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Many factors influence property values, including unexpected changes and situations.
Who is impacted and what responses do owners emply? Writers explored the possibilities.
The following are based on the May 17, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about property values.
PART I (10-minute read)
Value in the Balance (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
“Property values go up the more improvements we make.” Cobb replaced his years of responsibility as a sheriff with a drive to improve every inch of Rock Creek Station.
Sarah unpacked the latest freight of sundries from St. Louis While Cobb sawed planks for the new schoolhouse. The wood gleamed gold like the barn, toll booth, toll bridge, post office, eastside station and horse stables. The store Sarah operated had gray wood, showing its age. Sarah calculated Cobbs improvements and noted that it added up to more debt that income.
“Those values had better go up soon,” she muttered.
Property Value by Deborah Lee
“But I don’t want to sell my house,” Michelle says.
“Property values are up,” Caroline presses. “Now’s your chance to make a killing.”
“Just move for no reason? I like my house.”
“Roll it into a bigger house, with land.” Duh, says Caroline’s tone.
“Uh-huh,” says Michelle, “with an even bigger mortgage, double the payment.”
“Not if you buy farther out, get ahead of the next gentrification rush.”
“Yeah, so then my commute is two hours one way instead of one. No thanks.”
“But property values–”
Michelle holds her hand up: stop. “There’s a big difference between value and worth.”
Rise and Fall by Sherri Matthews
“Can you believe it, she took the broiler pan from the oven?”
Joy smiled sweetly at her new neighbour. “I’m sure it was by accident, if she did.”
“Well, I’m not happy about it.” Phyllis Mather huffed.
That night, Joy emailed her best friend Shirley and told her everything Phyllis had said. “Accused you of taking the drapes too, of all the nerve.”
Shirley had bigger fish to fry with her divorce and didn’t care much, but she smiled when she read Joy’s further news that property values in her old neighbourhood had since slumped. Broiler pan my ass.
Property Values by Susan Sleggs
The elderly nosy sisters returned home to see a sold sign on the house next door.
“Damn, we missed seeing who bought it,” Ethel said.
To their dismay two noisy Harley’s arrived a few weeks later just before a moving van.
“Bikers! There goes the neighborhood. I wonder if they know their back yard connects to a cops. This could get interesting,” Maude said peeking out.
The next day the sisters watched the cop and his family walk in next door with a six-pack and a heavy picnic basket.
“Well there goes our fun. They already know each other.”
New Decking by Jacob Powell
We found a body in our back garden. Right where we wanted our new decking. What are the chances?
The estate agents obviously never said anything about it.
Of course the local media soon caught wind and documented the whole thing: forensic tents, police detectives, us.
Months later and they’re still camped outside our door every day.
We’re sick of the attention and want to move; start again somewhere else. But we can’t because the property is now worth pennies, and no one wants to live in a suspected “murder house.”
And we still haven’t got our new decking.
Moving Day by Teresa Grabs
Moving day is almost always noisy, but this time was exceptionally loud; even Taft heard the commotion three subdivisions over. The new neighbor is young and that always makes a difference.
“Son, we’re a quiet neighborhood,” Pershing told him, patting the young man on the shoulder.
“We have the best property values in town,” I added. “Quiet, peaceful, and away from the Blue Line.”
“Oh, lord knows, I feel for those by the Blue Line,” Pershing agreed, nodding. “Welcome to Arlington.”
“I could get used to it here,” the young man said, looking around. “Just thought I’d be older.”
Property Values by Frank Hubeny
Tim’s intuition played tricks on him. What he thought would turn a profit didn’t. What he gave up on suddenly succeeded.
He didn’t want the Langford place, but Jennifer loved its enchanted forest. So they bought it. They also bought the Stevens property. Its value rose, as did their taxes, but this year they sold it for a loss.
Jennifer walked with him through the Langford woods. She pointed out, “We could build a home near the fairies if we keep it small.”
Tim felt his intuition smile at Jennifer’s innocence. They built that home and kept it small.
Hen Pecked by Molly Stevens
Chester slammed his fist on the counter. “I need to talk to the town manager now.”
“What’s going on, Chester?”
“I’ve put up with that birdwatchin’, forest bathin’ woman next door and didn’t even complain when she was arrested for indecent exposure. But I’ve reached my limit.”
She’s set up a chicken coup, and I don’t like what this does to the valuation of my property. Plus I’ve got her free-range idiots chasin’ me around my yard, peckin’ at my legs.”
“Have you cleaned the tires and trash out from behind your shed?”
“Don’t change the subject.”
There Goes the Neighborhood by Jan Malique
You wouldn’t associate the words cheerful and vampires as bedfellows, in this case rather apt though. They were new to the neighbourhood, incomers from the Old Country. Things had moved on in the vampire world, the main covens had decided to rebrand themselves, present a positive image of the undead.
Their fellow vampire neighbours were rabidly snobbish and intolerant, considering these incomers as undesirables and blamed for the property values going down. It was a war of attrition alas. Despite this the incomers aimed to be the epitome of everything their neighbours considered “beyond the pale”. Vive la differénce!
Turrets by thedarknetizen
The castle stood tall, covered in thin layers of white snow. Lush green forests surrounded the secluded dwelling. It was perfect for my friends and me. The four of us could now live our dream. It was the right decision to buy this isolated castle, got it for cheap as well. The surroundings will need a lot of work, but we are up for it. We are willing to go to any lengths in order to achieve our dream.
Now, all we need to do is to find young witches and wizards who are eager to learn about magic.
Witches Next Door by Kerry E.B. Black
Poppa scowled at the moving van, inventorying items deposited next door. Movers left garden items – astrolabes, statuary, tools, and potted plants – along the fenceline. Poppa stomped out a cigarette. “Darnnit, there goes the neighborhood.”
Josey crinkled her forehead. “Why, Poppa?”
He pointed. “Spell books. Magic chests. At least four cats. Witches’re moving in.”
Two plump, frizzy-haired ladies smiled and waved.
Window View by Deborah Kiyono
Through the large window of her bedroom, she can see all the constructions of the city ending in a line of hills far enough to touch the sky. The sun comes by to greet her every morning with his gentle rays waking her up for another day of adventures.
Looking at the view, sitting at her desk, she flies away and explores many kingdoms, travels to unknown galaxies and meets other beings of different realms.
Grateful, she returns, blessing this most valuable item of her apartment for preventing her from feeling trapped in a cage, away from the world.
Property Values by Lady Lee Manila
The three little pigs were busy building their brick house.
Their neighbour, Little Bo Peep arrived and said angrily: “I’ve had enough of you! I don’t think you have building permission constructing your house.”
“You started attracting vermin (she meant the wolf) and my sheep started disappearing!”
“That’s why we’re building this house, because of the big bad wolf, who kept on huffing and puffing.”
“This is not the end of this. You pigs started moving to this area, and look what’s happening to our property prices- I bet they have gone down a lot.” And off she went.
Priced to Sell by Heather Gonzalez
“How did we manage to get such a good price for the house?” Mandy asked putting down a heavy box of dishes on their new kitchen counter.
“The realtor said the owners were motivated to sell.” Jackie replied opening a box.
Once the sisters had moved everything inside, they decided to call it a night. Mandy found that the silence made it hard to fall asleep. She tossed and turned until she heard the door open. When she felt the bed move, she rolled over to talk to her sister only to find an empty side of the bed.
Property Value by Jack Schuyler
The realtor walked them through the last room, and the couple looked shyly about with suppressed enthusiasm. The man smiled at his wife, exhaled and then turned to the realtor.
