I pressed my hands over my ears. I ducked my head under myself. I had skidded on my knees when I hurled myself against the car. Now they stung. Though not as much as the thought of claws tearing the back of my neck.

The crows kept swarming around me. But I dared to peek out.

Around and around they went. Both in the sky and in front of the house. There wasn’t any way out, even though  the crows weren’t attacking me. I couldn’t just walk very well just walk through a large murder of crows.

I ducked my head back down. But as I did I caught a view from underneath the car.

The forest had crept in closer, even closer than it had been before. Right up to my car. And I could get to it, the forest. And it didn’t seem like the crows were flying in the wood. I thought a creepy forest would be better than being pecked to death by crows.

I slipped under the car. I was careful not to graze me head, or anything else. I honestly don’t remember being in a tighter place, less having mad crows flying around and flapping at the sides of the car, cawing after me as I went.

I inched my way under, flat on my stomach. I groped forward, happy it was gravel and not cement. Once I was in the woods on the other side I would be away from the crows.

After that, I had no idea what I would do.

I pushed my way out the other side, right up against a tree. A tree that hadn’t been there, and shouldn’t have been there. But there was nothing I could do about it. So I crawled out. The ground was wet with dead leaves, dirt, and sticks. I stood up and took a few steps back. But as soon as I did the crows spotted me. Others circled the house, but a group swung around. They flew into the woods. Right towards me.

I ran. Straight into the woods. There was no other place to go and they were driving me on.

I threw branches out of my way. Some snapped back after me. The woods were dark. I could hardly see where I was going. The ground was soft and damp.

I thought it was stupid that I was running from a flock of crows, my panic no short of a screaming school girl. But there it was: the crows were coming after me, and coming fast.

But the deeper in the forest I ran, the thicker is became. Branches skewed the crows’ path as they did mine. But I was able to duck under them. Running blindly. Breathing hard. Panicking a little.
The crows cawed louder as they flew against the twigs. Snapping them. But the crows came too thick and fast. I could feel them beginning to fly upwards. Away from me.

But I kept running, even though I had a feeling that I shouldn’t run deep into a dark forest.

I slipped. I rolled onto my back as I heard crows rushing above me. They were flying out of the trees, one great swarm of them. They had given up the chase.

“Thank goodness,” I murmured. But  I didn’t move. I just watched them fly away as I caught my breath.  My knees started stinging again. The ground was very wet, uncomfortable with roots jarred up everywhere. But the crows might have  only lost sight of me, so I didn’t want to move till I lost sight of them.

Eventually the crows flew away. I could still hear them. But they were out of what sight I had of the sky. Grey between black branches. It was after the crows left that I realized the silence in the woods. And the sound of someone walking behind me made me jerk up.

I scrambled behind a tree, crouching. There was someone else in the woods. And I was worried it was one of the doubles. My double.

I listened. But the footsteps weren’t coming towards me, at least not directly. They were sort of wandering in a small area. Leaves crunched as boots scuffed them. Like they were looking for something.

The sound of the crows was distant now, hardly even there.

I looked around the tree. It was too dark to make the figure out of first. He was in a black coat and had some sort of scanner in his hand, blinking a green light. I hoped it wasn’t who I thought. I figured out who it was though when he turned around.

 

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