11 February, 2011

The Raven - A Short Story

Anne was a good kid.

She was a firecracker; always bouncing off the walls and laughing... She had a god laugh. You know, the kind that you can hear down the block. It sounded like a hyena and a cough at the same time.. It really was a weird laugh.

It's just as weird seeing her lying here, listless, like she barely had enough energy to open her eyes. Her mother and I worried so much when she started chemo... We didn't know if she could handle it, especially after the way she reacted.

It's just so different seeing her like this. She looks like a manequin form a store - she hasn't moved more then her arms to reach a glass of water in hours. She hasn't smiled in days... Weeks.

I don't know what else to do.

I didn't know how to tell them.

I know my job isn't easy.. You have to do things you don't want to do everyday.

I've done this before, but, it doesnt make it any easier. It makes it harder. Everytime I tell somebody it's like I don't know what to say.

How do you tell somebody something like this?

I walked into the room, and stood before the family, watching Anne laughing as her dad try to "steal her nose", and her mother watching them with a smile on her face.

They had come in for a routine checkup - Anne had been feeling ill lately - and came in for bloodwork about a week before.

"I bet it's low iron" Doug had said.

I stepped up to them as they glanced up to me. I wasn't going to waste anymore time, I was just going to tell them.

"It's probably just the flu" Ashley had said.

"It's cancer" I said.

I wanted to smile as I remembered.

It was this past October, a lot of the birds were starting to fly south for the winter.

I was outside sitting on the back porch with a little bag of bird seed my mom brought home for the bird feeder.

I was feeling kinda of bad, so i had gone outside for some fresh air.

I had been feeling funny lately. I was tired a lot, and my hands hurt in the mornings.

I was grabbing some seeds from the bag and gently scattering them onto the small strip of grass we had. It was never much fun to play outside.

There were a few birds that had noticed what I was doing and started pecking the seeds from the ground. A sparrow, a few brown speckled ones, one with yellow...

Then out of nowhere a big black bird swooped down and scared the other birds away. It stood there eating and I watched. I sprinkled some more and he hardly flinched even though I was so close to him. Finally the bag was empty, and when the bird had eaten everything he looked at me with yellow eyes.

He flew away. I knew I probably would not see him again.

I closed my eyes.

We had just gotten back from the doctors office.

I knew it wasn't serious but Doug wanted to be sure... You know how he worries.

She was in the car looking out the window silently as we pulled into our driveway.

"Common hunnie" He said lovingly.

Anne smiled and hoped out of the back seat, took her daddy's hand and they made their way up the steps to the front door.

I smiled too. I looked over at the for sale sign blowing in the wind.

Our house was a little small. We were planning on moving soon. I was 2 weeks pregnant and we needed a bigger place for our family.

The birds were marvelous here. Alwys bright and colourful, always singing. It was such a beautiful house. Beautiful neighbor hood.

I grabbed my purse and was about to shut the car door when I saw something.

It was a big, black feather. It was fluttering down from the sky, like an enigma.

I had never seen ravens around here.

It frightened me.

"You coming Ash?" Doug yelled from the porch.

I looked at the feather that landed in front of my feet... like it meant to land there.

"Ya, I'm coming." I yelled.

I shut the door and quickly walked inside.

I held Ashley until she had stopped crying.

We were in our room at home, still realing after hearing Anne's bloodwork results 4 days ago.

Ashley got up and went to call her mother, Anne's grandmother, "It's about time we told everyone," she had said.

The shock was still great. I got up and walked to the window, looking outside.

The for sale sign was gone.

We can't afford to move anymore... not with medical bills coming.

All of a sudden a huge black thing flew right up to the window and landed on the windowsill.

Yellow eyes pierced me.

I felt a pang of fear, but only for an instant, and it was gone.

I'm lying here.

My parents are downstairs talking to the doctors.

I know what they are saying, I hear the nurses last night.

It has spread into my brain. The doctor told the nurses the chemo stopped working, and my body was becoming tolerant of the radiation.

6 years isn't a long time.

I should have 70 more.

My eyes were glassy as I stared out the window from the hospital bed.

Something caught my eye.

That big black bird. The one with the yellow eyes. It was looking right at me.

Only it wasn't outside.

It was perched above my closet door.

It stared into me.

I started to get tired.

I closed my eyes.

Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'


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