“It seems like a nice house—and we’d love to buy it—but why is it so cheap?”
“Well…the thing is—there’s really no other way to put it… The previous owner never left.”
“Cold feet about saying goodbye to the old residence, eh?”
“Well yes, but not in the way you might think.”
“In what way then? Belligerence? Legal trouble? An apartment above the garage?”
“He’s a ghost.”
Infinity by Deepa
I lay awake thinking about the crystal bell I had broken when I was eight.
At 78 you broke a porcelain plate and felt a burden of yourself.
I have replaced everything in the house except for the bell. I did not throw the broken pieces, but drilled holes and tied them from strings that hang like a tinkle now.
Mom, you made me promise not to cry when you go and I kept it. I leave the door open so that the tinkle can ring and make me feel you‘ve come back home.
Property Value by Robbie Cheadle
“But it’s a symbol of love,” he pleaded with her. “The roundness of the ring indicates infinity. It is endless and eternal, just like my love for you.”
“I am not wearing a ring,” she told him firmly. “That is a lovely romantic notion, but it makes me feel like a possession. I will not be someone’s property.”
He never managed to dissuade her from this determined view about rings. He bought her both and she kept them in the safe. Beautiful and expensive, their value could only increase. she would sell them if he ever cheated.
Plummeting Values by D. Avery
They sat together in their one bedroom apartment with their laptops, looking at real estate listings.
“There’s lots of listings that have everything we want, but are out of our price range.”
“Yeah… wait, look at this. It has a porch… big backyard…. family room… plenty of bedrooms and storage… and it’s less than our maximum.”
“Oh, it sure looks nice. That is the exact place I’ve imagined raising a family. Where is it?”
“Let’s see… located close to schools…”
“Stop. We can’t raise a family close to schools.”
“What, why not?”
“Why not?! Guns. Schools are dangerous places.”
Property Values by Sarah Whiley
Amy pressed the “Sold” banner across the For Sale sign. She thought about the commission she was making and smiled. She had really upsold this one, completely overstating the value. ‘Suckers’, she thought.
She put her hands on her hips, stood back and surveyed the property one more time. As she turned to leave, she noticed smoke billowing from the back of the house. An orange glow flickered.
‘Shoot!’ Amy cursed, frantically grabbing for her phone.
Although the fire department responded quickly, by the time they’d arrived, the house had gone up in smoke…and Amy’s commission along with it!
Always Up by Neel Anil Panicker
“And what’s the guarantee it’s going to go up?”
‘Damnt it!!! Rajesh always wondered whether his wife was a born fool or turned one after marriage.
Employing his best milk and honey voice he volleyed, “My dear wife, life you know comes with no guarantees. At least, that’s what I thought until you came into my life. You’ve managed to change all that. Look at you. You’ve been a revelation. Haven’t you been delivering on your promise of giving me everlasting bliss day in and day out. Likewise, take it from me, this property will give us the same.’
Part II (10-minute read)
Home Owner by R S Sambrooks
Suzanne types a letter ‘Dear Mr and Mrs Ross’; each word tapped bullets, then printed onto headed paper, signed by the boss and folded into a creamy thick envelope.
Mr Ross waited to open it that night when his wife came in from her shift at Belushi’s. No amount of tips could cover the mortgage, her tears flow whilst his don’t work anymore, the colostomy bag took those along with his job.
They take to the road without ringing the bank, tent carried on an old pram. Mrs Ross drops him at a hospital, makes the road her home.
Forty-Three into One Will Go by Di @ pensitivity101
It stood alone, neglected and run down for at least six years that I remember.
In order to avoid local taxes, the family had the roof removed then sold it for just under £1m.
Properties round it were a mix of apartments, terraces and semis, most privately owned before the Buy to Let craziness started. Nothing was valued at more than seventy grand.
They knocked it down and developed the site with a mix similar to that already in existence. The company made a killing, as forty three homes were erected on the plot previously occupied by one bungalow.
Flash Fiction by Penny Mason
In 1968 we purchased a cute, craftsman style cottage. We paid twenty thousand.
Two children celebrated birthdays and graduation parties under the softly sloping roof.
When they left us with an empty nest, a realtor said we could sell for $200,000, enough to finance a Florida retirement.
By the time we retired, the real estate bubble had burst, and the Crabtree family with their ten children and collection of motionless autos has moved in next door. Our property value plummeted to less than $100,000.
Perhaps one day the Crabtree residence will be condemned, condos constructed, our southern dream restored.
Baby Doll by kate@aroused
Melanie’s china doll had a hallmark on her neck. Which is how the antique dealer traced her manufacture to a Polish toy maker in Germany. The doll was well over a century old and in pristine condition.
People love dolls and this one was exceptional. Her baby sized paper mache body had dimples and details to delight. Yet her value was priceless as such a doll was exceedingly rare and the sentimental value to Melody and her family knew no comparison. Their attachment to and pride in this unique family heirloom tore at their hearts but funds were needed.
The Highest Bidder by Lisa Reynolds
Tina stood before the bidders. It was an auction for her hand in marriage. She wished she could run. Run anywhere and be free from this madness where twenty men were treating her like an object.
Soon her price was rising and she was sold to a man twice her age. He licked his lips like the pervert he was and Tina, head down, made her way towards him. Purchased. Violated. Another business deal for the auctioneer. A woman filled with greed.
No allies, Tina got into the man’s car knowing her future would be bleak.
Property, property, property.
The Lament of Kowloon by H.R.R. Gorman
I was born when they put rocks around me, shy and still despite my welcoming gates. More humans came with houses and wells, and I ensconced them in my earthen folds. Invaders stole my stone walls, but I supported the burdens of my precious humans. Thousands moved in, and my houses became towers and dark alleys.
With more bodies came squalor and chaos, and the outsiders failed to help my precious charges. I tried to support them, but my veins ran out of water and my body became overcrowded. Humans demolished my structures then abandoned me through forlorn gates.
Home is Where– by Wallie & Friend
The house behind them looked small. As they rounded the hill it vanished entirely from view as if it had never even been there.
“Will you miss it?”
Annie glanced at her companion sideways. “Why do robots always ask questions that are kind of obvious?”
The synthetic man met her glance without flinching. “I miss it,” he said. “Do you ever stop missing things that go away?”
Her face tightened. This time, she had no snarky reply. “No. I don’t suppose you do.”
“I’m glad you’re with me, Mabel.”
She tried to smile. “I’m glad you’re with me, too.”
Flash Fiction by Eric Pone
Eowyn stared at Windsor Castle and sighed. “Ono I need to dump this place. It is a huge drag on finances.”
Ono responded. “Let’s get a realtor!”
Betty Whitehurst sat across the desk from Eowyn in sheer shock. “You want to sell Windsor?”
Without a beat, Eowyn smiled. “I do. This place is too large, I can’t the income I need out of it. It has to go.”
Betty had the property appraised and the art and tapestries…the history. Sitting down again with Eowyn.
“It’s priceless. Don’t be a dumbass and sell!”
Ono, replied. “How much?”
Land Reform by Anne Goodwin
Kare kare the land owned the people, rooted to the soil by their ancestors’ bones.
Until the white men’s rifles commandeered the territory for their queen.
Even after independence, red-brick buildings squatted where thatched rondavels belonged. Even when war veterans forced the whites to flee, a fence barred the people from ancestral lands. Unless to labour for the government minister who now owns the property: a fat fellow with ebony skin in a white man’s clothes. Or so they say: those who sweat to feed his greed have never seen him. But neither had they seen the English queen.
