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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #1991027
A fight breaks out at a funeral. Contest with prompt under 1000 words.
A Murder of Crows






The somber black hooded figures moved humbly in line into the alleyway, forming a half circle about the corpse lying amongst greasy wrappers and molding food refuse. Once they were in place, a gentle ticking approached from behind. The assembly turned to see a figure wearing an ebony cloak with white trimming stepping slowly down the alleyway, talons clicking sharply against the stone.

The assembly waited for the magpie to pick its feet up careful, his rapidly blinking eyes watching them thoroughly as he picked his way among the trash. The assembly of crows parted for him and he walked through, stopping just before the body, and pecked at it gingerly. Seemingly satisfied, the magpie turned around and faced the crows.

"We are gathered here today," cawed the magpie, "to witness Dead Crow on his back. He is apparently dead. Because if he were alive, he’d be moving, and eating, and flying - flightless!” the magpie cried, and the murder of crows and the magpie burst into the air in a cloud of black feathers.

They settled on a power line overhead and watched as three humans stumbled down the alleyway. Not only could they not fly, but they apparently couldn’t walk either. They were leaning on each other as if they only had one leg between them. One of them tripped over his feet and smashed his face into the ground where he laid motionless. One of the crows squatted and dropped white excrement on his face. The man did not move.

As soon as the two companions realized the man’s absence, they stumbled awkwardly back to him. One of them kicked him, and the prone man shook into consciousness. It took much too long for them all to regain their feet again before they slouched out of the alley.

The flock of black feathers settled back on the ground around Dead Crow.

"We are gathered here today,” the magpie continued, "to witness Dead Crow on his back. He is apparently dead. If you have any last words for him -"

"Dead Crow was a girl, Magpie," spoke up a crow in the assembly.

"Was?" questioned Magpie. "Wouldn't she still be a girl then, Crow?"

The crows assembled looked at each other, blinking black beady eyes as they all contemplated this mystery.

"Either way," continued Magpie, "Dead Crow is dead. We will all pay our respects to our fellow sky brother -"

"Sister."

" - and then we will break at the same time and then it is first come first serve to his nest. I hear he had collected a bit of shiny ribbon from the last parade the flightless had."

The black assembly bobbed heads in agreement.

Magpie stepped aside and one by one the crows wobbled forward toward the dead crow on its back, it's scaly feet curled above him - her.

Crow stopped and looked at Dead Crow curiously, twisting his head side to side to look at her at different angles.

"Hey!" said Crow to Crow's right. Crow was poking its beak at Dead Crow's tail. "He is a girl! Wait... what's that?" Crow slipped its beak under Dead Crow's body and pulled a slip of silver ribbon out from under her.

"I want it!" Crow spread his wings and landed on Crow, who squawked as Crow pecked at his head. Crow shook Crow off him and became airborne as he extended talons at his face. The ribbon broke free from Crow's beak and fluttered like a shiny glint in the air before it landed on the belly of Dead Crow.

Crow and Crow both dove at Dead Crow, and snapped at the ribbon at the same time - too aggressively - and their beaks plunged into the belly of Dead Crow. Blood spewed out of the puncture and Crow and Crow watched the blood bead and splash on the asphalt. Then like a maddened craze of starvation, the flock jumped at Dead Crow’s corpse and began to pluck furiously at the still fresh meat until there was nothing but bones and black feathers. Magpie was nowhere to be seen. But the silver ribbon was gone.



Word Count: 692
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