May 2018
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Crow (a short story I wrote)

I decided to share a story I wrote a few years ago... it's based off of real events, with a few twists...


     They always seemed like birds to me — they way they flitted from group to group and always moved in flocks, the cute little twittery laughs, the endless muttering of vapid conversation, and the way they shied from anything new as if it were a voracious predator. But they were nice enough. They did seem to care if someone was hurting, and would coo and offer advice until they got bored with trying to fix you.
     Stephanie had red hair. Her clothes were black and deliberately tattered. She wore her makeup dark and her hair natural, neither straightened paper-slick nor curled. They tried including her occasionally, but since she wouldn´t change, they gave up every time.
     The worst were the 'Christians,' who were determined to save her from hell by making her a soft, fluffy, pastel girl who went to church and didn´t question.

     "Oh, my gosh, what is that?"
     "The Satanic Bible, my boyfriend lent it to me."
     "Satan is evil! You shouldn´t be reading that! Why are you reading that? Are you a Satanist?"
     "Actually I haven´t read any of it, I just thought it might be interesting."
     "Well if you read that you´re going to go to hell. Think about it this way; would you willingly jump into a lake of fire? Willingly?"
     "I was just curious..."
     "I can´t believe you were going to read that. What´s wrong with you? The Bible says to have no appearance of evil, and this is more than an appearance. And God and Satan can´t be with the same person."
     "Well, if God is such a snob, I´m not interested in him. At least Satan doesn´t have all these rules."
     So they´d give up for the time being and leave her to "think about her fate."

     It´s time for class and Stephanie is late, which is a little unusual. I remark to someone about it and they say,
     "She´s probably just slacking off."
     . . . but I´m worried, because she has seemed even more reserved and distant lately. I´m scared that she might have decided this was too much for her. She told me that she had tried to slice her wrists, telling God that if he cared about her he would stop her — and she was disappointed when God didn´t intervene. I asked how it was that she didn´t go through with it, and she said her mom walked in at the moment she was going to do it. When I told her God sent her mom to stop her, she thought that might be a possibility, but wasn´t what she wanted.
     Now, she´s fighting with her boyfriend, who is the only one who makes her feel loved, she says. So I worry.

     Fifteen minutes after class starts, Stephanie walks in with a blue crate in her arms. The class descends on her in a rush, anxious to see if she has a puppy or something else worthy of attention. Exclamations of disgust ensue, and the class breaks away as quickly as they crowded.
     I hurry over to Stephanie and help her set the crate carefully down. Inside is a crow, wobbling even though it is propped against the side. A lid of some sort has been filled with water and placed on the floor of the crate, pitiful in itself because the crow is in no shape to drink on it´s own volition. I glance at Stephanie and almost gasp; tears are slipping down her cheeks.
     "What happened?" I ask.
     "Some boys were torturing it," and I realize that some of those tears are tears of rage. "It´s wing was broken, so it couldn´t fly away, and they were throwing rocks at it."
     From across the class, "Just let the ugly thing die" — spoken by one of the girls I had thought of as compassionate.
     "They would be so concerned if it was a little canary, but since it´s not cute and fluffy and a "pretty" color, they want it to die," I fume. Stephanie nods.
     Mr. Bercham tells us to leave it for the time being and join the class in vocal warm-ups. We do.

     After class, I go to get my things, since I have to run or I´ll be late to my next class. Stephanie goes to check on the bird again.
     "Oh no!"
     I jump when I hear Stephanie say that, and as I am turning around to go back into the classroom, I hear, "Good riddance." "Nasty old thing." "One less crow makes the world a little better, anyway." I look at my watch and realize I have one minute to be on the other side of campus, so I change my mind and head that way.

     The next day I´m again wondering where Stephanie is, and today Mr. Bercham apparently has decided he´s not going to allow the usual twenty minutes of aimless milling before class. He calls us all over and starts fiddling with his papers like he always does before he calls roll. Then he tells us that Stephanie walked through her backyard yesterday, onto the highway, and she left a note telling her parents to invite her chorus class to her funeral. What he doesn´t tell us is that she signed her note "Crow."

In real life she didn't commit suicide... I now regret that I didn't get her contact information, I meant to but somehow in the scramble of final exams I forgot. I've prayed for her a lot since then, I really hope she's found love and learned to love herself. She was so herself -- I loved her for that.

feelings: contemplative

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betrue2me ══╣╠══ really makes you think...its very well written too..=)
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you!
kabandra ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
I write for myself -- but that particular story was written as an assignment for a creative writing class. The only requirement was that it be a certain length -- everything else was up to us. I decided to write from life (the first time I'd ever tried that) and this was what resulted...

Thank you thank you! I really appreciate your un-light compliment. ;-)
genesiskenshin ══╣╠══

That sounds way too familiar. o_O
belenen ══╣mysterious╠══
hmm... actually it was about a girl named Stephanie that I knew, but I totally understand what you mean about it being familiar. That mindset isn't rare, sadly.
lucid_dreamer ══╣╠══
I liked that story.
Do you have any more?

belenen ══╣artistic╠══
well, yes, but none in that style, and none so polished...
lucid_dreamer ══╣╠══
polished or not, I am interested in reading a few.
(if you don't mind).

inode_finder ══╣╠══
Nice story.
Too bad Stephanie just did not tell them to jump into a lake.
Did any one bury the crow??
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I really don't know. :-\
phrankenstyne ══╣Bullshit╠══
This is a very deep and an almost disturbing story, though not in the way some people would think. (I'm trying hard not to critique it. If you had wanted that, you'd have asked.) The conversation with the 'christians' (notice the small 'c') is both a stereotype and an accurate representation. It sounds reminiscent of Jerry Falwell(sp?) and the extremist right-wing conservatives, and the brainwashing the divided church tries to cram down your throat.

What's worse? I have these views. . .and I'm a Christian.

I think I should pack up my soapbox.

Carry on.
phrankenstyne ══╣╠══
Shameless plug.
I noticed I don't have a pic on your sidebar, and thought I'd link one for you.

Here it is.
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
Re: Shameless plug.
yay! Now I just have to collect some more so that I have enough colors...
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
I know. The sad thing was, those little girls really were trying to help -- they just totally didn't know what they were about. And it is really hard to cast off the flaws of religion (or even recognize them, for young Christians) while still embracing faith in God.

The meaning behind this story is something I face everyday, something I think about constantly.
belenen ══╣curious╠══
I'd be interested in your critiquing thoughts if you want to share. ;-)
boobearsguppie ══╣╠══
I added you. You seem so very down to Earth and share many interests with me. I especially like your bead work. I have tried in the past but somehow my fingers and eyes do not cooperate with one another!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you! ;-)
nikare ══╣╠══
Good thing it wasn't a raven in the crate. Whenever one of those buggers shows up, everyone suffers soon afterward. Swiftly and severely.
belenen ══╣teasing╠══
*rolls eyes*
nikare ══╣╠══
What? I'm not trying to be cute or anything. It's true.
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

Me too. I prayed for her every day for a long while... I really wish I could get in touch with her and find out how she is.
iconoclastism drew
invisibleglue ══╣iconoclastism drew╠══
I liked that. I'd be interested in reading more of your work. Do share!
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
awesome! I'm glad you liked it, I'll have to dig up some more...
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.