NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

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NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JillStar » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:14 pm

Please visit What is Fast Fiction to learn about these prompts.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post. Once you have an idea, begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to fix it... just write. Try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit but if you go over, that's completely fine!

If you want to post your finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site.

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SUBJECT: There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak.
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby timberline » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:59 am

Here we go, 1,054 words ripped off in 47 minutes. Comments welcome, but no answers are guaranteed.

The Crows Stole My Heart

The crows were shooting over the Columbia like black bullets, wheeling and sawing over the water in their spring mating dance. They’d find mates. I’d lost mine to a heart attack a year ago and the fact I was alone never left me.

I wandered back to town, cheered a bit that the last snow had melted and spring was kissing the Oregon hills. On Third Avenue I bought my groceries and dropped them in the truck, then turned when I heard a screech. A little foreign car had stopped in the middle of the street and people were running out of stores. Lying on the asphalt was a child — the Gibson kid I recognized because of her red sneakers and knew because you know everyone in a town of 433 people. A woman got to her ahead of the others and I was right behind.

“She’ll be alright,” the woman said to no one. I’d seen this woman two or three times in the past month, but she was still the foreigner. Matty at the feed store told me she’d rented the place up on Celilo Road.

“I’m an EMS trained fire fighter,” I said nudging her away. The kid looked up and said, “I’m okay,” shook her head and tried to get up. “Goldarn drivers,” she muttered.

The driver apologized like crazy and offered help, but none was needed. Axel Vanderpool jogged over in his well-pressed police uniform and suggested the man come with him to explain what had happened.

“You okay?” I asked the stranger.

“I’m fine. Just such a shock, seeing the poor child struck….”

The woman was tall and well-built, somewhere on the other side of 40 years from the slight wrinkles around her eyes, but what beautiful eyes under her tortoise shell glasses framed by auburn hair. She bent down to retrieve her pocketbook.

“Welcome to Mosier. You’re the new person in town, I think.”

“Yes, new.” She twisted her neck as through shaking off the memory of the accident.

“Let me get you a cup of coffee….”

“No, I’m alright. I must go. I have work.”

“One cup. It’s a shock.”
* * *
Adelphia was her name, “A pretty name, and you’re a good match for the name.”

She smiled at that and pushed the glasses up on the bridge of her nose.

“I don’t mean to be forward, taking you away from work, but I don't know how to say.... I haven't seen many people even in this small burg. You're the first woman...."

“What do you mean?” She had a fine neck. A good haircut. A great smile and her glasses gave her the kind of smart look like she might be a librarian or schoolteacher.

“Why not?” she continued. “A fire fighter is always helping other people.:” She sipped her coffee.

“Well, I don’t want to burden you, my life story and all….. My wife passed away. Six months ago.” I looked at her with eyes that were still distant, as though surveying the river through morning fog. “I felt she betrayed me when she died. When you're missing someone, the entire world is empty.”

“I recognize the feeling. The world disappears, so the only option seems to be for you to disappear too.”
* * *
Adelphia was a courteous conversationalist, but she didn’t fill her words with information. Just pleasantries. I took her back to her car and then did the unthinkable. I asked if she’d like to go out for dinner at the Italian place near Hood River. And to my everlasting surprise and pleasure, she agreed.

Adelphia was putty that rejoined the pieces of my life as we saw each other once a week. I reached the mountaintop when she said, “My world was desolate until I met you, Brian. And if each time we meet is the last time, so be it. But thank you”

“Friends told me grief would end. That I'd find someone new. But people can't be replaced like car parts.”

“No,” she said slowly. “But we're all alone, each of us, except for a few moments when a spark is lit, when something happens.”

I brought her home to my place that night and for a few hours my life was whole again. But there was still an entire vacuum as far as Adelphia was concerned. She refused to tell me where she’d come from, whether there was a family to serve as support, an education or skill that kept body and soul together. She was as mute in her personal information as the rocks lining the Columbia Gorge.

Then there was nothing. Her cell phone was never answered. Her cabin was empty to my knocks and shouts. The car in the drive told no secrets. I peered into windows and saw no form lying unconscious on the floor. Another day went by and I returned hoping to find she’d come back. There had to be answers to the empty house.

A loud cawing shook me out of my worries and I turned. There was a crow on the gate, carrying eye glasses in his beak. Adelphia’s glasses, and a chill swept through my body. Something had happened. I called the police.

