the thing sat there. the raven outside on the wall watched it. not even the fine mist falling this morning made an impact. I too watched, albeit for different reasons.

I felt no threat from the object, the thing, the previously-not-there that had appeared some time over night, while it snowed. I was curious though.

what is it about animals? humans included. when left to our own devices, we might very well just observe. the moment there is competition for discovery, though – or the casual contemplative approaches a breaking point – then… then, the race is on.

from where I sat, it appeared approximately three feet in length, appended to the ground in some way. was it stabbed earthward like an errant spear? expelled? a regurgitant catharsis, like New Orleans’ coffins after a flood?

the snow started to melt a couple of hours later and still both the raven and I watched. I began to feel that I was an extra in a Norse saga – that the raven was Raven, either Huginn or Muninn, and some grand unfolding was to begin. the anticipation was pleasant.

a gleaming sceptre of some kind, a silvery metal hue. there were patterns across its length like filigree, lace. it glowed in the damp daylight.

from the front of the house a loud crash. the bird startled a bit, lifting above the wall in reflex and settling back down. the sound of an incipient car crash wasn’t enough to stir either of us, far.

and then, static discharge, the skies gray but untroubled by defined storm; the bolt itself so vividly white that the afterimage scored my vision for a full minute. a rod of white light stabbing downward into the mechanism, which began a slow shift at its pivot point from 45 degrees facing away from me to 45 degrees facing me.

there was a clangorous boom.

the raven was no longer there.

I didn’t see it leave, it just wasn’t there any more.

Published by cbrannonwatts

teacher and writer

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