The Crow, the Cemetery, and the Church Bell

December 24, 2008
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Dusk finally falls, giving way to the eerie silence of midnight. Ominous shadows and waves of intensity and throbbing animosity threaten the life still awake in the blackened stillness. Clouds mask the constellations, and the time is perfect for the moon to hide away in its repetitive lunar cycle.

Whispers of moaning souls greet me as I run blindly through the chilling cemetery, barely aware of anything. I’m still caught up in the daze of being awoken just moments before. My hair is matted with dried blood and brambles; my arms and legs are torn up by thorns. I trip over ancient, crumbling tombstones; the metal clang of a church bell mourns for those lying beneath me, slowly decaying down to dust.

Suddenly, I fall, scorned by a large headstone. A silvery light appears, illuminating the name of a freshly killed individual:

Marcus L. Crowlenn
Born, April 15, 1889
Died, October 29, 1908
“As birds pass above the charcoal sky, we will always remember you, our loving angel.”

I scurry up, and start to run again. No matter what everyone said, no matter what others told me, I had killed him. I was the one who brought him to that place. He would not have died had it not been for me and my foolishness. That swamp, that evil, putrid, nefarious bog….
The silver light vanishes as quickly as it has come, plunging the landscape into a murky midnight abyss. A wind through the ominous cemetery rustles the leaves scattered around the now barren trees; as I come unwillingly to a slow halt, I hear a single bird, a raven or maybe a crow, fly noisily across the darkened sky.

“Come with me,” it says, and like a twisted and broken marionette, I am tugged along. I recoil in protest; my muscles do not obey me. I start to scream in sheer and utter terror, but no sound moves from my lips. I know I am trapped.

My feet barely skim the ground as I am carried with the bird, to who knows where. A low rumble escapes the cemetery, a sorrow-ridden apology; but for what? I am pulled beyond, into the deep and foreboding forest adjoining it.

“Come with me,” coos the bird; dragged mercilessly through the intruding foliage, I abide. Jerked upwards, I am above the forest now, gliding with the bird; it is a crow, indeed….

“Come with me,” it beckons, and below us, a clearing is revealed, the silver light shining eerily in the backdrop again. We spiral downwards at a sickening pace, but I land softly down on a rocky ledge overlooking a grassy, marshy wetland.

I realize it’s the bog. That swampy place where Markus had been pulled underneath the cover of wet weeds and drooping cattails. Free to move again, I peek over the ledge; it’s not much of a fall, maybe 20 feet upwards. But I would never jump down there.

The crow flies behind me and lands; I cannot turn around to see. It’s very strange.
“Come with me,” it says again, only the voice is different now. It’s less airy…more, human….

I feel a cold, clammy, dripping wet hand caress the back of my neck. I spin around, finally able to turn, to see the reeking, festering, mutilated frame of Markus Crowlenn.

“Come with me,” he says again, smiling, as I scream shrilly, cutting through the forest and into the deserted cemetery. The church bell tolls again, and we fall into the tangle of wet weeds and cattails, my last breaths spent gasping for air as he whispers the three little words sweetly into my ear, over and over again…

Come with me…come with me…come with me….





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Bookworm said...
Jan. 4, 2009 at 2:20 am
You spelled "Marcus"/"Markus" two different ways.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback