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The Black Bird
Lightning streaked the angry night sky. It illuminated everything in a brilliant purplish white light. My windshield wipers were on full-blast, trying their hardest to keep up with the heavy down pour. Fear was beginning to take hold of my heart. Just slow down, Amber. You’re almost home. I told myself. I turned my navy 2004 Honda Civic Sedan left onto Jester Ave.
Lightning stole into my vision again, like a snake lashing against an enemy. Thunder rumbled in the distance. God, I hate storms! I thought. I killed my engine in front of 174. I leaned over to grab my purse in the passenger seat. I drew in a shaky breath, preparing to make a run to my front door. I swung my door open, threw it back into place, and began a terrified sprint towards safety. I jumped up my stairs two at a time. I reached the top of the first flight when I heard behind me, “Amber,” I snapped my head around.
At the bottom of the stairs was a very darkly beautiful stranger. My name lingered between us, filling the electrified air with questions. The stranger threw the dark hood of his sweatshirt back. A mass of dark, curly hair was exposed. He looked up at me with eyes made of the darkness of hell. There was softness behind those eyes. It was as if I had to battle the stormy waters of his stare to get to the calm beaches of his heart. “I know you’re afraid of storms.” His voice was like liquid gold. It flowed with the perfect mix of gentleness and dominance.
I couldn’t breathe. I was choking on my fears and desires. I struggled for words. “Uh… who are you if you don’t mind me asking?” Thunder reminded me that its existence was still there. The rumble sent a new wave of terror through me again. Rain continued to pour down my now drenched body. “I don’t mind,” he said, as if it cleared all the confusion up. “Well, not that this hasn’t been fun, but I’m expecting people soon and-“I started. “If you’re going to lie, at least lie better than that.” He said with a smirk. Dumbfounded, I put my chin up a little higher, and said, “Well, I do have things to do.” I began to turn around, ready to leave this visitor behind. “Amber, I have to talk to you.”
“Can we talk on the porch, or is this more of a stair conversation?” I said with deep sarcasm. He tilted his head downward, and flashed a smile to the ground. That stunning smile made me die a little inside. “Funny. However, this is more of a porch talk.”
Before I could say anything, he leapt up the stairs. I took a step back. His swiftness was unimaginable. He looked me dead in the eyes, and said, “You aren’t scared are you, Amber?” He said this with such seriousness, that it sent goose bumps down my arms. He cracked a smile and tried to muffle a laugh. He walked up the other flight of stairs. I stood there staring in astonishment. “Are you coming?” he asked with a puzzled look distorting his face. I walked toward him with a cautious stride. He sat himself in a rocking chair, and began to rock it back and forth. I sat on the small bench across from him. The rocking chair squeaked in the settling silence. “Well?” I asked after a long moment of quiet. “Oh, right! Our talk,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know how to tell you this. So, I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you. You’re going to die.”
The terror that was skirting around my subconscious mind was now showing itself fully. I felt my body beginning to tremble -not from the cold. Questions started to cloud my mind. “What- I mean... How?” I stammered. The unusual boy in front of me smirked. “I can’t tell you. That’s the fun part.” I picked a question out of my own personal thunderstorm of questions. “How long do I have left?” “Well, I wouldn’t be visiting you if you had a long time left.” He said. He almost sounded sorry, almost. “Is there anything I can do?” Tears began to stream down my face. “If I were you, I would start to wrap things up, if you know what I mean.” He said with an apologetic smile.
“I’ll see you soon.” With those last words, the stranger stood and walked down the front stairs. He stood at the base of the lower staircase, watching the sky, waiting. A brilliant purplish white light started to circle above his head. It formed a bright circle above his dark curls. The light moved slowly down his body, surrounding his entire being in a dimmer version of the purple glow, but continued to circle his head. He turned his head slightly and looked back at me. A lightning strike bolted through the gloomy sky. The light illuminated his face. He flashed his beautiful smile at me. He began to laugh. In that second, the glow that was surrounding him, absorbed him. He was gone. His laugh remained, echoing inside my skull. What just happened? I thought….
I don’t know how long he was following me. He was always behind me, never more than a few feet away. I walked faster. He came at me faster. I titled my head to look back and saw him duck into an alleyway. He was there though! I pushed myself to walk faster but, not run.
I strolled into a small coffeehouse. I found myself into an oversized plush chair that was far from the large picture window in front of the store. I grabbed a free local newspaper. I tried to read the news in between nervous glances at the window. There! In the corner! Is that him? I squinted my eyes and leaned forward slightly to try to see better… “Can I help you?” I jumped at the sound of her voice. A young brunette waitress with rosy cheeks watched me with wide brown eyes. A concerned expression caused her eyebrows to knit together. “Oh! Yes, yes I’m fine. Sorry, I thought I saw something outside.” Her eyebrows untangled as she relaxed her face. The corners of her lips lifted into a pleasant smile, “Well, let me now if you want anything.” My lips quivered as they tried to return her smile. I began to relax into the comfy chair when I heard it.
