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Quoth the Raven
There was something queer about the kid at Patrick’s summer camp. He had been at the summer camp for over seven years, according to the counselors. He was said to be an overachiever, kind to just about everyone, and was liked by almost everyone at the camp. He was the kind of kid that wasn’t popular, but wasn’t disliked. He was nice to Patrick from the start, and Patrick wanted to be friends with him. So what was so strange about him? Patrick couldn’t place it, and it drove him nuts. Day in, day out, Patrick talked with the kid, whose name was Ethan. Ethan befriended Patrick rather easily, as they both liked Dragon Quest, and found conversation easy.
Soon after, however, Patrick began to talk to Ethan about other things, to try to identify what this feeling was. Ethan was, as he put, it “gaaaaaaaamah”! But the investigations always hit a dead end, followed by how great Ethan’s Hypernova Sword was equipped to his DQ character. He talked to Ethan’s other friends to try to find this mystery. Again, he couldn’t get his answer. All he could find was positive feedback about Ethan. Lying awake one night, Patrick wondered if that was it. Maybe the feeling was jealousy. No, just because Ethan was a good person didn’t make him jealous. God, what was it?
Then, during a campout, Patrick made a breakthrough. He had befriended Ethan to such a level that they could talk about anything now. As the two were sharing a tent together that night, Patrick tried a theory, not expecting it to work. He had tried to get the both of them to express their greatest secret. He had confessed rather easily to his Dyslexia that no one else knew about. Ethan, obviously touched that his friend would give up such a secret, decided to give out his ultimate secret. Patrick wondered if this was the mystery he was waiting for. Ethan then confessed, with hesitation, that he was anorexic and couldn’t control his diet. Patrick didn’t make such a big deal of it, yet inside he was churning. This was it! His mystery had been solved.
Lying awake that night, he kept replaying the incident in his head. That had been the answer he had been looking for, yet something was still off. But, the question had been answered. So what was bugging him so much? The night’s events didn’t seem to affect Ethan at all. He was his usual self, talkative and happy to all. Patrick and he were still talking normally; no awkward silences. Why couldn’t dating go like this? Both he and Ethan had sworn solemn oaths not to tell the confided secrets, on swear that if they did, their DQ profile would mysteriously delete itself. Neither could live with that, and Patrick had no desire to tell anyone, anyways. And so it was.
The last night before the last day, Patrick couldn’t sleep. His mind was too excited to sleep. Soon he’d be seeing his little sister again, even if he said he hated her guts. So when he heard a cabin door open ever so silently, he was surprised. He looked out the window to see Ethan calmly walking into the woods. What on earth was he doing?! Sneaking out after curfew was strictly forbidden, so why would moral Super Scout Ethan be sneaking out? Ever so quietly, Patrick climbed out of bed and put a sweatshirt, as it was cold out. It was almost midnight, so the counselor and his cabin mates were out like a rock. He made sure to not to squeak the door as he shut it and silently trailed Ethan into the woods.
He was oh so careful not to step on any dry leaves or twigs. It was very tough going, but when he did step on one, he immediately stopped and crouched. In the dark, he looked just like a rock. But Ethan never once looked back. In fact, he didn’t make any noise whatsoever, which was odd, as he didn’t seem to be measuring his steps. And just like that, the woods ended. A gorgeous clearing opened up in front of Patrick. He crouched behind a bush as Ethan stepped into the clearing, calm as a leaf in a pond. When he turned into the moonlight, Patrick had to stifle a scream. Ethan’s eyes seemed completely black in the light. It was if his pupils had disappeared, giving him an utterly alien look. He looked up at the moon and let out an eerie whistle. The tune seemed to quiet the forest. The wind stopped. The rustling was hushed at once. Patrick was still as a rock. He dared not breathe, so unnatural was the silence. Out of nowhere, a flurry of feathers made him start. An enormous raven, bigger than an eagle, swooped out of the woods and landed on Ethan’s shoulder. Patrick watched with fascination as Ethan stroked its massive head. He wondered with a beak so wickedly curved, why it wasn’t aggressive in the slightest. Its eyes were so red and full of evil that Patrick almost gagged in horror. It cawed loudly, snapping the spell on the silence. The wind picked up, much more violently than before.
