Thirteen is a Conspiracy

In my quest to write more and to write better, I am trying to write more fictional pieces. As most of you know, the Raven is often a focal point for me. I just felt motivated to write this.  It is what it is. It isn't a complete story by any means, but rather, just a beginning.

The shift between here and there is becoming more and more arduous. The more she fell into the darkness the more her brain hurt. She wasn't sure if she could do it anymore. This side beckons her and she feels obligated to stay here, but that side is infinitely more exciting.  Here is everyone and everything she knows. She has her poor sickly mother to care for on this side. Her whole life has been spent caring for her mother. Her mother was old from the time that Francesca was born. Francesca can remember looking into her mother’s eyes on the day she was born and her mother seemed old, worldly, damaged…craggy.

Over time, Francesca grew bored with it only being her and her mother. And realistically it was only Francesca. Her mother never talked anymore and hasn’t for years. The last words her mother said to her were,

“Eventually you won’t be able to come back.”

Francesca knew implicitly that her mother was right. She could feel it.

Francesca never had a father or any siblings. She feels as though there is no one else she is connected to on this earth. Some days she wishes there was someone like her; someone she could confide in; someone that would know her without her having to say a word. But that’s too much to hope for. As a child she quizzed her mother from time to time about her father. Surely she had a father, but her mother emphatically and unequivocally would say,

“No, you have no father.”

Francesca didn’t believe her. After all, she knows about conception and it’s utterly impossible to not have a biological father even if he were only a sperm donor. Francesca had to know. She questioned her mother often and without reservation. She even started to look through her mother’s belongings in hopes of finding some clues about her paternity. But it was to no avail.

One day as Francesca was looking through her mother’s things, her mother snuck up on her and caught her. Her mother always seemed to appear out of nowhere. Francesca never saw her coming or going but could feel her presence from time to time even though she couldn’t physically see her.  The old woman appeared right behind her and Francesca could feel her breath on her neck; it was thick like pea soup against her skin. It freaked her out and with a shrilled scream, Francesca fainted and as her head hit the ground, a black feather fell to the ground and landed beside her.

This was the first time that Francesca went over to that side. Before she fainted she heard a ringing in her left ear and everything went blurry. She felt like she was falling down a tunnel. She remembers clambering to get to the top of the tunnel. She was pulling herself up, but she went nowhere.  She was weakened from the transition. She managed to get to her knees.  The ground was soaking wet; she could hear the water beneath her feet splashing. She caught a glimpse of her image in the puddle that embodies her reflection and as she stretched out her arms, her wingspan was epic. A black feather fell from her body and landed beside her feet.

She raised her head and there was a conspiracy….thirteen of the most magnificent ravens she has ever seen.

~Jennifer Ward

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