Values of Stuff by Peregrine Arc
“And here is a Parisian armchair, part of our priceless Sun King collection,” the museum guide announced. “Louis the XIV, you know…”
I tapped one of my dozing students and gestured for our guide to continue.
“And over here are more…No cell phones, please!”
A student fumbled to silent her phone, paling as she read a text message.
“There’s another school shooting…” she explained breathlessly.
“I think,” another student spoke,“armchairs have more value than us nowadays…”
Not in My Backyard by Anne Goodwin
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against them myself. I’m thinking of the old folk, and the kiddies walking past to school. With that lot shambling and gurning, shouting obscenities or proclaiming themselves the second coming of Jesus Christ. It wouldn’t be nice, like Halloween without the dressing up, the apples and sweets.
Am I concerned about house prices? Not really, I wasn’t thinking of myself. But now you mention it, it does seem unfair. Of course, the poor souls have to go somewhere. But this is such a pleasant neighbourhood. Why do the authorities want to spoil it?
La Casa’s Lament by Aweni
They attribute my worth to irrelevancies.
Does it not suffice that I give shelter?
That I shield from harsh winds?
That my hearth warms?
They come in, asking, ‘how big is the garden?’
‘Are the kitchen tops marble?’ ‘How many rooms are there?’
I don’t mind that last question though. You see, humans are weird, they do need their space.
They ask, ‘what about the neighbours?’
What about them?! Not that I’m a fan.
So loud, abusive and those graffiti! Eeewwh!
I see, you cringe too. Yes, my neighbours do drag me down.
But that’s not the issue.
Investment by Hayley Hardman
It was unreal to think the manor house I was standing before was now our’s. Sadly, the place was a memory of it’s former self. Lucky, the walls and roof were all sound but there were broken windows and doors to replace then the rooms to strip and redecorate. There was no running water, working electricity or gas and it was uninhabitable.
We were going to change all that, make it into a fine home then perhaps a hotel and open gardens. It was a life’s investment but once done up the property value would soar into the millions.
[standoff] by Deb Whittam
“I’m not having it, it’s an affront to all that we hold dear.”
Looking up at the belligerent tone she noted the nods of agreement and with difficulty repressed a sigh. No one had said being a property developer would be easy.
“I’m sorry but I’m not sure I comprehend your objections,” She replied, as she considered the development they had tabled, “Properties like yours would become gold mines – house valuations would skyrocket.”
Looking up she caught the sly twinkle in his eye and her stomach contracted, she had swallowed his bait.
The troll stated with a smile.
Property Values by Norah Colvin
The letter lay unopened for weeks. She had no more interest in its contents than she had in the house. She’d finished with all that when she told them to sell. Why were they contacting her now?
When a second envelope arrived bearing the same logo she thought to bin them both, but hesitated, and opened the first.
A cheque? She squinted at the numbers, then held it to the light. She counted the zeros, again. Really? How could a property that held so little value for her hold so much for someone else?
The second letter explained — developers.
Property Value by Irene Waters
“Turn round. Go back. If we bought this place I’d never leave it. This road is terrifying.”
“No! We said we’re going and we’re going.”
Jemma, white with fright, surveyed the tree-dotted property complete with a platypus populated cooling creek. They shook hands with the owner who said, ” We’ve had so many calls from people saying they’re coming but you’re the first to show up.”
“We wouldn’t have shown up if I’d had my way,” Jemma said. After a cuppa they left. The property held no value for them yet a week later it sold to National Geographic Photographers.
Value of People or Property by Miriam Hurdle
“We got a good deal on our 10 acres, honey.”
“First time hearing of Sequim in Washington Peninsula.”
“Many retirees here.”
“See the logging. The previous owner made a fortune.”
“We need to dig a well and have electricity connected.”
“What was the noise last night?”
“Humm… a bear visitor.”
“Wait, we park next to a beehive.”
“Get in, I’ll move the camper… Isn’t this a peaceful place for retirement?”
“What? No way. Making new friends after retirement and the neighbor is 10 acres away?”
“What do you want to do?”
“Divide the land into 4 pieces and sell.”
My Mother’s Cottage by Luccia Gray
I wished I hadn’t inherited the beautiful, but run down cottage from my eccentric yet inspirational mother. I’d have preferred to hear her reading extracts from her bestselling novels, but she finally succumbed to a long illness and donated everything else to Cancer Relief.
It didn’t feel right to sell her home, but I couldn’t afford the maintenance, until I met Jason, who contacted me on Facebook. He was the first to offer to pay for spending a few hours in my mother’s study.
Now we’re married, the cottage is fully booked for years and the value has tripled.
This Old House by Chelsea Owens
Their school year had already begun when he looked around their 10-year-old house and said, “How about we move?”
His wife glanced up from grading homework, glasses perched down her nose. Eyebrows raised, lips pursed, she said, “Okay.”
And that was how they ended up in front of the 1917 farmhouse in a town of 257 people. Only the wind spoke, with an occasional canine interjection.
“It’s about half our current mortgage,” she noted, as they surveyed almost an acre of yard.
“It may need some work,” he observed, peeking around a musty, boarded-up section.
“It’s perfect,” they said, completely smitten.
Flash Fiction by Bladud Fleas
Smart Alec, so-called because his sleeper once cost a hundred bucks, his mattress an unfolded packing case from Bergdorf Goodman, his rain shelter another from Saks. He never panhandled below Fifth, and never slept east of 49th; if he could help it. If the cops moved him on, he’d keep walking the block, until the cops moved on, or got a call.
He said he knew Trump, knew the price of any building in NYC, but they say you’re just one step away from the streets and, once there, you’re a million miles away from where you were.
Rebrand the Swamp by Bill Engleson
“Let’s go for a spin,” he said. So, as a good and gullible friend, we headed up the valley in behind the old Mission. Three dirt roads later, he pulled off into the scrub.
“It’s over that hill.”
And it was.
Whatever he saw, I didn’t. “It’s a swamp, Charlie. A mosquito-invested puddle of muck and muskrats.”
“Infested, Henry. Infested. Smell that. It stinks of opportunity.”
“Oh, it stinks all right. Look, if I need to take a bath, I’ll jump in my tub.”
“Ground floor, Henry.”
“My loss, Charlie.”
Who could have predicted International Swamp Tours?
Up The River by Juliet Nubel
They had taken refuge upstairs when the river had come crashing angrily out of its bed and swept into their home.
It had ignored their screams, settling itself comfortably throughout the ground floor, drowning their precious belongings without a hint of regret. The watermark high on the walls still showed today in spite of their scrubbing.
The prospective buyers always noticed it, their eyes growing wide when they realised what it was. They then left, never to be heard from again.
They had been imprisoned that fateful day. They would now be prisoners forever in a beautiful, worthless home.
Property by Floridaborne
“Mrs. Miller,” the tax collector said, staring into the barrel of a .45. “You have ten days to pay your taxes or you will have to vacate.”
“My father owned this farm, his father and his grandfather. You have no right to extort money from our meager earnings or take our home if we don’t pay an income tax!”
“The 16th amendment…”
“My husband died in the great war! While he fought for our freedom you bottom feeding scum found ways to steal our property!” Fifty miles from town, she pulled the trigger.
His body fertilized her vegetable garden.
