The Crows

Sometimes at night I still dream. Not often anymore, but on occasion. They are random yet vivid, and always, yes always they startle me awake. I wonder each time what would the outcome have been had I only listened? But that ship long ago sailed. Now my penance is the dreams, the unanswered questions that roll through my mind, like a riddle with no solution.

It began in the winter, was it January or February? Funny I forget now, or I pray I forget and just block the thoughts. It was pointless anyway, who could remember the arrival of the Crows?

Amy my then  4 year old would know. She is the only one who did. I remember she hated the birds, always hated the birds. I remember the electrician who rewired the house, how she was terrified of him and the tattoo of the Crow. “Bad birds, Bad birds “she shrieked. Where did that come from I often wondered?

Was it an early childhood phobia I caused, I had many times shoed them away from the garden. Was it the time she saw the Crows attack the Cardinal to chase it from the feeder? I can hear her even now “Those are Bad Bad Birds Daddy.”

I think back now to the time we entered the subdivision, returning from her dance class. The police had blocked traffic to allow the crime scene van and medical examiners truck to depart from the Willis household. An entire family slaughtered in their own beds. And so close to home. Too damn close to home. I wanted badly to shield her and I from the sight, Amy was the one who saw them and thinking back now I remember I was relieved when she pointed to the tall oaks and the flock of Crows as a distraction. I remember her clearly pointing and saying “Those are Bad, Bad Birds Daddy.”

It was shortly afterwards I took the job in Rhode Island .I was Relieved to have moved the family far away from the crime and violence of the big city. Long after we were gone the body count continued to mount. I followed the cases when I was writing for the Providence Journal. But lost interest after a while.

Now more than 15 years have passed. We have been in Rhode Island in a coastal community along the Narragansett Bay. We see flocks of seagulls, we complain about them now. Amy is off to College, we hear from her little anymore unless she needs money or new clothes.

 There are no more Crows. Or so I thought until last year. I was sipping my coffee and watching the news, our old hometown was splashed across the screen. I turned up the volume to hear the news.

“Today in Columbus, Police arrested 52 year old Michael Crowe. Crowe was an electrician who gained access to his victims on service calls. Police believe the victims may number in the hundreds, with crimes dating back more than 15 years.”

I remember recommending him to the Willis family, as well as others. The camera caught a glimpse of his tattoo as he was led from the police car to the courthouse in handcuffs. I still do not sleep well.

I never discussed this with my family. I actually went out of my way to keep the news from them. Amy called one weekend, and I tried to gauge her memory of the events.

“Hey kid, do you remember how you hated those birds? The flocks of Crows when you were little I asked her?”

“Those are still nasty bad birds she said. Just horrible, but Daddy, you know it technically isn’t a flock. A group is called a Murder, a Murder of Crow’s.”

“No I didn’t sweetie, but I do now.” I said hanging up the receiver.

 ©J.K. Dark


~ by onthedarkside on December 17, 2010.

4 Responses to “The Crows”

  1. Spooky.

  2. Yikes! Hair standing up on the back of my neck. Very good!

  3. Dark, very dark, you caught the mood and sustained it. Nice work Kev.

  4. You are a outstanding writer. You clearly get the message across.

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