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The Blackbird. Based on Poe’s Raven. (standard:fantasy, 1240 words)
Author: Oscar A RatAdded: Jul 02 2020Views/Reads: 290/178Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The clock struck twelve times. I was tired, very tired, as I read an ancient tome, wishing to finish before retiring to a lonely bed. I collect old volumes of often forgotten lore. A modern take of Edgar Allen Poe's famous story.

The clock struck twelve times. I was tired, very tired, as I read an
ancient tome, wishing to finish before retiring to a lonely bed.  I 
collect old volumes of often forgotten lore.  My intent being to read 
myself to sleep, the book drooped from one hand.  Then I heard a knock 
at the front door. 

“Now who the hell could that be, at this hour?” 

A weakening forty-watt bulb in the hall cast a flickering shadow on the
floor, as I slowly made my way down a dimly lit corridor between 
library and porch.  By then, I was wide awake, my attempt to read 
myself to sleep a lost cause. My eyes seared as I thought of my lost 
love, the reason I couldn't sleep. I consciously tried not to recall 
her looks, or her name -- but to no avail. 

Laurie, my lost Laurie. Her picture came, unbidden, to my mind.  I
continued, seeing her in every shadow, in every convolution of the 
offbeat purple curtains she'd hung on a window near the door. 

As I came closer, I felt my blood pressure soar. Could it be ... her? 

Could an intruder see in through those curtains?  Nah, ridiculous, but I
still made no move to answer, standing inches from the door. 

Finally, I could wait no longer. 

“Sorry,” I called while reaching for the handle. “I was napping and you
knocked so softly. I'm afraid I could hardly hear you,” I apologized as 
I forced myself to turn the knob. 

Slowly, I opened the door, still thinking of her. 

“Laurie, have you come back to me?” I muttered with soft erratic breath.

There was no one.  No one there. 

I eased out onto the porch and looked in every direction, whispering,
softly, “Laurie” to myself. 

Nobody was there, although I stood for a full five minutes, chill wind
whistling past to lose itself in the dreary hall. 

Hardly relieved, I shut and locked the portal, going back to my book. 
Now I had to start over, trying to forget through dull reading; to 
hopefully doze off in the chair. 

I had barely found my place in the dusty old volume, when I heard
another tapping, this time at a parlor window. It couldn't be a loose 
shutter, or even a tree limb. Was someone playing tricks on me? 

“Nah,” I decided. “It's only the wind.” 

Sighing, I went over, pulled the curtains, and looked out -- to see
nothing. I opened the window wide to look downward.  There might be a 
prankster hiding there. 

When I did, a blackbird flew inside. What it was doing out there, I had
no idea. It flew straight for a prank statue of Edgar Allen Poe and 
perched on the head. The statue was a small clay piece, sitting 
precariously on a shelf -- high above my bedroom door. 

It sat in silence, eying me with unblinking black eyes, as though I were
the intruder in ITS home.  It was a beautiful little bird that seemed 
to look askance, accusing me of being the reason it was there. 

“And what are you thinking, little buddy? That you have to come in to
bother me?” 

The bird sat regally and said nothing, drilling me with unreadable ebony

It looked at me and finally, accusingly, uttered, “nemoor.” 

Where had it picked that up? I pondered.  Maybe it was an escaped pet? 

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