When You Know It's Gonna Be A Very Bad Day: A Creepy Short Story
It's Gonna Be a Very Bad Day
I reluctantly roll over and peeped through the curtains to get a somewhat sleep shrouded, bleary-eyed, view out of my window. Finally, I see it! The source of the Irritating, annoying, sleep depriving, and did I mention loud, noise that had so abruptly jarred me from my cozy dream world.
Not good! It achingly feels like it's gonna be a very bad day. But, like I do with the covers, I shove the feeling aside and simply blame it on what I think is the temporary view outside.
Crows! Huge, black, solemn looking creatures. There are about twenty-five of them scattered throughout my yard, my neighbor's yard and his neighbor's yard. Moving slowly, shifting on three-towed feet. Periodically, they bump into another and one of them calls his annoyance to the other.
"Caw! Caw!" So loud, so classically crow, so irritating.
They strutt around importantly, like the only undertaker in town. No hesitation here, as if they each have ownership of all the yards on the block or know that everybody is eventually theirs; jostling each other for position, dipping their heads periodically to peck at what I could only assume was some hidden morsel on the the ground.
My feeble attempts to scatter them, as I hung out of my screenless second floor bedroom window, are less than futile. They never hear me. Or if they hear me, they never acknowledge me, and if crows blink, I'm sure they don't even do that.
"Humph! Where is somebody's cat when you need them?" I mumble as I pulled back from the window. I impatiently push hair from my face. The red ribbon once tying it back, long lost in the dreamworld.
All the flapping and yelling I was doing didn't matter. Besides, I didn't want to fall out of the window with my useless antics. After all, crows pick over bodies of anything dead or that give the appearance of being dead, didn't they? Or was that buzzards? Either way, I am not interested in being their meal ticket, dead or otherwise.
So, I give up. I pull back, turn to grab the remote, clicking on the morning news. There was no going back to sleep now. So much for a nice leisurely Saturday morning, spent in bed or at least very close to the bed. Translation: I planned to be in pajamas all day, favorite movies on the tv, good book handy. I desperately crave a wind down from a hectic week of demands from my boss, demands from my boyfriend and calls from my younger brother. Everybody wants something done in a hurry.
My thirty-two years of living tells me sometimes it's good to step back from it all, at least for a little while. Or maybe it was my therapist that actually told me that. Who can know? What I do know is that I've been in therapy long enough to send my therapist to Europe a few times over.
The set blinked into life and the announcer is staring impassively out at no one in particular.
"....and due to the early morning wreck on the interstate, traffic is still snarled." he droned. "There is still no official cause of the wreck, but police on the scene stated one motorist reported he witnessed the messy six car pileup. He described seeing 'a legion of big black birds that flew out of nowhere' and into to the path of morning traffic. The report is unconfirmed, but had this been a weekday morning, one can only imagine what the freeway would look like now," the announcer drolly concluded.
I laughingly inform the oblivious announcer that if the police were looking for the culprits, they had made their way to my neighborhood, just in time to ruin my beauty sleep.
I drop the remote onto my unmade bed. The crisp blue sheets still look inviting and I am tempted to crawl back in, but regrettably, it is too late. The sleep haze has already cleared my brain and my eyes. I am sharp now; crisp, like my sheets, ready for the spring day.
My brief hang out the window registered that the day was perfect. The air was just the right temperature and the slight breeze carried the faint fragrances of spring flowers, the prelude to summer.
The sky was as blue as it gets. It was the kind of cliche' perfect day that made you think you could live forever, could conquer all your enemies and could cure everyone of what ailed them.
But now I register something else that I have no words for it, yet; I am just barely conscious of it being there, whatever "it" is.
"Oddly enough," it was the bland news announcer again, " there have been reports of large flocks of birds in various suburbs. These birds just appear and seem oblivious to any human activities."
"Hmmm. So I'm not the only one who couldn't get any sleep this morning," I grumble.
I turn to the window for another look. There are more crows now.
This time I back out of the window, slowly, closing the curtains as I do. The curtains, gauzy as they are, barely block the sun. They are practically as useless as they are white. And they are very white, hanging limp with only a gentle stirring confirming there is a minute breeze in the early morning air.
I plop back on the bed, hard, with a slight buzzing building in my head. The scene outside is now unnatural, very unnatural. So many birds everywhere, not just twenty-five anymore. It is a field of black everywhere. Undulating slowly, cawing, squawking, flapping blackness covering nearly every inch of space, in every direction. Cars parked in driveways: covered. Walkways right up to the doors: covered. Flower beds: covered.
And I cover my ears and sit on the bed, now, cross-legged like some guru prepareng to meditate. Only I am not meditating. I am thinking hard and fast, gnawing my bottom lip as I always do when trying to unlock a puzzle.
The the pieces drop into place. I know what the scene reminds me of. It is straight out the scene from a Hitchcock's movie I saw as a teen, when watching old movies with my mother was a habit we both liked. Not being a fan of old movies any longer, I hadn't watched The Birds since, but the cable channels still popped it out in reruns on a regular basis.
"Oh, my God," I mumbled each isolated word, clearly and succinctly, as if it mattered. "This can't be happening."
Somewhere outside a car door slams, a motor starts. The cawing and squawking grow louder. More doors slamming; some car doors, some doors to houses. I can hear everything.
Now there is screaming, human screams and shrieks of surprise, I think - maybe horror, I hope not pain - mingling with the birds' delighted cries.
"Oh, my God," I repeat again, stupidly, all the while panic rising in me like a thermometer on a hot day in the desert.
"This feels like the beginning of a very bad day, after all."
I moan just as the morning announcer breaks his calm and excitedly proclaims, "And this just in! Dozens of people have been reported injured, some seriously, as large flocks of what seem to be crows have begun attacking everyone who happens to be on the street. Many of the injured appear to be homeless people and tourists who aren't sure where to go. Those who escaped injuries are taking refuge in office buildings...."
"Yep," I mumble to myself, pulling the sheets over my head to block the sun and to block the chillingly ominous sounds from outside, "it's gonna be very bad day!"
All rights reserved. Cynthia Turner, May 2012.
Soft, smooth sheets encourage late mornings.
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