The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Memory of Crows
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Crows remember. But who cared?
Then I took a wild-ass notion to run down some of them while they noshed on a dead something in the middle of a backroad in Texas. I chucked an empty Modelo Especial can at the survivors.
A couple of hours later, I sat in a booth, forcing down the lunch special at The Armpit Flats Cafe, or whatever it was called. A scrawny waitress looked out the front window and drawled, “I dunno which o’ y’all’s drivin’ that little red Porch-ee, but ya musta ticked off somebody.” Took me a minute to realize she meant my Porsche.
I jumped up. My red Boxter gleamed like a ruby– except for the seat backs, which hosted a dozen crows, sitting like statues, beady eyes boring into the ramshackle cafe.
Staring at me.
I paid my bill and scrammed. The crows scattered when I strode toward them. One of the buggers flew at my legs. I jumped back even though I knew the rubes would laugh at the dude from back East with his fancy car, the goober who ran away from a stupid bird.
I bopped on down the road, headed toward New Mexico. I sang along with Sirius and tossed the odd empty out the window.
Then, up ahead, some big dead animal in the road. I guess I was a little the worse for Especials because I didn’t see the thing till I was almost on top of it. My car crashed into the stinking carcass. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, so I flew out of the car and into a ditch, landing next to a power pole. I was paralyzed from the neck down.
The crows came. One. Two. Twenty. They settled on the power pole. They landed on the Boxter.
They stared at me.
One hopped onto my chest. It cocked its head, peering into my face. Another stalked up to my shoulder. The last thing I saw was their beaks pecking out my eyes.
They ripped my tongue and lips.
I gagged on my own blood.
Yeah, crows remember, all right. And now I know why they call a flock of them a murder of crows.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:
Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?
Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.