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The Blackbird (standard:mystery, 1253 words)
Author: hvysmkerAdded: Jun 12 2004Views/Reads: 2685/1547Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An Unexpected Visiter

The clock struck twelve times.  I was tired, very tired, as I read the
old books.  I collected old volumes.  Not for the money, mine were all 
cheap ones from old book stores.  I wanted to finish the fiction piece 
I was reading before retiring for the night. 

Despite my intent, I was nearly asleep, the book drooping from my hand,
when I heard a knock at my front door. 

“Now who the hell could that be, at this hour?”  I muttered to myself. 

The weakening forty watt bulb in the hall cast a flickering shadow on
the floor as I slowly made my way down the dim corridor.  Now I was 
wide awake, my attempt to read myself to sleep, a lost chance.  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, to no avail. 

Laurie, my lost Laurie.  Her picture came, unbidden, to my mind as I
walked, seeing her in every shadow, in every convolution of the offbeat 
purple curtains she had bought and hung. 

Another unbidden thought, also brought by those damn curtains, was of
the recent crime wave.  My heart beat faster as I approached the door.  
Could an intruder see in through those damn curtains?   “Nah, 
ridiculous.”  I thought, but still made no move to open the door.  
Finally, I could wait no longer. 

“Sorry,” I called out, 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 handle. 

I slowly opened the door, thinking of her, “Laurie, have you come back
to me?” when I saw nobody standing there.  I eased myself out onto the 
porch and looked in every direction, whispering. “Laurie.” to myself.  
Nobody was there, although I stood there for a full five minutes, the 
wind whistling past me, into the dreary hall. 

I shut and locked the door, going back to my book.  Now I had to start
over, trying to forget through dull reading, and hopefully doze off. 

I had barely sat back down and found my place in the dusty old volume,
when I heard another tapping, this time at my window.  It couldn't be a 
loose shutter, or even a tree limb.  Was some bastard playing tricks on 
me.  I thought, for a moment, about getting my .45, just in case. 

“Nah, That's sort of overkill.”  I decided.  “Probably just the wind.” 

Sighing, I went over, pulled the curtains, and looked out, to see
nothing.  I opened the window wide to look down.  There might be a 
prankster 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 
Alfred E. Newmann of Mad Magazine fame, and perched on it's head.   The 
statue was a small clay piece, sitting precariously on a shelf high 
above my bedroom door. 

It just sat there, eyeing me with it's unblinking black eyes, as though
I were the intruder in it's home.  It was a beautiful little bird and 
looked askance at me, accusing me of being the reason it was there. 

“And what are you accusing me of, little bird?   That you have to come
in to bother me?”  The bird just sat there regally, and said nothing, 
drilling me with it's eyes.”  It looked at me and accused, 

“nemoor.”  I wondered where it had picked that up, maybe it was an
escaped pet? 

To check if it were tame, I went closer, seeing it start to fluff it's
wings, I stopped. 

“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 went to the

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