Back to the Country (Ownership) by Papershots
I’ve become the gardener at my own home (my family’s. I’ve left.) Kindly contributing to the communal sharing of hardships, I was mowing the lawns when more and more grass was being left behind. Rake it away, naturally. So I went out back where… I didn’t know where a rake could be. I vaguely remembered the rake; but that wasn’t enough. And one I found leaning against a wall in the toolshed, its keyless door shut by a big tree fork, the previous owner – great-grandfather! – must have had a story about this “bifurcation in the trunk of a tree.”
A Day in the Life of a Banker by Reena Saxena
My boss: How good is your best salesperson if he cannot add value to the book at the end of the financial year? Think about replacing him.
A loan applicant: My property offered as collateral is being undervalued. The adjoining plot has been sold at double the rate.
Me: The adjoining plot has been purchased by a businessman, who will multiply his investment 10X in two years. We will not always find a buyer like him. It is only the distress sale value of an asset that really matters. It’s about being as good as the last deal clinched.
The Original Black Marketeers by Anne Goodwin
Black lead didn’t burn like peat or coal, and their wives complained it marked their clothes. So the shepherds who discovered it didn’t protest when a wealthy lawyer acquired the title deeds for the mine. A century on, their descendants cursed them, now graphite cost more than gold. These men scavenged for scraps by moonlight, sold on to Flemish smugglers to carry by packhorse to the coast. If they believed they were only claiming their birthright, it was no defence in court. The original black marketeers, betrayed by the stains on their hands, flogged and transported for their crimes.
Plowed Progress Offering Refulgent Reward via Burnished Boxes? by JulesPaige
The light through the whole in the roof, due to the fire – was distressing. A few of the bushes were cordoned off so that when repairs were made that maybe the workers wouldn’t trample them. What are the property values along a busy
Just perhaps when the building gets fixed, or torn down and rebuilt all of those other little aged homes on the street will also do some sprucing up? After all, the farmland right
across the road has almost vanished, replaced by mini-mcmansions, and several storied Condos… and a nice park for all the neighborhood children.
Cultural Value by kate @ aroused
Traditional landowners clearly had a strong spiritual connection to the land, waterways, animals, plants, seasons and dreamtime. Nomadic they survived by respect and understanding for their environment and folklore. White invaders, colonisers, committed mass genocide while raping their land and women, with blatant disregard for seasons or songlines. They mowed down forests and the people, polluted everything obsessed with their own wealth! What value could you put on plundered life and land? Stolen generations continue to this day, overseen by those who use and abuse what chance to sustain their language, culture and pride. Denigrated in every way …
Them Foreigners! by Ritu Bhathal
“This neighbourhood is just going to pot!” Sue looked out of her front room window, staring at the new arrivals on the street. “Seriously, I mean, that is the fourth family of foreigners to move in here in the last few months!”
She turned towards her husband. “Jake, I do think we need to seriously consider our options, you know darling. Property prices are plummeting because of them. Have you seen the litter? And the cooking smells?”
Jake looked up from his accounts. “Really, Surinder? Have you looked in the mirror recently? And stop calling me Jake, it’s Jagjit!”
Flourishing by D. Avery
“Carrot Ranch, Pal, it’s pretty big.”
“Yep, gits bigger ever day, seems.”
“It’s set up good fer cattle an’ hosses, plenty a range.”
“Yep. Shorty knows how ta take care a such.”
“But they’s also wilderness fer forest bathing; big skies fer dreamin’; plenty a space and cover fer unicorns, longhorns, an’ all manner a birds. They’s even fishin’ holes an’ bat caves.”
“Yep. Shorty’s got quite a spread.”
“An’ she welcomes ever’one.”
“Ever’one what kin behave.”
“Big di-verse spread like this, must be pretty valuable.”
“Kid, this place is priceless.”
“I sure value it, Pal.”
“Me too, Kid.”
“Yep, I sure admire what Shorty’s done here. Got herself a fine spread.”
“Thing is Kid, land don’t really ever belong ta anyone.”
“You sayin’ this ain’t Shorty’s ranch?”
“I ain’t sayin’ that. But Shorty belongs ta the ranch as much as the ranch belongs ta Shorty. If ya live on a place ya got a responsibility to it, gotta take care of it if’n ya ‘xpect it ta take care a you.”
“Well, Shorty sure ‘nough takes care a the ranch an’ all the critters an’ folks that come through.”
“Yep. Shorty an’ the ranch are gonna flourish.”
The Raven came to us through the gripping poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…” That raven might have cawed “Nevermore,” but that indeed was not the last word from ravens, or about them.
Writers chased black wings for stories this week. Ravens feature in the tales they inspired.
The following are based on the March 1, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a raven.
Everlore by Chelsea Owens
Once within a forest clearing, whilst I sought my heart some cheering,
With num’rous sorts of very unhealthy choc’late treats I most adore –
While I wandered, knapsack-snacking, dropping errant candy-wrapping,
I thought I heard a quiet flapping, flapping from the forest floor.
“‘Tis no predator,” I whispered, “wrapping from the forest floor –
Only garbage; an eyesore.”
Then came hum’rous Fate permitting; sending to me, most unwitting,
The view of who had made the flapping, from the littered forest floor:
Eager girl scout sitting, beaming, as I jumped up, scared and screaming –
I’m out of words; there is no more.
Raven by Colleen Chesebro
stealer of souls
when seen in groups of three
Goddess Morrigan’s familiar
Augurs interpret messages
by which way the bird flies
The crone found it hard to dispute the wisdom of the Runes. Her predictions usually rang true. If so, the harbinger of death was on his way.
The corvid flew in from the east landing in an oak tree, chanting, “I’m not here to claim your soul, I’m here to set you free.”
The trappings of age fell away. She rose from the Chrysalis shedding her sheltered state. Then, she began to write…
The Beast from the East by Anne Goodwin
Twirling snowflakes clot the air, a ballet best appreciated from behind a double glazed window. Those who can, remain indoors, muting traffic to a whisper, but some must brave the blizzard. “It’s suicidal,” I said. “I’ve no choice,” he countered.
A raven perches on a bare branch, harbinger of doom. He was due back hours ago. His phone goes to voicemail. No juice, no signal or worse?
Tyres crunch on frozen snow. Did I see a raven, or a smaller cousin? He’s home. He knows: a raven here’s as improbable as this Siberian weather.
Raven by Robbie Cheadle
The raven visited her in a dream again last night. She felt sure it was some sort of prophecy. First came the raven, silently slipping into her mind. Then she found herself in the water maze. She was in a flat bottomed boat, rowing frantically through the dark water. The overgrown foliage was so dense it completely blocked out the light. She tried to follow the shouts. The shouts were her Father’s. She had to find him quickly, she knew time was short. Every night she searched for him. She could never find her way through the sinister maze.
Mine Eyes by Bill Engleson
From my window, I can see the web of wires, stepping stone rooftops of innumerable lives, a distant mountain, a sky, dancing with darkness.
When I say, ‘my window,’ I mean Room 602 of County General.
I’m here temporarily.
Not by choice.
My eyes, worn, tearless, face the window.
I notice them.
They arrive in twos and threes.
They land deftly on the wires.
They land in rows on the rooftops.
They occupy the darkening sky.
Crows. Ravens. Seagulls. Birds of many feathers.
A collusion of ravenous fowl.
A Hitchcockian horror come full circle.
Raven by Nicole
A shadow crosses the windshield. I look up – a raven looks back over its shoulder. “Follow me” it says. I think I want to go back to my tent, forget the world for a few more days. But something makes me follow the raven.
