Unfamiliar

crow eye

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

I hang in the air above the burning of her.  I feel..responsible.  But hungry.  Because, you know, that’s crows for you.  Intelligent, we are, but not too compassionate, we can’t afford to be.

I often wonder why these humans do the things they do.  What do they think will come of it, setting light to an old woman in the marketplace, sending her body up in smoke and ashes to appease – who?  And they say that we crows are fond of battlefields.  We are not the ones who make them.

Well.  From this distance, I can hardly hear her cries, thin as an old woman’s must be.  I call goodbye.  We were friends, she and I.  She threw me scraps of meat and bread, and I sat on her skin and bone arm, watching out for her.  They said she flew away to a coven in the hills, on her broom of matted brush, of a midsummer night.  She couldn’t even make it to the door, sometimes, to pee in the cabbages under the moonlight.

Anyway, enough of that.  I cannot cry, with my round grey eye.

My familiar is waiting, in his long black gown, the hair of a goat turning the white rolls of his back a mottled red.  He’s been standing beyond the heat, reading his bible aloud and trying not to breathe through his nose.  He’s feeling vindicated.  He always said old Margaret was a witch, when she got confused in church and babbled of nothing.  While he stood high in his pulpit, glaring down, interrupted in full flow.  He never liked old women anyway.  They offend the eyes, he would tell himself, and are no longer any use to god nor man.  Men.

My familiar is waiting.  I swoop down to him, sitting in his cell, abusing himself, as they call it.  I perch on his windowsill, enter into his heart, shadowed and stained.  It serves my purposes, as poor brain-addled Margaret never could.  A witch’s familiar, they call me.  But who is the witch, and where his coven?  Is it on the hillside, where the druids met of old to dance and curse – or is it the abbey, where a hundred monks and their priests walk the patterns of my spells?

I’m hungry.  The gibbets hang full and ripe.  Such is the way of crows.

To celebrate the fact that my novel, Deeper, is on Amazon FREE for the next  five three days, I’m going to write a tale of dark fantasy each day as the moon sinks below the gum trees!  Join me if you feel in a fey mood, and I’ll link.  To read the latest review of Deeper, hop over to Tome Tender “When it comes to books, who needs shelf control?”.  Dianne has lots of reviews, book giveaways and freebies, and a truly gorgeous front page.

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About turnipsforbreakfast

Rose has two blogs, www.butimbeautiful.wordpress.com, and www.turnipsforbreakfast.wordpress.com. Enjoy!
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11 Responses to Unfamiliar

  1. Awesome, AWESOME. Really good and interesting reading. I just felt a shiver of pleasure.

  2. joelghames says:

    Even better. Frightening, truly. Great passage throughout but the opening was – well, the only word to do it justice is “outstanding”. I’m going to download your book tonight but if it’s half as good as this promises I’ll feel like I’ve stolen it.

  3. whiteladyinthehood says:

    WICKED!!

  4. mmm. i’ve just stumbled on your blog… and i have to say.

    your prose is fluid, viscous, with an archaic richness redolent of some of my favorites. de Lint. McKillip. Kiernan. Barker. Lovecraft, even.

    thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my jaded heart.

    i find myself grateful for the thought that you exist in this world, sharing the things you create. *smiles*

    be well
    m.

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