Axel drove up in his squad car. I explained the situation and together we busted down the front door. The house was as empty as if it was ready for the next renter, except Adelphia’s stuff was still there. Not enough wearables to fill a closet clothes pole, a fridge with frozen food, and a laptop computer.

While Axel was looking around, I opened the laptop. Adelphia had no Internet connection and only a Word application. I opened Word and was surprised there were no documents. Nothing. What was this woman doing here? Why was she here. Axel had even fewer answers.

“I’ll write up a report on this, but I don’t know what to write. A person no one knows disappears leaving no trace. Beats me. I’ll take the computer and be back later to do some forensics. ” He drove off, leaving me alone.

I took the glasses the crow had dropped, remembering that I should’ve given them to Axel. The lenses were as empty of prescription as a window pane. Who wears glasses that don’t bring anything into focus?

# # #
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JillStar » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:24 pm

Hey Timber!

I like the way this story progresses. Of course, I'm left wondering quite a bit about the woman. There's definitely a mystery potential here... some intrigue perhaps. Where is the woman from, why did she so easily say the only option is to disappear when the world disappears, and where did she go so abruptly. Is she a wanted fugitive or maybe a bounty hunter who went a little too far one day and is now on the run.

Glad you shared it. :)
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby timberline » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:04 pm

There is an ending, and I added it over at Facebook. Goes like this....

Sitting in my car, reluctant to leave the area, I knew I’d never see Adelphia alive again. Had she been senselessly abducted, killed by an enemy, or did she simply wander off to the bottom of the river? Maybe she was swept up in a squadron of crows. This was irrelevant. What mattered, selfishly, was that I’d lost my friend and a resurrection from my grief. My direction now was as unfocused as Adelphia’s glasses had been.
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JB » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:47 pm

well, here is my take on this prompt...needs work so be gentle!!

DEMETRIUS


“Look, Mama. That crow on the fence. He has...why he has spectacles in his beak, Mama.”

“I see that, Charlotte, I see. No. Don't run toward him, dear. You'll scare him.”

“But mama...”

“Now, Charlotte, do as mommy says and sit back down here and eat your sandwich. I made your favorite.”

“Cucumber?”

“Yes, and we have nice lemonade. Hilda made it especially for you. Now, sit.”

The little girl sat obediently on the blanket. Such a silly sight. Maybe she would get the chance to sneak up to the black, glossy bird after lunch, if it were still there. She just had to remember to be quiet.

Very quiet. Then she would have those glasses...

^^^^^^^^

I loved him.

I loathed him.

I speak of my Master...my benefactor of many years.

We would collaborate on his writings in the library for hours on end, time flying as he called me his “inspiration,” on more than a handful of his works. Once in a while he called me a clever fellow, to which my parents could of never foreseen.

He would ask me ever so often, “'how do you think that will work out, Demetrius?'” I let him know what I thought with a kind word and he would hum and go back to his paper. Those were few, but happy years.

As time went on, I noticed a change in him. He would be lighting up the page with his quick hand, and he would suddenly stop and put his hand to his head--obviously in pain.

Abruptly but still not unkind, “'Demetrius, I need to be alone,” he would begin. “'Tell Virginia I'm in need of something for my pain.'”

I would take leave of my master and ring a bell, to which Virginia would hear downstairs. Her footsteps always came quickly. “' My poor husband!'” She would cry.

A little liquid drink and opium seemed to cure his ills—at first. When those stopped helping the pain, he began to get more and more angry. “'My head hurts so bad, my friend, I am fearful that it is hurting my site.'”

I could only lend a kind ear, for I could not fathom what my Master was going through.

It was then, Virginia suggested to my Master that he should try spectacles and maybe that would help him. Soon after, with his sterling, oval lenses, he seemed to be my old master of old.

But all good things come to an end.

Those glasses changed him. No, I'm not crazy—they changed him. No one saw it but me, but I was his only confidant and I was also the first one shut out of his life.

The first and unfortunately last time I was in good standing with my Master was on a day that he and Virginia went to the park for a walk. She had been feeling ill and melancholy and he told her that what she needed was a day of sunshine. .

“'We will be home for dinner, Demetrius,'” Virginia smiled as they took off in the carriage.

It was then I had the sudden thought, to take a look at Master's “seeing eyes} that were left on the writing desk in the library. Just a quick peek.