Out of the dark woods men emerge, blood on their hands. Swastikas on their rifles, a Klu they are not shooting for food.
Down the mountain the raven leads, through New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, around the Beltway. It lands atop a white dome.
Below, the streets are full of righteous children chanting “never more.”
Raven by joem18b
A raven adopted me at my cabin in the north woods. I named him Edgar. We had a casual relationship, based on food and togetherness.
Edgar roamed the woods at will. One day, he brought home a crow, whom I named Allan.
Allan generally gave me a wide berth, unlike Edgar, who would perch on my shoulder. Allan and I competed for Edgar’s affections. I sensed that Allan was gradually winning.
When the two birds built a nest together and Allan laid eggs in it, I changed her name to Ellen.
The hybrid babies took me for their godfather.
Raven the Midwife by Paula Moyer
When Jean was pregnant with Lydia, she binge-read the previous decade’s literature on the childbirth reform pioneers Those women raised their fists for things the things that were standard for the next generation.
Jean loved reading about the rebel midwives, daring to help women have their babies at home. Her favorite was Raven, a lay midwife in California. Her hair was as black as the feathers of her bird namesake. At one chapter’s end, Raven, surrounded by sister-midwives, gave birth to her youngest child.
Jean was planning a hospital birth. But when Lydia came, Jean hoped to channel Raven.
Raven by Pensitivity
The pain was excruciating, and she was alone and afraid.
Breathe. Short pants.
With a final push, she delivered her child into the world.
Spent, she looked into her newborn’s face, then wrapped it to her.
The bird was the last thing she saw.
The poacher believed both to be dead until the babe started to cry.
The girl couldn’t have been more than fifteen. Undernourished, she didn’t stand a chance.
A bird circled overhead, dark against the blue sky.
The child had jet black hair and blue eyes.
‘I’ll call you Raven,’ he whispered and took her home.
A Raven’s View by calmkkate
Got a circuit I do most days
farmhouse near the river
pensioner’s balcony in town
park at lunch time is a sure bet!
Basically I cruise where I can get
the juiciest morsels, easier than
hunting for myself if these daft
humans want to provide but
road kill is still my favourite
fresh eyes you can never regret
they beat the packaged meat
These kind folk who feed me
have no real idea of the tasty
joy a fresh kill provides us
No idea why they need such
big nests and it must be awful
not to fly free!
Seeker by Michael Fishman
The fortune-teller extended a bony hand toward me. Thin translucent fingers pressed against my chest sending a chill into me.
She pulled back and raised her hand and was holding an amorphous black glob in her palm. “This,” she said. “Is what lives inside you.”
“This means you need to clean your spirit; your soul.” She explained. The fortune-teller closed her hand and the bubbling image evaporated.
A thin smile spread across her wizened face. “Find your guide.”
Outside, squinting against the sun, I saw the raven, perched on the light pole, looking down at me.
Bran’s Blessings by Jan Malique
He sits on the branch, looking at me with one eye and then the other, looks between two worlds, that of the living and the dead.
A Messenger with preternatural sight and deep wisdom. What news do you bring from the Otherworld Blessed Raven?
The Cauldron of Rebirth appears, invites exploration. Again I ask, what news do you bring from the Otherworld Blessed Raven?
“Their Rebirth” he mutters.
I look in your eyes and only see the unknown and secrets buried within secrets. You give me sight of things only dreamed of and utter legends half forgotten.
A Raven Speaks by Liz Husebye Hartmann
“What did you see at the North Falls, Silas?” Sylvi looked into his dark eye.
He searched for words. His head teemed with questions and sensations. Few people gave him his due, mistaking him for his smaller-brained, raucous cousins. No mind. He and Sylvi understood each other, having traveled many miles together. He shook his feathery black beard.
“Who kidnapped Maeve?” she stroked a finger down his hooked beak, to calm and center him.
Ruffling his wings, he stretched his neck and croaked, “Wyatt!”
Sylvi straightened, laughing in relief. No harm done, then. Wyatt and Maeve were already betrothed.
Raven by EluminoraCreations
Enveloped in disguise, Nathaniel listened. Though he could transform well for an apprentice his age, he was less skilled at ravenspeak. Besides that, the ravens were talking over each other as usual. He had to concentrate hard in order to understand anything. His heart, deep under a thick layer of black feathers, pounded so hard he feared they would notice. But his master had ordered him to get the facts of their conspiracy and to come back alive.
Assasination. War. Three days. He launched himself into the air. He had heard the words that no one wanted to hear.
All’s Well that Ends Well by Anurag Bakhshi
The raven-haired beauty has stolen my heart
And made a hopeless romantic out of a crusty old fart
Too late have I realized this, I squarely blame my ego
If I had even an iota of sense, I wouldn’t have let her go
She came by last night, and fondly bid me adieu
I poured my heart out to her then, hoping she’d say I Do
But just like the inhabitants of Spanish mountains would find a downpour surprising
I was thunderstruck when I found out that my Eliza was now the Fair Lady of my friend Colonel Pickering
Messanger of Doom by Deborah A. Bowman
Tell Me, What Lies You Bring, Raven?
It wasn’t a dark and stormy night
A golden sun was shining
But the color wasn’t right
Too bright, too orange, too blinding
The coarseness of the beast
Not fit to be a craven fowl
His beak open, demanding a feast
Nothing to quench his howl
Not a bird of prey
A large animal, depraved
He does not fly or soar
His voice, a primal roar
He stalks my garden walk
On torn barren legs
No feathers, just tangled dregs
Like a monstrous wild cat
Screaming too loud!
I fall as my heart shivered
My breath stops … message delivered
The Ravens by Michael Grogan
The Raven family lived two doors up from me. They were an unhappy lot dealing with not only history but mythology as well. Raven’s were a known symbol of bad luck, foretellers of death and had been written about in Shakespeare’s plays in the most disparaging way.
They once took a holiday to the Tower of London where they attempted to release the captive ravens much to the horror of the guards.
Life was a never-ending series of trials for the Ravens, no one liked to rub shoulders with them and you never stood near them at a funeral.
The Raven by Stephen Lodge
We lived in London, close to the Tower. They told us all about it at school. Our parents told us.
If the ravens fly off,
The Tower Of London will crumble and fall,
There will be nothing left,
The Crown Jewels will be gone and all.
We peered over the wall and saw the ravens in the Tower grounds still there. To this day, remain they do, though no carrion keeps them there. Not since the Last Executioner was himself beheaded by Madaxe the Saxon around 1115, although some say it was as late as two in the afternoon.
Raven by Ritu Bhathal
“It is a worry indeed, Your Majesty, yes. We’ve had to sack three of them this year, and getting decent replacements, well that is an increasingly tough task.”
Beefeater Chambers looked out of the window, whilst speaking to the Queen on the Royal telephone.
The requirement was six ravens to be guarding the Tower of London at any one time, or the Tower and Kingdom would fall, and this new generation, well they were useless.
They didn’t have the spunk of their ancestors, calling in sick all the time, too busy posing for the tourists and Instagram selfies.
Giving Him the Bird by Geoff Le Pard
‘Bloody parakeets, Logan. Pushing out our native birds.’
‘They’re pretty, Morgan.’
‘They’re foreign. They’re frightening the sparrows and robins. It ain’t natural.’
‘So what’s the solution?’
‘Stop these foreigners coming in, taking our seeds and nests. Keep the proper British birds. They’ll not fly away once we get rid of the immigrants.’
