A while back I found an ominous statement generator, and it caught my attention. Here’s a short story from a randomly generated combination, as I’ve already done the one that is technically ‘mine.’
The crows are gone when you look away. Prepare: they can still see you.
It was dusk, and the birds swirled around in the air, calling out. Massive flocks of them perched along roof lines, telephone lines, and tree branches. Dark, feathered blobs everywhere. Their harsh caws echoed off buildings, creating a solid wall of sound.
Simon pulled out his phone to check the directions for the meeting he was headed for. Sudden silence. He glanced up, the calls washing over him again, confused.
Nothing seemed to have changed, and he shook his head, dropping his gaze again, and flicking through the directions. Sliding into his car, Simon closed the door, and started following the directions, listening to the smooth, mechanical female voice listing out each turn one by one. When he glanced out the windshield, he saw the birds everywhere, flickering out of the corner of his eyes. He glanced in his rear view mirror before making a lane change, attention fixed on the cars on the road, not the empty stretches of wires and roofs above the road.
Finally, his phone announced that he’d arrived, and he pulled onto a gravel road, parking next to two other cars on a grass and dirt clearing. Both cars were empty, so the others must have gone ahead to the meeting, even though he was still several minutes early.
He spotted the building half-hidden by the trees, off to the side, and started toward it, his eyes on his phone as he scanned the last minute messages of who was arriving at the meeting, who had made excuses, and who was running late. Immersed in the messages, he didn’t register the silence until the first talon creased his scalp.
When a car pulled in a few minutes later, all that remained was a few scattered black feathers, and a dark patch of dirt. Several people commented that Simon had said he was on his way, but hadn’t showed, but no one thought much of it until he didn’t show up at work on Monday. By that point, rain had washed away the signs that no one had noticed.
No one, but the murder of crows. But who pays attention to birds?