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The Blackbird. Based on Poe’s Raven. (standard:fantasy, 1240 words)
Author: Oscar A RatAdded: Jul 02 2020Views/Reads: 184/99Story 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.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

To check if it were tame, I crept closer.  Seeing it fluff its wings, I

“Is that your name, little fellow, “Nemoor” or maybe “Namor” like the
comic book guy?" 

It answered with “nemoor.” 

Hell.  For all I knew, that's what all blackbirds said. 

“That's all right. You can leave in the morning,” I told it. 

Going to the kitchen, I gathered a plate of loose rice grains, a few
three-year-old sunflower seeds, raw hamburger and a bottle cap of 
water.  I had no idea what they ate.  I left the plate on a table where 
the visitor could see it. If hungry enough, it would find it. 

Returning to my chair, I settled both feet onto a stool and picked up
the book ... again. I tried to read, but my eyes kept going back to the 
intruder -- who stared back with a somber expression. 

Finally, I gave up reading and we stared, studying each nuance of the
other in silent contemplation. 

On my part, I was trying to keep thoughts of Laurie from inserting
themselves into my mind.  Thoughts which had been occupying me all 
through the day.  It was time I switched to the somber creature in 
front of me.  Both were products of God's munificence, and both equally 

I sat in thought, contemplating many things as my mind drowned in the
deep violet eyes of the small fowl. 

Did it have lost loves, loves that flew away when dictated by vagrant
winds of chance? 

Did the alabaster flier also curse fate for inextricable convolutions,
contortions of logic that came from unexpected culminations of expected 
pleasures?  Pleasures that flew away -- along with errant dreams?  Were 
we kindred spirits in the games and intricacies of life? 

The blackbird opened its beak as I sat, waiting anxiously for words of
wisdom. Waiting for secrets of life to be explained.  For words of such 
import that I could be assured entrance to the Pearly Gates. 

Lamplight gleaming off its cloak of deepest darkness, it finally
croaked, “nemoor.” 

Heavy head sinking back to the chair cushion, I hadn't realized how
tense I had become. 

A thought came to me.  Was this visitor sent by God to give me surcease
from the anguish of losing my Laurie?  Was it an omen, a portent of 
relief come to tell me to forget Laurie -- a sign from on high? 

Or, maybe, only a figment of my imagination?  Was I sleeping even then,
in deep comfy  cushions of my favorite chair?  Would I wake to see no 
blackbird -- nor a stray feather? 

“Are you a prophet ... or a devil?  A being of hope or of inestimable
evil?  A temptress or an angel?  Please tell me, I implore?” 

The bird said nothing, its eyes drilling into my own. 

“Tell me, sir.  Are you a sign of danger -- a danger to me, or to Laurie
my love?” 

Somberly, the bird told me only, “nemoor.” 

“Is that all you have to say, you fiend?  Get the hell out of my house.
You hear me? I mean right now you bastard.” 

Angrily, I jerked the window wide-open, yanking the curtains off the
wall to fall in a heap onto a dirty floor. 

“Get the hell out of here,” I screamed, running at the damned thing. 

It sat, looking at me with unblinking eyes, and replied calmly,

Somehow, I was afraid to get too close to it, as though it were really a
demon.  I was also aware of how stupid I was acting, and soon sat back 

An errant breeze from the open window ruffled my hair, not affecting the
blackbird in the slightest. It still sat, calmly studying me -- in 

We still sit, hours later. Him above and me below, staring into each
other's eyes.  Both deep in contemplation as morning sunlight streams 
through the open window, casting shadows on the floor. 

My soul lies in that shadow, to float in heaven with my Laurie ...


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