‘Like the ravens?’
‘The ravens. At the Tower of London. They clip their wings to make sure they stay.’
‘That’s barbaric. Why?’
‘If the ravens leave the Tower, England falls.’
‘Whose idea was that?’
‘The Normans, I think.’
‘Bloody French, coming over here, taking our crown…’
Marry Me, Jane! by Luccia Gray
‘Soon I shall be a bridegroom,’ said Mr. Rochester.
Jane looked down at her plain, governess dress and remembered Blanche Ingram’s extravagant clothes, noble features and glossy, raven hair.
‘I’ll leave at once. Miss Ingram will have plans for Adele.’
Jane refused to witness the man she loved marry a beautiful, yet unworthy gold-digger.
‘You would have me marry that frivolous woman?’ Rochester shook his head. ‘You think so little of me, Jane? I ask you to pass through life at my side as my best earthly companion.’
Rochester kissed her hand. ‘Jane, say Edward I will marry you.’
A Thousand Times…by Anita Dawes & Jay Marie
Blue eyes look back at me from the puddle I drink from, my feathers shimmer as the water moves. I know myself and remember that I have died a thousand times.
If I could speak, I would tell you the tale of my many lives. I come back from the Summerlands, I am the white feather of legend and my coming was foretold. I shall bring back the old magic.
Scavenger they call me. My wings clipped, I guard the Tower lest it should fall.
I am the white RAVEN.
The Dream by Pete Fanning
Dinner was lively with song and laughter. In the spirit, I allowed myself to smile.
“Oney?” Mrs. Wilks’ voice like a lash.
“What has gotten into you?”
I set my eyes down. “A dream, Ma’am.”
Mrs. Wilks’ eyes flared, her mouth tightened. “Of what did you dream, Oney?”
It wasn’t enough for her to own me. She wanted my dreams, too.
I told her I’d dreamed of ravens. Or crows. Anything but the Queen Mother and son—the future ruler of the kingdom.
Mrs. Wilks waved me off, talking birds and primitive culture.
American Royalty by Charli Mills
Cory grabbed bags of Doritos, kissing his wife before she retreated to the mall with their daughter “Drive safe with the princess.”
He grinned, now king of his castle with a tv remote scepter. A few buddies arrived with prerequisite beer to gain entry. Cory illuminated the big-screen. Unfettered cheers rose — no work, no church, no wives. At least for four quarters.
Another shooting. Cory dropped his beer. Obvious as a black raven against white snow, he recognized his wife’s purse and sprawled hair. Pools of ruby and brass surrounded her head like an American crown.
Why? by D. Avery
Cronk! Raven’s call. “Diet is varied and opportunistic”. Cronk!, announcing carrion. Big black bird of varied reputations, mythical, dark. Cronk! Associated with death.
Why? Raven, not hawk nor dove, just a witness, an opportunistic feeder. Raven hears the gunshots, raven flies in, watches, waits.
With each bullet fired
His own soul fading
To himself brings brutal death
Innocence is carrion.
Cronk! Raven calls in her family, teaches them to thrive. They, opportunistic feeders, learn to listen for the gunshots. Carrion eaters do not wonder at the source, do not wonder why there are so many fallen children.
Act of Congress by Molly Stevens
Dorothy abandoned her dishwashing to view the spectacle outside her kitchen window. A bald eagle circled overhead, closing in on a raven’s nest in the crotch of the big pine tree.
There must be babies in that nest.
She shuddered at the vulnerability of the chicks, on the menu for an overwhelming predator. Returning to a stack of pots and pans, she sighed and looked away from the brutal drama.
The clamor of angry birds reclaimed her attention. They waged a riotous protest, and the ravenous eagle retreated.
No mass murder today. Babies saved by an act of congress.
Mr Craven by Juliet Nubel
The whole school knew him as Raven. It was the way his black cloak flew behind him as he stormed along the corridors, screeching as he passed.
“Be quiet!” Don’t run!” Stop laughing!”
Never a smile or a nod. Just those piercing eyes staring down his crooked beak of a nose.
In class he hit us with his ruler, slapping hard on the backs of hands or legs. He brought it down so hard on my head one day that it drew blood. He looked pleased, not ashamed.
His real name was Craven. The extra C stood for Cruel.
Freedom by Kay Kingsley
Paralyzed, I laid in bed, unable to move even to scratch my nose. If I tried hard not to think about it I kept that imminent feeling of insanity at bay. I didn’t look at the calendar to know the date. I didn’t care anymore. Every day was the same. The godawful same. Gazing out the window tugged at my heart. I couldn’t see trees, houses, or even people. Only gray and freedom flying. Black ravens. Carrying the invisible strings to my heart, like dark dreams, my weighted freedom. I was jealous of birds… so I set them free.
Sign From God by Heather Gonzalez
“God, please show me a sign.”
Sam prayed as Katherine attempted to make a fire. They had been lost in the woods for days and hunger was really beginning to set in. Being a former girl scout meant that Katherine felt much more confident of their survival than he did.
“It is summer. Why do we need a fire?” Sam gripped.
Out of nowhere, a raven hit the ground hard in front of Sam. He knew it was a sign from God but was it good or bad? Before we could decide, Katherine picked it up.
“Oh good. Dinner.”
Black-Winged Messenger by Sarah Whiley
“They are the black-winged messengers from beyond,” my friend Bridget decreed, mystically.
I rolled my eyes. “You know they’re a real problem on farms?” I countered.
I remembered my farming mate telling me how the ravens particularly liked his grapes and soft fruits; and even how some of the larger ravens attacked the lambs! I’d seen them frequent Australian roadsides, feasting on the carcasses of the dead. Personally, I thought them altogether, quite opportunistic and horrid.
But I kept my mouth shut, as she continued, “When magic is near, the Raven will appear”.
Each to their own, I thought.
Raven by FloridaBorne
Why had I allowed her behind the wheel of my beloved Isuzu Trooper?
Teeth gritted…I knew it was coming.
“Bird!” My sister yelled out, slamming on the brakes. “Would you look at that raven!”
“Do I have to?” I grumbled.
Driven, she travelled another hundred feet along the lonely dirt road.
While she stared through binoculars at another flock of feathered vermin, I opened the passenger’s door and jumped out.
“As if you didn’t know!” I replied, glaring at her.
“Normal people love birds!”
“I’m tired of flying into the windshield. I’m not a passenger pigeon.”
Feeding the Ravens by Susan Sleggs
When visiting Grandma, I asked, “May I feed your friendly ravens?”
“Boy, you stay away from those evil birds. They’ll peck your eyes out!” my father snapped.
My mother disagreed. “I’ve fed those birds all my life. Only mythology and superstition say they are evil.”
Grandma settled the argument when she handed Dad her I-pad open to a fact page about ravens; they mate for life, use tools, can learn human speech, play in the snow, fly upside down, recognize human faces, voices and kindness.
Dad stomped up the stairs.
Grandma, Mom and I went out the back door.
Quoth the Raven (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee
Jane bends to scatter crumbs from her morning muffin. Will Edgar come today?
Ravens. Birds of Apollo and Odin, messengers from these gods of prophecy. Harbingers of death and loss. She can’t lose much more. She’ll feed her raven instead; give him a name.
Flapping heralds Edgar’s arrival. He pecks his breakfast, fixes his unnerving gaze on her. He hops aside and she sees it.
She edges forward but Edgar has already retreated, perching on the fence. She stoops closer, in awe. A ring, gold in color only, plated finish well-scraped.
