#7 – The Raven’s Croak

“Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”, the raven croaked.

As he sat in the verandah, feeding the sparrows, the raven perched on the high wall. He had grown an affinity towards the sparrows. The smallest of birds, who were complaisant to the happenings of this world. Just like the people, the small insignificant ones of course. The grains in his hand were almost over by the time the sun came up. He retired to his room, a small matchbox, seven feet by seven, good enough to fit his bed and himself.

He was dying. He didn’t have much time. The raven flew and sat on the window sill near his head. “Grain!”, it croaked. “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!” The man smiled. He shook himself up somehow, and slid his hand under the bed to find a bag of grain, took a fistful of it and kept it at the window sill. “How much can I fly?” he asked. The raven didn’t have an answer to that, but nevertheless it croaked, “Now! Now!” The man only smiled. He kept smiling, until an arrow hissed by his ear. He would be dead, if not for a centimeter. He reclined on his chair, looking at his palm, thinking of all what he had done till today, how he didn’t deserve such an ending, and how nothing should have been as it was.

His name was Edward. That was many years ago. Of late, he was only called Headmaster. Ninety and two years he had seen, yet this was the coldest ever. The others with him had already gotten up and had slowly started resuming their walk on the Winding Road. He strived a bit, then finally got up from his bed, and staggered out into the blinding sunlight. “For men may come and men may go but I go on forever”, he muttered, as he rejoined his people on the road. He spotted Uddin at the corner of the road, his mouth foaming, and a colony of ants streaming from his lips. It was the call of autumn, which begged for human lives. The first sacrifice had been given. He walked ahead, and the raven flew over Uddin, crying, “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”

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