Days Get Dark Early

33 stone-winged ravens fell from the tree outside of his home, a small wooden structure set back on the hill above the creek, dry this time of year though often full of deer, searching. He counted each paralyzed bird without touching a one, grabbed his thick book of notes and sketches from where it sat on his porch and, crunching frost-bitten leaves under his feet, set up a small path leading farther upwards. There was a stump he preferred for this sort of thing. His eyes began to sweat before he arrived. Something pulled at his bootlaces, something he thought to be thorns. He glanced down and his stomach fell into his guts.

Fingers as long and twisted as oak roots closed upon his ankle, holding him in place. Tucking his book into his long jacket, he withdraw a buck knife and, blinking away sweat, set to prying himself free. The fingers jumped back into the earth as his knife separated their flesh from his leather. Calming his breath, he looked down to where he had left the ravens, hoping to record their pattern before the world twisted once again and he was simply an old man, living in the woods alone. But they were gone.

He folded up his knife, took out his pipe, and, fumbling for matches in a pocket too big for such a small thing, and sat on his stump.

One thought on “Days Get Dark Early

  1. Blimey, as we say in these parts! This creepy bulletin from dystopia put me in mind, for some reason, of Macbeth:

    ‘Light thickens, and the crow
    Makes wing to th’ rooky wood.
    Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
    Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.’

    Liked by 1 person

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