“Yes, Edgar,” she laughs. “I love you, too.”
Raven Mum by Lisa Rey
The raven knew how she was perceived. As a bird full of venom and darkness, ready to peck your eyes out. She blamed these horror novels that were distributed around. In reality she was just like the other bird Mums out on her travels looking for food for her young: three sons and two daughters. Their father had being a loser but she diplomatically called him a ‘free spirit’. He had left when the babies were young and could literally be anywhere right now. She swooped down in battle with a crow Mum to get the piece of bread.
Winged Memory by PTSD Gal
They sang on the porch, but only for my father. He found them after a summer night’s thunderstorm. One of the few memories I have of him was when he was more of a father to them than me. Or so I thought.
As the Ravens grew stronger they would take their wings out for a test drive. ‘You see my love when they are strong they will leave and not return. It’s easy to let a creature go. You, I truly love and I’m afraid one day your wings will take you away and I can’t let go.’
An Uncommon Raven by JulesPaige
Raven watched her brother sweep the Nintendo villains in the
futuristic shimmering grove. Her father, on the balcony
drinking his Kingfisher beer and kicking off debris with his foot
into the void of the space below, not seeing his wife sighing
into her glass of Burgundy. When had the virtue of her family
turned into a single tonal resonance, lacking real life?
Raven hurried, she’d reach the bridge that spanned the
connection of this bored little town into the city. There the
library awaited. Her sanctuary. There she could read and
perhaps create a plan to save them all.
Naming a Superhero by Joe Owens
The discarded suggestions still hung in the air as the room fell silent. After all, it wasn’t every day you had the opportunity to hang a name on a super hero. This could be the stuff of legends.
“We must dig deeper folks,” Chairman Jim said pounding the table with his fist.
Well, Hawkman is taken!” Louie announced.
“That’s a stupid, bird-brain name anyway,” Linus replied. Linus never needed encouragement to continue, so he laughed as his own joke.
“I know,” Fred began as his face slowly bore a solid grin before he nodded his head in confirmation. “Raven!”
Arrival by John See
We watched from the kitchen window. The creature had wings, arms, and dark, iridescent feathers. Tufts of feathers grew in unlikely places. Ugly and beautiful, awkward and graceful–a misbegotten, overgrown raven.
Standing a few feet from the sycamore tree that dwarfs our backyard, it opened its mouth. Its thunderous caw was so loud it chased sparrows from the sycamore and sent two small boys scurrying away. A shoelace hung from its beak, as though it had just devoured a teenage boy.
All that was when there were just three of us and we still enjoyed each other’s company.
Served by TinTins
Her hair was as opaque as a raven’s jacket. Perched at the bar, her eyes searched, pursuing prey. Her slinky red dress left nothing to the imagination; intentional.
She’d taken payment earlier that morning. Flaxen haired with emerald eyes; not your typical ladies’ man. Still, there was something captivating about him; easy to place.
“What are you drinking?” the smooth operator probed.
“Your wedding band?” she countered.
Bemused, he removed the ring from his finger.
Seemingly satisfied she proffered her cheek and whispered, “I’ve a message for you.”
Intrigued he advanced.
“Your wife will see you in court sir.”
The Conspiracy by Reena Saxena
Her mother believes that ravens bring bad news, and gets rid of them quickly, if they land on the balcony.
Rowena is born with a special ability – to see beyond words. It has been more of a curse than a gift, as she fails to gain acceptance in social and professional circles. Her presence terrifies people, and they find reasons to get rid of her. She may not speak a word, but her overall demeanor gives those scary, all-knowing signals.
The raven has been shot down, and her mother looks relieved. She sees the dark conspiracy finally getting her.
The Grave Watcher by Gloria
Nancy sobbed as her father’s coffin was lowered into the six-foot hole. Her mother wasn’t crying or watching her husband being laid to rest; instead, her eyes were firmly fixed on the raven that perched on a nearby gravestone. Her mother left the cemetery but she never returned home.
Thirty years later, Nancy watched from a distance as a small crowd gathered in the cemetery for the burial of her estranged mother. She didn’t cry, nor did she watch as the coffin was being lowered into the ground. She was distracted by a raven landing on her father’s gravestone.
A Summer Reckoning by JulesPaige
Amber thought the butterfly was born under the sign of Cancer.
Once fairy like, the sun bleached, layogenic colors had turned
into a sideways transparency. Would that be enough to suppress
the hovering raven’s appetite? Warning colors gone.
Amber, while drinking her chamomile tea, watched the insect
rest in the empty granite birdbath. Farfetched to think that by
not filling it, she had given the bug sanctuary. There were no
assurances in regards to her own nature. One moment
gregarious and the next autophobic.
Amber went into the back garden. She’d save the butterfly
from being eaten, at least.
Dear Virginia Clay, by Denise Aileen DeVries
You were hard, unwelcoming,
allowing only the familiar
or the most intrusive to flourish,
then clinging, hanging onto everything.
In the right light, your forest
full of hanging vines, brambles
and poison ivy resembled the banyan
where I played one magical year.
But you were nothing like the rich, red
island soil that nurtured sweet fruit.
And while the sunlit vaults of your pines
recalled my fine old Colorado school,
benevolent ravens roosting above,
attic trusses serving as branches,
your woods offered no haven,
tripping me, ripping flesh at every turn.
Now, Virginia Clay, in a new landscape,
I remember you as a Lothario, full
of broken promises, my inability to mold
or conform to you shaping who I am today.
Mrs. Bird’s Children by JulesPaige
Brân was one of those boys at birth that you wonder how they
fit within the confines of their mother… He was born with a
full head of black hair. Like his father, yet he grew to be a
gentle giant. Very much unlike his father. Who once the lad
grew tall enough to keep the husband from dissing his wife –
Mother and son, lived well enough without him. And grew
their family by a foundling on their doorstep. A girl with
raven hair, loving them both without ever questioning her
origins. No need for any DNA testing.
Ravenous by Kalpana Solsi
It slithered around the rough bark climbing up. Twenty pair of black claws impeded its
progress. However, the scaly creature defied the cacophony of cawing and clawing to
reach the eggs cocooned in the nest on the highest branch. It was a war, a war of one
species versus the other. Nikhil held the pink slip between his fingers and un-spooled in
his mind, the war fought in the boardroom with his own species. The Law of the Jungle
was very much evident in the urban concrete. He had to fight his own battles. The ravens
were still cawing.
Ravens in Reflection by Wallie & Friend
“But it’s just a bird!”
The man shook his finger at the children around him. “You’ll hurt her feelings if you talk like that. Ravens are the soul of wisdom. They are harbingers.”
The girl who had spoken wrinkled her nose and folded her arms. “Don’t look wise to me!”
“And that tells you how useful looks are.” The man took the raven on his wrist. “This bird is very wise. A century or so in Heaven, and this is what we say to critics. When do we let them trouble us, friend?”
The raven stretched her wings. “Nevermore!”
The Raven by Rugby843
I see you there, eyeing me, wondering how long it would take to raise your bow and pierce me with that arrow. I see you, contemplating, but think of this: For my species, I have an unusual memory and you will rue this day for eternity.
My eyes are keen, my feathers swift, and a twitch of your finger and I’ll be off, out of sight.
Then in the night when you think you are safe in your bed, I’ll come calling. Keep your windows locked, for I am a very strong and clever bird. This my final warning.
