As the Crow Flies

Posted on: October 27th, 2011 by Anthony Rapino 12 Comments

Hello, coffin hoppers, friends, neighbors, and demons alike.

I had planned on letting my first coffin hop post ride out all the way till Halloween, but then I stumbled upon a contest being held by Erin Cole, and my plan changed.  For her contest, you simply have to post a flash piece to your blog and tell her about it.  I don’t often post unpublished work here, but it sounds like fun.

If you’re here from the Coffin Hop looking for my contest, you can go to the previous post and enter to win the Halloween Mystery Bag (although, it’s more likely going to be a mystery box).  There will be over $50 worth of stuff inside.

Now then, I humbly present to you, “As the Crow Flies.”

I always knew what Gran was gettin’ at.  Settled into her rocker, she’d spy me on my way out–knowin’ I was dolled up to see some boy promising me all kinds a things–and she’d say, “You can take the girl out of the country…” and I knew right off what she meant.

Like those summer days going to market, squeezed between my father and Gran in the pickup.  Pop trying to ease the heat off by sayin’, “Only a few more minutes now.”  Then Gran huffin’, sayin’, “As the crow flies.”

She was like that straight up till her dyin’ day.  I’d been sittin’ with her for two weeks.  She was mostly unconscious–and we thought she’d sleep right through to the other side–till, nearin’ the end of summer as the sun dropped, she went and woke up.

Her eyes were wide and glassy and full of pain.  I went to her and rested my head on the pillow.  Being a God fearin’ girl and acquainted with death on the farm, I whispered sweet-like, “Go on now, Gran.  You’re almost with our Father.”

She sneered and said, “As the crow flies.”

I recoiled as a darned crow alighted right on our sill!  It cocked its neck, givin’ me an evil look, and flew off, a silhouette against the inky sky.  When I turned, Gran was gone too.  Maybe a silhouette herself.

I always knew what Gran was gettin’ at.  But after that night, I’m not so sure.



Photo by John Morgan.

12 Responses

  1. Magen Toole says:

    A very nice short, Anthony. Full of crisp imagery and a little bit of melancholy. Well done.

    • Thanks, Magen. I do love my melancholia.

  2. Indigo says:

    Ha! Whose channeling Stephen King now? Delightful spook piece from the back country. (Hugs) Indy

    • Ayuh. 😉 Glad you liked it, Indy.

  3. Erin Cole says:

    Excellent dialogue and execution. This little gem will have a nice big, folded-up entry in my cauldron. Love it.

    There is something very creepy about people on their death-beds, that contact with the otherworld. And I really liked the use of the crow.

    Thanks for the pimping, Anthony!

    • You got it! Glad you enjoyed.

  4. Nice one, Tony. Did the Penumbra cover art inspire you? =]

    • I actually wrote this one a while ago, maybe a year or two. It was based on a photo prompt for one of the Clarity of Night contests.

  5. Elizabeth Arroyo says:

    Nice one. =)

  6. Moon says:

    Very nice. I recently finished watching a tv series called The Fades where they used bird imagery for when a Fade (basically a ghost) finally ascends.

    Going to go read more of your stuff now 🙂

    • Thanks! I hope you like my other work. 🙂

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