I got caught up in looking through them, as they were atop a novel that my Master was reading. The words behind the glass were enlarged. I bent over to pick them up...

“'Demetrius!'” My Master yelled! “'What are you doing?'”

Startled, I dropped the spectacles on the floor. I had been so entangled in the mystery of these magic eyes, that I didn't hear the rain outside and my Master and Virginia coming in.

“'OUT!'” My Master screamed. “'You are never to touch my spectacles ever again!'”

I flew like the wind out of that library, barely avoiding his boot to my bottom. I heard him yell after me, “'Curse you, Demitrius, you broke them! You cursed....'” The door slammed shut and I didn't want to hear him.

He had yelled at me and slammed the door shut on our friendship.

For what?

All over those cursed glasses.

I'll show him, was the only thought I could muster as I found a place of refuge on the veranda.

Those glasses were my enemy now.
~~~~~~~~

It was early the next afternoon before I dared venture back inside. It was almost twelve and my Master and Virginia would be having lunch on the back veranda.

This was my chance. I silently went in to the library. The spectacles were sitting on the desk. A small crack at the top made me feel a pang of guilt for what I was about to do.

Take the damn things and hide them! Hide them away forever!

I grabbed the glasses and was able to leave undetected out of my Master's abode.

It was not long before I found myself in the city park. People of all sorts milled about. Surely, there was a good place to hide these. Maybe if Master acts kind again, I could retrieve them and give them back to him.

Or maybe not. This freedom felt good.

I was about to leave my perch when a voice came from behind...

“'I'm going to get those little birdy!'” The little girl screamed angrily as she missed me.

Startled, I swept up into the air, over the flower-lined lake.

“Come back, birdy!'” Charlotte yelled. “Come back! I want those spectacles!”

I flew over the lake looking back. Almost expecting the golden haired monster to come after me. She was jumping up and down, pointing at me and crying. Her mother coming up behind and spanked her.

~~~~

My happiness at avoiding capture was short lived however. The spectacles were no longer in my claws!

Frantic, I turned back over the stretch of water I had flown over. Looking for any sign of the oval rimmed frames.

They were gone. I had dropped them somewhere...somewhere in the dark waters of the lake.

“Horror!” I cried out! I wasn't going to be able to return my Masters spectacles-now, or ever.

Dismayed, I realized that they were gone forever...

to be found nevermore.
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JillStar » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:24 pm

timberline wrote:There is an ending, and I added it over at Facebook. Goes like this....

Sitting in my car, reluctant to leave the area, I knew I’d never see Adelphia alive again. Had she been senselessly abducted, killed by an enemy, or did she simply wander off to the bottom of the river? Maybe she was swept up in a squadron of crows. This was irrelevant. What mattered, selfishly, was that I’d lost my friend and a resurrection from my grief. My direction now was as unfocused as Adelphia’s glasses had been.


I don't know Timber... I think I like it better without this ending. Probably because this is so permanent? Of course, no story writer ever satisfies every reader, right? See now, be being into more fantasy was thinking she was originally a crow and had run the course of her time as a human only to be turned back into a crow. :wink:
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JillStar » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:28 pm

JB wrote:well, here is my take on this prompt...needs work so be gentle!!


It took me a bit to realize just who Demetrius was... practically to the point of introducing the young girl again. I'm not sure if that was your intent or not (?) but I might be slow on the draw. If you wanted me to know who he was all along then I would add something about how he feels or maybe stretching a wing or something like that.

I'm also very curious why the glasses changed his master or why he thinks they did.

Pretty good start!
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JB » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:08 pm

I was trying to make the reader guess as to the identity of the author. That part is how I wanted it, so at least that was a success.

However. the original idea--on paper anyway, was that this turned out to be a raven and not a crow. So the ending was a clue to who the bird's master was.

I did the FF in longhand and when I went to type it, it went all over the place, so, things changed in the story as I put them on the computer. I'm sure that never happens to anyone, eh?

I'll be doing a rewrite soon and repost later. :-D
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby timberline » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:27 am

I forgot to mention, “The Crows Stole My Heart” was published by CommuterLit April 14, at http://commuterlit.com/2016/04/thursday ... -my-heart/. And I'm still thinking about stories that don't have a conclusive ending.
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Re: NEW FF - There was a crow on the fence today, carrying eye glasses in his beak

Postby JillStar » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:20 pm

Awesome Timber!
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