Another tale! Hope you like it. Crows do.
He accommodated his crow mask. His face was already disfigured because of that damn thing. But he could not take it off: he’d die from the really polluted air in the Caverns. He covered himself with the cloak, and lifted the hood. Everything was dark, but he was used to the darkness. He was born in the darkness. And in the darkness he was going to die.
He took his revolver. The books pray that this weapon made them slaughter his enemies in massacres back in the day, but now it was just used to kill his brothers. But he had to, or the next corpse rotting in the darkness would be him. He leaves the dusty and ruined house to get something to eat. He could not eat the other day, someone stole his food. Neither he could the day before: the same crow stole the bat. Four hours trying to kill it, just to be stolen by another person. Life has it’s injustice. But today it would not. He grabbed a rock, a heavy rock from the ruins, and putted it inside his bag. This one was the bag were he always saved his food. This was the bag that was opened, every day, by the robber crow. Breathing heavily, he walked with his old body towards the spot he always slept, to wait for the strange figure. He asked himself why he was never killed before, even if some people knew that he lived there. Maybe he was not worth it.
He dropped his body on the floor, and placed the bag next to him, while, inside his cloak, he grabbed his revolver firmly. Adrenaline was flushing through him. Then, he tried to be the quietest he could. Two hours, maybe three. But the intruder appeared. It was a kid. A little kid. Maybe he had eleven years. Really slowly, and the quietest he could, the kid started approaching the black bag. The ruins of the destroyed house were not an impediment for his talent to sneak without making any sound.
The old man, the old crow, was having a mental crysis. Killing him? Letting him live? It was just a little crow. His mask was still too big for him. He was going to stand up and talk to him, when he saw the kid opening the bag and remembered why he was there, and why he survived so long.
It was not only for the clean and precise shots he did (He may only used the revolver three times in his whole life, why to lose bullets, that were really difficult to find?) but because he never left something undone.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me… fool me three times…
The shot was not clean. The shot was not precise. The shot entered through his eye, ripped the skin, left a huge pool of blood behind. With a strange fascination, the old man saw the kids body. The crow mask was almost destroyed. As every crow knows, he should have took off his mask after he killed him. But he had no strength to do that, knowing that it was just a child…
But now it was a corpse. A corpse full of meat. Delicious meat.
When he was grabbing his knife to start, someone goes running.
“Oh, old man!” the young crow cried. He should have only twenty years, maybe thirty. No one knows while you use a mask.
“They opened it, they finally did!” the man said. Then, he looked at the kid in the floor, and the bloodshed. He stared at the knife for a few seconds, before saying “I… i need to tell everyone else. They told me to… to do it. Good… good luck. Try to not be late to the opening.”
The old crow thought that the poor man would die in little time: the crows have no faith in each other, and they may attack him just for having a cloak bigger than theirs.
But the opening was real? Did the Miners finally opened the city’s exit? So it was all real, after all. The books did not lied. There was an Outside World.
He looked at his hand, covered in blood. “What did i do…” he thought. “That is bad luck, kid… you could have lived if you let the man come before you…”
Even if he was hungry and tired, he started walking, slowly, towards the Cavern’s exit. It was all dark. If this was a trap, he did not really care anymore. He was too old for fighting in the ruins. Too old for hunting in the ruins. Too old for watching his back on the ruins. If someone has to kill him now to steal the little things he had, “please,” he begged, “do it now”.
The congregation of crows quickly teared apart his insecurity. They were all staring at something. He melted with the crowd, and advanced. Then he saw it.
This could not be real. This can’t be happening. He did not felt happiness, he felt really, but really scared. They were all staring at a hole in the wall. But not any hole: a white hole. From it, light was making it’s way in, and just looking at it with his dark born eyes was making him burn. Too bright. He could not take the sight away from it. His eyes… were feeling weird. He could feel his iris shrinking. Too bright. He could feel his eyes being blinded. Too bright… He could feel his sight becoming blurry… too bright…
The Gods themselves were there. Whatever he was looking at, it was not made to be seen by the crows. It was light… it was… The Outside.
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