Raven by Kim Blades
Mark’s gnarled hands tried desperately to dig deeper. But as fast as his crooked fingers dragged the dry grains up and over the rim, so the sides collapsed and the sand slid back downwards.
He stopped digging for water and sat back, exhausted.
The sun was too close in these lonely desert lands
Lands that shimmered like an endless sea in the heat haze.
He knew he was not alone.
It watched him from the sandstone cliffs.
Watched and waited.
It would not be long now.
Mark knew that soon his open, staring eyes would be the raven’s prize.
Raven’s Eyes by Miriam Hurdle
“Do you have any water left, Dave?”
“I still have some. Take a sip. Your lips are badly chapped, Ben.”
“We have been lost in unpaved hiking trail for five days.”
“We only have water enough for two more days! I hope we could locate water soon!”
“Look, Dave! A raven is circling in the air and ready to dive down.”
“It spotted a dead deer and wanted its share. I think.”
“And the deer was drinking water!?”
“That may be our hope for water, Ben.”
“We could reach down by nightfall.”
“I hope this raven saves our lives.”
Raven Haired Women by Eric Pone
Maryann’s raven sat on her windowsill cawing happily. Maryann was so excited as it was the first time in weeks that the girls were going out. The chirp of her phone stopped that excitement. “Go for Maryann.” Ducky cheerfully answered back. “Hey, girl Ginger around?” Maryann nudged Ginger awake. “What Duck?” Ducky sent them the pics of the kings’ mother and his former girlfriend. “Holy shit.” Ginger breathed. “Your guess was right. Eowyn is redirecting the operation you two are to meet me in Lagos.” Maryann and Ginger looked at each other. “Ono?” Ducky replied with a laugh. “Busy.”
Raven Down by Frank Hubeny
There are plenty of explanations for the same data but what Randy wanted was to understand it at all.
He watched a bunch of crows tussling in the air and got out his phone. When he realized that one of the crows was being picked on lethally he switched the app to record video.
Aren’t birds supposed to be peaceful at least toward members of their own kind?
A select handful pecked the target repeatedly making sure its body could no longer move. Others flew about apparently guarding and watching.
Then it was over. Those who remained living departed.
Nothing to Crow About by Norah Colvin
Brucie had to get there first to stake his place at the very top. He didn’t slow on the still-wet grass, and only momentarily to laugh at Jasmine who slipped as he brushed past. From his perch, he smirked at the disappointed faces below.
“Caw!” said a crow, alighting alongside.
It didn’t shoo–more came.
Brucie shouted, waving his arms.
The crows shuffled closer.
Brucie thrashed wildly.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Jasmine banged a cricket bat against the frame.
The crows flew away.
“Are you okay?” asked Jasmine.
Brucie nodded, then let the others play.
The crows never returned.
Wearing by D. Avery
Sighing, Miranda looked through her closet, as if something new might have appeared. She finally took down the tired slacks, blouse and sweater that she usually wore on Wednesday. It would serve, though it’d serve better if she hadn’t packed so many pounds around her middle.
So much besides her weight had changed since she began teaching; changes that were demoralizing and depressing.
Sighing again she adjusted the accessory that now completed her outfit. Her Raven brand concealment holster used to tuck more easily into her waistband. Now the gun she carried, like her dispiritedness, was harder to conceal.
Never So Simple by Roger Shipp
“Mamma… Mamma… The raven is back!” Mika ran breathlessly onto the back porch of the small trailer where her mother was removing the last fleshy remnants from the hides hanging from the rafters.
“Don’t worry child. It’s grown hungry and is raiding the fields just like the other birds.”
“But Grandmamma said…”
“I know what she said.” Mama clutched me close to her bosom. “Unci believes in great meanings from all the forest animals.”
“Does that mean it’s not true?”
“Grandmamma would never lie to you, Mika.”
“So, it is true.”
“The truth is never so simple, my child.”
Dumpster Duck! by odysseyofhappiness
They flew cawing, laughing.
He followed, behind, avoiding attention.
Move dumpster duck!
Bodies slammed him
He struggled to remain in flight, wings trembling with sadness.
The cloud of feathers moved onward through the azure expanse.
He looked downward at the land of the legged, and flew as a falcon.
The boy jumped in his seat by the window.
“Haha what a pussy!” Another boy jeered
“Scared of a birdie, FAGGOT!?” Yelled another, throwing an eraser, hitting the boy.
He turned, tears in his eyes, and looked down upon the lifeless bird.
The Craven Raven by Graeme Sandford
That’s what they called him.
It wasn’t his fault, he’d been frightened by a loud bang and a scary scarecrow when just a fledgling. Since then he’d been a nervous type.
But, it was an unkindness that the other ravens kept on about it; and it didn’t help his confidence that there was a constant conspiracy to keep him from leading a normal raven’s life.
The other ravens mimicked ‘bangs’ and dropped straw on him whilst he slept. He woke to the confusion that his dreams, where he was haunted by marauding scarecrows, had become reality.
Strange Bedfellows by Lisa Listwa
“Everyone thinks you’re ridiculous,” taunted Raven, circling around his companion.
Unicorn drank from the cool, sparkling stream.
“No one laughs about rainbows when I’m around,” Raven prodded.
Silent, Unicorn continued walking along the shore.
“I strike fear in the hearts of men,” he boasted, puffing out his chest feathers.
Finally, Unicorn stopped.
“And what of you?” she asked. “Many believe you bring light and gracious provision, that you usher in transformation. You do not know yourself.”
Uncomfortable, Raven flapped his wings.
“It is you who needs to transform,” he muttered.
Moonlight cast Raven’s shadow over Unicorn’s pure white form.
Raven, Brother Raven…by Raymond Roy
Raven, Brother Raven, Is there a message that you bring? Mysteriously different from other birds, who choose to chirp and sing.
Raven, Brother Raven,
Blue-steeled feathers, ebony-onyx colored eyes,
Curiosity and character,I’m bewildered at your size
Raven, Brother Raven,
Poe did quoeth you “Nevermore”, with his somewhat twisted mind,
Natives legends infer, you created all mankind.
Raven, Brother Raven,
Your caw has my attention, omen of certain revolution, a cleansing kindred spirit,…leading to ascension.
Raven, Brother Raven,
Heed your sacred clan,
Put aside your trickster ways, for the benefit of man.
Raven, Brother Raven…
Raven by Rebecca Glaessner
Departing Earth orbit
Onboard systems reduced
Power rerouted to propulsion system
Destination arrival time: 42,327 Earth years
Asteroid mining drones dispatched
Planetary entry sequence complete
Metamorphosis protocol activated
Generational fleet arrival: 27,424 EY.
Sea levels 62%
Atmospheric composition: 12% oxygen, 81% carbon dioxide
Surface vegetation 77%
Habitation modules 4%
Fleet arrival: 14,679 EY
Habitation modules 100%
Human fleet population 72%
Starship Raven shutdown
“Raven, help, activate.”
Human population 2%
Repair protocols activated
Pal Says by D. Avery
Think his name was Ernie, they called him Ornery. Once had a woman, a whiskey maker. He loves her still. Her name was Wanda and that’s what she did. She wandered away when she found her Will. She and Will got a goat ‘cause she wanted a kid, left ol’ Ornery, but he loves her still.
Wanda and Will, hear they’re livin’ clean. Ol’ Ornery’s up in the hills, livin’ by the rushing still stream. Under the pines he parses corn, he thinks of Wanda, but doesn’t mourn, ‘cause he loves her still. Talks to the ravens, ravin’ drunk.