He sat on the chimney for three days, watching… watching…

Occasionally he let out an ominous caw sending shivers along my spine, and his piercing eyes followed whenever I braved the yard.

Reminded of Hitchcock’s The Birds, a film I’d never been able to watch to completion, I scanned yard and sky for more bird life but not a single sparrow, robin or pigeon could be seen or heard since the arrival of the huge black crow. Not even the tiny finches who usually flitted through the surrounding parkland, brightening even the dullest days.

Early on the fourth morning, I ventured outside on the premise of depositing vegetable peelings into my compost bin.  I casually looked towards the aerial as I turned to go back inside, my breath held tight, hoping he’d have flown during the night.  But those shrewd eyes mocked me, as if to say ‘I know you’re looking for me.’

Back inside I held my coffee mug with shaky hands, and again mentally audited my list of elderly relatives, friends and acquaintances, neighbours and my newly-licenced teenager whose car of choice was much too powerful in my opinion. Surely, this dark harbinger of doom was a sign of impending calamity.

The weatherman, courtesy of News-at-Six, predicted sunny days but grey clouds covered the sky with no hint of sun peeping through.

Showered and dressed, I set off for work, a fifteen-minute walk.

He watched as the gate squeaked shut. I let out a sigh, glad I’d escape his presence for a few hours.

Alas, I reached the grey brick house on the corner, looked up and saw him leering smugly from the top of the high-pitched roof.

I marched on. He flew from roof-top to roof-top. I quickened my steps. He flew faster. I paused at the red traffic light, he perched directly above.

On the green signal I set off again, my feet tripping over each other until…

That foreboding feathered vertebrate landed atop the electricity pole, sizzled and landed on the ground in front of me… burnt to a crisp.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
11 months ago

Sandra, this is so scary! Unlike you, I have watched Hitchcock’s “The Birds” in its entirety, and it is truly terrifying. Your story had me on the edge of my seat, and the end was unexpected and fun. I won’t give it away for those who haven’t read the story, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Your photo was perfect too, by the way. So Halloweeny!

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
11 months ago

Loved this Sandra! The end was deliciously unexpected as I was imagining this bird stalking the human with intent but it was the one ending stalked. I enjoyed the description of mundane activities while the fear beats a crescendo…

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
11 months ago

Sandra, the suspense in your story is pitched perfectly and is paced so well that you are compelled to read to the end… and then that marvellous twist. Such fun, loved it!

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Heather C
Heather C(@heather-c)
11 months ago

Sandra, I loved the end to this suspenseful tale! Nice work! I’m a huge fan of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe and you definitely captured the essence of a creepy, meddlesome crow!

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
11 months ago

I haven’t watched Hitchcock’s, “The Birds”, but I want to say this story is indeed scary. Thank God the trailer was finally toasted. Did it truly happen?

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
10 months ago

Hello Sandra
The forbodings are scary and the ending is justified.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Sandra James
10 months ago

You’re welcome.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

Oh, Sandra. I love it so much. My hair stood on end, and the picture was also scary. Fortunately, the ending made me laugh. Awesome twist. Poor crow. It was burned and roasted.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Sandra James
10 months ago

You’re welcome, Sandra. Well done.

Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz
Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz(@henry-vinicio-valerio-madriz)
2 months ago

Great suspense and great end!!! Your story got me all along.

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