“Ssssshhh, my friend, be still.”
Ethan’s voice was startling in the gloom. It had gotten so dark in the last minute that all Patrick could make out was the bird’s red eyes, like hot coals. Indeed, the moon seemed to have been swallowed up by the night. The bird cawed again.
“I know, I know. But can I help it?”
Patrick started again. How on earth was Ethan talking to that…that thing? Humans could not talk to birds! They just couldn’t! Was this Ethan’s secret? He could talk to birds?
“Yes, I know he’s there. Please, my dear, I knew ever since I left. I led him hear on purpose. And he’s so confused, aren’t you, Patrick Collums, son of Mara and Steve?”
Patrick was stunned into a stupor. He couldn’t move. He was terrified, and his mind forced his body to get up and sprint away from this damned couple. This freak of both nature and humans. He crashed through the brush, back the way he came. And though he ran as fast as he could, he knew he couldn’t be fast enough. And when he came right back into the clearing, in the same spot as before, he had no idea what to think. There was his former friend and his pet from Hell. It glared at him and let out a hiss.
“Yes, yes, now he knows. Well, yes, I’ll let him go.”
With a sigh he turned toward Patrick, his blank eyes, glittering with malice.
“You want to know why you think me odd? Queer?”
His head tilted to the side, right next to his raven.
He looked to his bird.
“Uncanny, the resemblance, isn’t it?”
Patrick stumbled back.
“Wrong. Not mad, brilliant. How many people do that?”
Patrick began to feel tears of fear and terror streak down his face.
“Oh come now, don’t cry. I’m not that scary, am I? The reason you find me odd is my energy. You are gifted, child. You have energy, too. Granted, not even close to as powerful as mine, but it’s there. That’s how I found you. Or you found me, I should say. You were lured to me like a fish to a worm.”
Patrick tried to believe it wasn’t true. But he knew Ethan was right.
“And I’m not anorexic, by the way. I don’t need to eat, or drink, or sleep. I am a creature of the night, Patrick Collums. You are too, even though you won’t live long enough to discover your power.”
The bird began to flap its wings, and the wind howled, as if it were in pain. Ethan’s eyes shattered into pieces. Beneath lied nothing but fiery pupils in a sea of black. As the raven screamed, he cried to the moon, now a bloody red color.
The bird shot into the air like a bullet. Patrick was so terrified, he began to hyperventilate. Ethan turned to him, and his aura was so evil it made Patrick vomit.
“As Ulquiorra Cifer said to the doomed Ichigo, “This is true despair!” You have no idea of fear, Patrick Collums! Feel my power, my aura, my damned soul crying out for your body! Feel my rage and succumb to my madness. Burn in my flames! Die in my fires! For my power…”
The raven landed on his shoulder with a force that would have killed a normal man. It trailed black fire, and the power was sickeningly strong.
In a flash of black, Ethan had become a figure of Satan. Bat wings stretched further than the clearing, and a barbed tail looped ever so slowly toward Patrick. The forest was silent once more, as if anticipating the next moments. Patrick lost his resolve, his mind, and his life at the same time. As he let forth a cry of a tortured animal, he tried to flee, and was gutted like a fish in a barrel. As he died, he dissolved into black smoke which flowed with the wings and tail, as they too dissolved. The raven reformed, a little bigger than before.
As Corvus soared back into the night, the moon lost its bloody hue, and the forest returned to normal. Ethan had delivered another unnecessary sacrifice to his cause. Life was not supposed to be taken in the name of God, but power is power, and people with power cannot be left alive, as they no one but God and his followers should have power. Too bad. Ethan had liked Patrick, even if his Dragon Quest profile was amateurish compared to his. No one would find his body, no one would look for him. In fact, he would cease to exist. And the search would continue. Immortality had such a cost. He turned and walked out of the forest, back to his beloved summer camp. He murmured under his breath a little tune, his favorite song.
“And it’s so easy when you’re evil… This is the life, you see, the devil tips his hat to me, and it’s all so easy when you’re evil…”