Ok, so I’m sorry that this is short, but I’m doing it in parts, and well, this is how short the next part is.
I went out one of the side doors that led to the little untended garden. It intrigued me. Probably the wildness of it. After being on a barren moon, where I built things that were set and planned, where even the position of craters began to seem too accurate, a little plant with no supervision and with a mind of its own was quite a relief.
I zipped up my jacket and put up my hood. It was quiet out, besides the birds. I went out onto the stone path. Weeds ate through the cracks. Everything was damp. Last night it had been damp too. Spray had been all over my windshield. I had arrived late off the shuttle from the space station. Turbulence. And after my short plain ride it gave me an even worse headache. It stayed with me through my entire drive.
I stepped by an old rose bush. The crow flew away.
It had taken me half an hour to drive out of the city. The rest of way I was deep in the countryside. Woods. Moors. Woods. Moors.
I looked up at the forest. I could see it now in the daylight.
I had driven an hour when my head really began to spin. The headache was worse. The trees were very close to the road. I could see them hanging over the headlights. And they seemed to get closer and closer.
A twig snapped under me. The forest was still.
The branches had begun to scratch against the roof of the car. I began to guess I was on the wrong road. It seemed odd that it would be so untended, even in the country. They scratched the windshield too. I didn’t slow down. Yet suddenly I couldn’t see the road at all. Only the yellow headlights and the trees. Until a shape wielded in front of me, threatening to crash right into me.
A crow with its claws outspread. Its eyes looked straight at mine.
I heard the crow cawing on another perch.
But then instead of hitting the bird I had driven out of the trees at last. Least I thought it had been a bird. But I shook off the thought because there was no reason for a bird to be out that late at night.
I kept walking down the path. The air felt good in my lungs. Cold and damp as it was. I wondered if it had been a bird last night. Looking up I noticed the crow was quiet again. It might have been quiet for a while too because I farther down the path than I remembered. Though I was barely past the house. I could see the moor now, looking out. The ground took a bit of a slope, right under the feet of the garden.
I crouched down on one of the flagstones and looked out. Everything looked so peaceful, but at the same time I still felt unsettled. The crow last night didn’t feel quite right. And it became worse when I looked out at the trees and noticed that they were in a perfect line, and in each of them was a hole like a gaping mouth.
I was pretty sure they hadn’t been that way before.
I was still for a moment. I looked at them, and it was like they were looking back at me. The heather field was between us, but it wasn’t that far.
The crow sat on a fencepost to my left. He was watching me too.
Like all of them were telling me, pulling me, to walk across the field.
Instead I turned back towards the house and went inside.