The Many Eyes of Death

To be read aloud, in your best Vincent Price voice.

On the curb she fluttered and flapped in anguish. In the gutter she danced around her lover's corpse, his body battered and crushed by the machines of men. On her first night as the widow crow, she wept. And in her mourning she bellowed her agonies and shouted her woe.

The second evening she mourned and she cawed, but they were not the cries of the freshly wounded. She conversed with the winds of the world in the way that wild beasts do.

What are my joys? They are many but I did not know that I had them. Now they are draped on the branches where I can see them, but I do not think I will collect them.

What are my sorrows? I feel them and I know them, but I could not count their number without weeping. They are prickly and poisonous and
 will not sleep.

What of my will? As he passes from me, and the dark night holds only the promise of desolation, I swear to his feathers that I will avenge him and I will join him.

So she fell readily into the illness of loss, making her own path to her departed lover. She welcomed despair into the chambers of her heart and it nested there, growing and pushing her spirit out.

At the end, her lonesome ghost, tethered only to the hook of her sharp beak, awaited the woman who brings death -- you see, in the mythology of birds the farmer's wife is the reaper of chickens, ravens and crows. The widow whispered to her approaching fate:

I shall cling to my mouth until you appear, and when you reach for me I will slash and jab and peck you sightless. Then you will not be able to find another crow to stuff into your satchel.

On the last beat of the widow crow's heart the farmer's wife stood beside her. "Hello poor widow crow. Your sadness is at an end." The crow's agonies and oaths were almost lost to her. The soothing tone carried on the soft breath of the spectral silhouette almost subdued her murderous resolve, but she saw the bag the woman dragged behind her. She could see that it was stuffed full of feathers, beaks and bones.

The woman said "I know what you intend to do, and it is alright."  Her hair parted and the crow knew the truth before it was told. "But I have an eye for every crow, and I will see each of you."

Quickly, the woman snatched at the crow and the branch was bare. The beak slashed and jabbed and pecked, but we cannot know how that battle went. For the sake of the chickens and the ravens and crows we can hope that, perhaps, the widow managed to claim more than one eye.

The End

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