Marlyn has been my long time like-minded-fiend in the quest for expression of creativity and imagination. A brilliant mind and a brilliant artist, she gave me the eloquent and deviant theme, the death of a raven, for day twelve.
Death of a raven. J R Manawa.
In the sky above her the ravens gathered. Neither truly scavengers nor birds of prey, they watched and waited. They cawed in glee as the girl with the candy pink hair, a little dot in the snow, ran from the monster. Fear smells good to a raven. Opportunists at heart, they can sense when food is coming and when the pickings are easy for the taking. They circled and swarmed deliriously, fighting amongst themselves as they waited for the monster to make his move.
The monster on the hill watched his daughter run. He stood and contemplated for a long moment. She was cornered and he knew there was no way for her to escape his domain. The snow, the ruins, and the ravens were all of his creation – a world within a house. So he watched and waited to see what his prey would do.
On the ground the girl ran wildly, slipping and catching her feet on the rocks beneath the snow, but she pushed on. She tumbled, fell, and got up again. Still she didn’t look back. Her only chance was to keep going.
In the sky above the ravens squawked in anger as the snow came down.
Snowflakes pelted down, blinding her mercilessly, and she ran with one arm up to shield her vision. Her feet were so numb now that she no longer had any feeling. This caused her to fumble and lose her footing, knees giving way beneath her. By the time she reached the foot of the hill the dirty grey clouds of snowfall had grown so thick they obscured the light of the moon completely, and she ran on in darkness, seeing only a world half white and half grey.
It didn’t make sense. How had she come so far into the monster’s domain?
The ravens fell upon her in their frenzy, nipping her arms and her ears as she protected her face. They pulled her hair and tore at her clothes, shrouding her in a heavy garment of black.
Still she ran. When she couldn’t run and couldn’t see any more, she got down on her knees and crawled. The ravens pecked at her face, attacking again and again, until finally she curled up in a ball on the ice. Around her the flurry of white snow and black wings closed in.
A hand reached down and took her by the shoulder.
Deep in her heart, the will to fight shocked her back into life. She lashed out hard and sudden with the back of her fist, colliding with a warm raven and then cold flesh. The bird went crashing toward the ground, but the hand came down again to take hold of her.
She was pushing up from the ground on her knees with both fists flying in anger. It was a fight she couldn’t win, but it was also a fight that she would pursue to her last breath.
All around her the ravens began to explode. Clouds of vaporised flesh and feather grew in plumes of red and black and then drifted toward the ground in the snowfall.
The ravens cried their last, and the strong hands finally caught hold of both her fists. She looked up to see the storm looking down into her eyes.
Giving up her fight, Charon dragged her out the door by her arms.
It was only when the door closed behind them with a bang that Emmeline could hear his cries of her own name echoing in her ears.
She crawled across the porch of the mansion and vomited over the edge into the garden.
Outside in the real world, it had begun to snow.