The Omen

April 17, 2018
By Anonymous

Isla James had never been a very superstitious person, she was never afraid of black cats, and lived through Friday the thirteenth as any other day, but recently her idea of superstition changed. Last night crows appeared in her dream three different times. All images were soft, peaceful, and serene; things that were too good to be true. At first in the dream, she was having a picnic with friends under a willow next to a river. Everyone was playing, talking, and having a good time, but then at one point, a crow appeared on a nearby branch. As soon as it cawed, her dear friend Dan choked on a piece of bread and died. In the following image, she was sitting on the balcony of her apartment in the soft glow of the evening sun reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A crow landed on the balcony of her neighbor’s apartment. It cawed once, and Isla spilled hot tea all over her. Then in the last image of her dream, Isla was having dinner with her boyfriend at the Olive Garden, and a crow landed on the window sill, it cawed and her boyfriend got impaled by a steak knife.



When she woke up, she had to take a moment to process the dream she'd had. She got out of bed, took a shower, and had breakfast before leaving for work. As she was driving, she stopped at the traffic lights at the intersection; she looked up at the lights and saw that a crow landed on the lamppost. Ting, Isla looked down at her phone, she received a headline from CNN. “Reporting live from Jordan, chemical attack claims three lives.” This caused Isla to feel extremely uneasy. Was this because of the crow on the lamppost? She thought about the dream from last night. She brushed it off as a mere coincidence, but still couldn’t help feeling a little bit responsible for the attack. She thought: Nightmares don’t come true, do they?



She arrived at the office. Isla was an attorney at a law firm. She sat at her desk trying to distract herself from her dream, and from the events in Jordan. At around noon her friends came to get her to go out for lunch. Isla wanted to go, but was reluctant at the same time; she was afraid to come across another crow. They left the office and walked up the street to make their way to the subway station. They hadn’t even walked three feet from their office building, or Isla saw a crow land on a nearby street sign. She grabbed Juliette’s shoulder. Juliette was Isla’s best friend, so she knew that she could tell her anything. Juliette turned around to look at Isla.


“Are you okay, Isla?” Juliette asked her. By this time, Isla had a slight look of fear on her face.
“I’m fine, it’s just, do you see that bird over there?” Isla pointed to the street sign where the bird was still sitting.


“It’s just a crow, Isla. I didn’t know you were superstitious, it’s not going to do anything,” Juliette said in an attempt to reassure her friend, but as soon as Juliette had finished her sentence, a fire broke through the roof of a nearby building. Isla was positive that the presence of the crow had something to do with the fire. Within a minute NYPD was on sight. Sirens were flashing, people screaming for help. NYFD was doing everything they could to save the people in the burning building, bright orange ferocious flames were flying out of the building in every direction. Isla and her friends hurried on so that they could get away from the scene. She still considered the relationship between the crow and the fire a mere coincidence, but it was slowly, but surely starting to seem like misfortune. During lunch, everything was fine. There were no crows, nor were there any accidents.


At around 3 in the afternoon, Isla decided to go home because she started to feel ill. When she entered her apartment, she put her phone and keys on the side table next to the couch. She traded her pants suit for loungewear and turned on CNN. She opened the window that leads to the balcony, to get some fresh air, and boiled some water for tea. While she was waiting for the water to boil, she could hear her phone vibrate. It was her dad. Her parents were in Paris for the week to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. She picked up the phone and said “Hey daddy,” as happily as she could. She didn’t want him knowing what had been happening because she knew that he would start to worry. She turned the burner off, trying to avoid all accidents.


“Hey darling, how have you been? How’s work?” Her dad asked her.


“Work’s work, you know dad? It has its ups and downs. This week I started doing background research on a case about a woman who is trying to get custody of her triplet infants.” Isla tried to sound casual, as not to worry her dad. “How has Paris been?” She asked.


“Paris is great, honey. We went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe today and saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Paris truly is a beautiful city. We’ll send you some pictures when we get back to the Hotel. At the moment we are at a lovely restaurant about to enjoy a great dinner of escargot and grilled duck,” her dad said with great enthusiasm. Isla slowly made her way to the balcony. She continued with her father for a short while explaining how things were at work, and that she and Juliette would be taking a trip to Orlando during Easter. While she was telling her dad about Orlando, a crow landed on the balcony of the neighbor’s apartment. She looked at it, it cawed, and Isla James was never heard from again.

The author's comments:

I have always been interested in superstition. I am by no means superstitious myself, I have just always been captivated by the idea of it. Another thing that inspired me was the curiosity of the word murder. Murder is the official term for a flock of crows. I played off of this idea, and thus I came up with this story.


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