It was quiet at first. It was just a quiet tapping. I wouldn’t have heard it if I wasn’t waiting, listening for it. Then, it began to get louder. I turned my head slowly toward the window, willing it to not be true! Oh, but it was true! For there in the window, he sat rapping his beak against the glass. A whisper, as soft as a sigh in the wind, said, “Good job Amber! You’re learning.” It was the stranger’s voice
Fear sent my heart into fast, painful spasms. I stood swiftly and reached for the young waitress. She turned quickly, alarm again crinkling her brow. “Do you have a back exit?” I said breathlessly. Her arm pointed in the direction of the exit faster than her lips could say anything. Running in the direction she pointed, I found a fire exit and shoved my weight against it. I sprinted into a grimy alley behind the coffeehouse. The bird was there, waiting.
That black bird somehow always finds me. He sat perched on a dumpster lid. His eyes told me of the horror that I could not escape. They told me of the hopelessness, sadness, emptiness, pain, and torture I was going to experience. His feathers, solid black with a bright purple shine, brought to life that fateful thunderstorm. He was my constant reminder. The raven screeched at me as if to tell me, Nice try!
But I didn’t give up, I kept running. I started to run back to my house. I risked a glance backward. Nevertheless, there he was in, continuous pursuit. I can’t stand this! I urged myself to go faster. Get to Jester Ave. faster! Get to the car faster! Just get out of here! I thought franticly to myself.
I turned the corner on to Jester Ave. The crazed black bird followed behind me. My blue car was just feet away. I unlocked it with the remote, ripped the door open, shoved the key into the ignition, revved the engine, and laid the gas pedal down hard.
I was thrown back into my seat. I didn’t know where I was going. I just wanted to get away. I snuck a look at my rear view mirror. That stupid bird was still there! I pushed my car to go faster! My palms began to sweat. My hands started to slide down the steering wheel. I tightened my grip trying to grasp the wheel and what was left of my sanity.
My car leapt over a pot hole. My purse nosedived onto the floor, sending its possessions under my feet. My umbrella rolled under my brake pedal, making it impossible to slow down. I take my foot off the gas pedal and try to kick it away. I dared a glance to see where the little umbrella was. It was away from the brake pedal.
A tapping came from my passenger window. It was the bird! I had to be going at least 90 MPH! The bird looked me in the eyes, shrieked, looked ahead, and then flew away! I looked back to the road… it was too late. I was already heading for the other car.
My car came to a sudden, painful, loud stop. The airbag didn’t stop me. The seat belt I should have been wearing couldn’t help me. I was thrown over the steering wheel, through the windshield, as it shattered on my face. I could feel the glass enter my skin on my face, arms, back, and legs. I laid, bleeding, on the road in front of the Hummer I had T-boned. I looked up at the people in the black Hummer. There was barely a scratch on the car. Okay, good. At least they’re okay. I thought to myself.
I tried to stand. I tried to move. I tried to wiggle anything. I couldn’t move! I couldn’t move! I could feel my warm blood soak the sun heated asphalt. Glass pieces littered the ground. It was pretty in a way. My head started to spin. My vision then started to fade. Before my vision disappeared, the owners of the Black Hummer stepped out of their car. Then, I was submerged in a dark, dizzy sleep. I could hear the Hummer owners say, “There’s no way she’s alive. If only she wore that seat belt…”
His voice filled my ears. “That sure was some way to die, my friend.” His voice was the same liquid gold and had the perfect mixture of gentleness and dominance. “I’m glad we could meet again.” He said with a smirk in his voice. I tried my voice. “You could have warned me,” I croaked and I could barely speak above a whisper, but he managed to hear me. “Oh, but I did, darling.” An image began to form in my hazy, dark vision. It was the black bird. A purple light started to shimmer around the evil raven. The light got brighter until I could look at it any longer. This isn’t real. It’s just a dream. I’m just in a coma, in the hospital, alive. I thought hopefully.
The bright light began to fade away. The stranger stood in front of me. He walked slowly over to me and extended his arm to help me stand up. I attempted to reach for him and my arm could work! He lifted me to my feet. “You’re the raven?” I asked stupidly. “Yes, my sweet Amber. I was your watchful black bird.” He said with his dazzling smile. “Who are you?” I asked. “Well, I am the angel of death. I had to retrieve your soul because you owe your soul to my boss.” He said, suddenly serious. “You see awhile ago, you asked him for a favor, to make someone disappear, to kill someone, in return for your soul. Don’t you remember? You wanted that promotion. You wanted more money. All you wanted was the money. You didn’t care what happened to him. My boss did his part, and now, it’s your turn to do yours.” “Well, who’s your boss?” I asked, fear starting to rise in my chest. He started to laugh his angelic laugh. “Welcome to Hell, my dear Amber. “
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"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa
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"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius
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"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa
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"Read on to discover a soul deeper than your own. Read on to find the innermost feelings, and thoughts of a creative mind. Read on to find something you may or may not understand."