Murderous Rebirth

The sun has set and the sky a burnt amber.  From staring into the setting sun, all she can now see are mimicked suns dotting the landscape. The dimming light sets off this dreamscape. This place is the vision of her dreams. Across the inlet is a turtle shaped island. The island is vacant, no homes or buildings have been erected. There is, however, a lone boat dock on the eastern side of the island.

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The smell of the sea salt pervasive, yet inviting, seems to waft her in. Dark purple starfish take up valuable real estate on the dock posts. They hover just at the water line drinking in the setting sunlight and the ocean wake.  Muscles cling to the dock as crabs try not to get caught in traps. Seagulls squawk in the distance calling out to friends that dinner is ready.

Dead fishing poles and netting line the beach in epic proportions. A storm’s overthrow transforms the landscape. Trees displaced, uprooted, take up residence at the mouth of inlet. Salmon carcasses amidst the rocks account for the feeding frenzy amongst the gulls. 

The land outcrops to the rocky edge and falls into the abyss. The ocean cresting over the rocks forming and transforming the earth into a re-imagined beauty. Through the gap in the rock is a sand crab that is toiling over a slippery cavern.

Standing on the edge of the outcropping, she stares into the distance. She sees a black dot appear and at first it is careless in nature, weaving and zigzagging without purpose. Then this carelessness turns into determination as the black dot hurdles toward her. As it gets closer, she sees its wingspan of six feet and black-feathered body.

At her feet lies an abandoned fishing rod. She picks it up and casts the line outward to the ocean.  With unabashed expertise, the fishing line loops around the neck of the bird; she pulls the bird toward her effortlessly even though the bird is destined for her. 

She panics and drops the fishing rod. It lay in a heap at her side. From the trees, there are whispers. She turns to look, but no one is there. As she turns toward the inlet, the bird has revealed itself...Raven.  Its eyes pierce her flesh and turn her inside out.  She feels her skin ripping…burning…stretching...sweat pores from her limbs.

The Raven ever-closer transforms into man. She gasps audibly. “Shapeshifter”. His hair long and dark is adorned with two feathers. His buckskin clothing is intricately weaved with multi-coloured beaded patterns.  His eyes are not foreboding as they were in his animal form.  His voice, inaudible, and the message incoherent. “What is he trying to tell her?” She tries to hear him, but fear overcomes her. She cannot hear him. From the trees she hears more whispering but to the untrained ear it sounds like the caw of ravens.

“What’s that?” she cannot make out what they are saying. Her eyes darting from trees to foreground and back. Too much noise now; it is much too loud and enveloping. She’s engulfed in its wave. The cawing turns to screams...the waves crashing against the rocks. The starfish are clambering up the poles reaching out from the ocean floor. The crab swallowed by the crevice grasps onto slippery algae laden rocks.  The seagulls dining on salmon flee toward the western horizon. And SHE is being consumed, unraveled. All these eyes peering from the trees, a murder, witness the rebirth.

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~Jennifer Ward

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