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.