The Crow Man came to the village in the spring.
While flowers gently, shyly bloomed and the air took on the warmer promise of summer, he brought a different, incongruent chill. Freshly grown grass would wither with his footfall, and shadows fell longer than his own form both before and behind him.
On is shoulder the ever present crow sat steady, sometimes crying out. That was always the worst, for when it sang, someone in the village died. Someone close to his passing by. And so when the Crow Man walked your street you would run and hide inside your home, praying the crow would be silent.
No-one knew where he and come from, or why, or how long he would stay.
A sickness came to the town as he lingered there. Part virus and part fear, it spread, so that eventually death did not just attend his passing.
I heard a child once bravely walked up to him and asked him why he came. He looked at her with his ageless eyes and simply said one in the town and called him here, and he would leave once his work was done.
He was true to his word. After a month, the Crow Man departed, and we could count the losses, which were considerable. As a survivor I became inquisitive to know who had summoned him, but I was also careful not to let anyone know of my curiosity. It seemed to me whatever wizard of witch had summoned him could call him back for me and for any others trying to sniff out their guilt in this manner.
I never knew for sure, but I suspected one or two of the village women, and possibly a man who lived on his own at the back of the village library. Perhaps they worked together, who can say?
All I know is we blessed the day the Crow Man left our town, and we pray, every day, that he never returns.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2017
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