his throat. For a moment the idea of trying to capture the bird screamed in his mind, but he didn’t move. He bite his tongue and tasted the tang of blood. Swallowing, he watched the bird settle back down and began preening the jet black wing feathers. Excited at such natural behaviour, Ivo took two more photos. Looking at the screen, he decided that the bird was probably a raven as it looked very similar to the Encyclopaedia images he had long pondered over.

With its wings clean, the raven ruffled them and did a little jump up. Flapping loudly, it took off and vanished into the fog. Ivo stumbled after it, desperately clicking the camera’s button, but only catching the closing in fog and the tower point in the distant. Stilling his finger, he looked around whilst turning in a circle, but could see anything else. At least he had finally got some prove to show to the others.

If the raven could survive out here, Ivo thought as he looked back through the photos, then there must be clean oxygen back in the air. Feeling happier, he pocketed the camera and walked on towards the tower. The twisting metal frame rose up before him and Ivo that he could make out the reddish, orange colour of the structure. The ground reminded the same beneath his feet, despite the whispered warnings the old surveyor had given Ivo before he had set off on this mission.

Slowly, his steps has he got closer to the tower, he pulled out his camera and took a few photos. There was a barricade between himself and the tower, made by a tall fence and large square shaped rocks. Taking a few deep breaths and feeling the heaviness of the gas mask on his face, Ivo stepped forward and touched the closest rock. He couldn’t feel anything because of the gloves, but as he removed his fingers he stopped tiny white flecks coming away from the rock.

He sat down and starred right up to the top of the tower. It’s hideous, he thought, probably one of the most hideous things I’ve seen from The Before. He recalled his walk though Notre-Dame yesterday and how he had been amazed by the still intact structure. The Before Peoples had tried hard to protect their monuments and scared places, he mused. He took a photo, liking the way the tower loomed out of the fog. A beeping drew his attention and he pulled out a timing device. His mission was over. Standing and putting everything into his pocket, he headed back for home before his air ran out.