Today we visit with the lovely Cindy Rhodes as she spins us a descriptive tale of death and revenge.
Coos of mourning doves raised him from slumber. The ones that survived the winter freeze had mated during spring’s season of heat and produced quite a beautiful brood. They matured into a choir that would rival that of any Methodist church. They sang to their hearts’ content as morning arrived. Red eyes of night creatures surrendered to sleep, and furry, dirty carnivores retreated into the deep cover of ferns and trees as happy winged creatures filled the air with flutters and song.
Molsen picked out a booger and wiped it on his bed. Caked blood and snot dotted the old floral flannel that covered the pillows handed down to him by his grandmother. Had he spent his yesterday more thriftily, he would have had time to draw the water from the outdoor pump in the warmth of the afternoon sun, but here he lay, in the freezing cold room of this mossy hut, breath hanging foggily in the air, and the wash basin as dry as a white Arizona stone. He would have to decide whether to piss the bed again and put off the water-pumping, or be a man, a real man, and finally do something responsible. The burdens of decision-making and income-producing escaped him in his daily life; intensely “pagano,” this “man of the land” operated on a carnal-need basis only. Missing a responsible role model in his youth, he relieved himself then and there. No one else would mind.
Under the large leaves of the vines covering the garden, life flourished. Dermestid beetles marched from corpse to corpse, creating a parade field rivaling that of any army base. Mature oak roots harbored moss, Johnny-jump-ups, and skulls. From the eye socket of an old baby doll, a palmetto bug peeked out into the brightening world and, preferring the moist darkness, retreated back into the depths of the cracked plastic body as weevils clung to the remaining fronds of horse hair springing from the doll’s dirty scalp. Yesterday’s playthings became tombstones of youth as Mother Nature covered them with Her spawn. It’s funny, the speed at which Mother Nature can hide the crimes.
As the eastern sunbeam slid across the floor, its sheen painted the muddy soles of the feet of the barely warm body in the corner. Cracked red polish decorated the jagged nails and sunlight turned the unpainted parts into glimpses of fake alabaster. Where a river of blood once flowed, there remained only a deep Tuscan red marbling across the floor. Tuscan red, Copenhagen blue, deep violet, and bone ivory were the colors of choice for a pencil artist to reproduce the almost patriotic-colored scene in that corner, but no more colored pencils planned to rest in the hands of the artist’s body that slumped in that dirty corner.
Stomach cramps forced him from bed as he let his heavy dirt-caked feet hit the fourteen-inch planks that floored the hut. His diet of warm blood and raw flesh did not seem to agree with him today. The matches had run out months ago, and lacking the strength and chutzpah to find two stones to strike together, he surrendered the aroma of a medium rare steak to that of the sweet putrid stench of flowing blood. He found that raw squirrel tasted rather nutty, as “punny” as that sounds, and that raw crow did indeed taste like raw chicken, but with an added “punch.” That “punch” went straight to his gut, but it would not stop there. Never kill a crow.
Scratching his jaundiced hairy belly, he creaked open the green hut door and surveyed the yard. Vividly green ferns, vines, shrubs and trees liberally draped across the clearing inside Morrigan’s woods. But for the occasional fart and belch, this secluded alcove would remain a secret from prying ears, and no living bloodshot eyes except those of his own bloodline had ever rested upon this scene. On the sun-dotted porch, hand-hewn rakes and hunting implements glistened with dew and directed drips into tiny pools on the moss-covered boards. Rivulets of moisture flowed lazily into long-worn furrows down into the garden where lush vegetation awaited. Muscadines and scuppernongs hung behind borders of irises and purple coneflowers. Salvia and sweet peas worked together to cover the remainder of the earth, which also hid its own share of booty.
Licking the dew from an elephant ear plant, Molsen livened up a little, his dry eyes cracking open a little wider to survey his plot. Yesterday’s hole still gaped open, awaiting a gift of flesh, and he intended to provide an offering after depositing a shit into it. He bent down and sat over the hole, grunting and straining to produce his labor of love, the crude remains of yesterday’s corvidian feast.
As his cramps crept more deeply into his core, the right-handed idiot clenched his fists around nearby tree roots and the moss underneath them. Staining his hands green, the tiny leaves, flowers and spore pods of fruiting mosses crumpled under his grasp and released their fecund seed upon his dirty, crinkled skin. Finding deep pores of emptiness and dried sweat, fertilized seed made their way into the depths of his flesh and lay in wait of their future, a future to be generously fertilized upon his death.
He seemed frozen, a statue of the shitting man, there, squatting over that gaping hole in that sun-dotted clearing, and time did, indeed, seem to stand still as a creak of the door broke the silence. Still grasping the roots and moss, he turned his oily head to the left to see his ivory prey standing on the porch of the mossy hut. Her black hair hung in talons upon her pale buttocks, and her lips flushed ruby red as she purposefully pouted her full lips to utter a command to the murder of crows that lit upon the branched rooftop.
Mourning doves halted their coos as a screech pierced the morning air. The flapping of a hundred black wings drummed the airwaves and fifty hard yellow beaks cawed and jack-hammered into the soft yellow flesh of the wretched Molsen. Wracked with gut-wrenching pain, he released the roots and moss and fell into the hole atop his own shit. Feces, mud, blood, sweat, and dew mingled to create his own unique anointing death rub.
As he found his way to his feet, he scrounged at the walls of the pit in attempt to escape, but the hundred flapping wings blackened the sky above him as the walls came crashing down upon him. Writhing in the ever hardening soil, the man inhaled moist soil into his lungs. Clumping in his lungs, the rich soil finally strangled him and the moss seeds rejoiced as they realized their future. Soil covered. Seeds lay in waiting. Tendrils eked their way toward the site. Dermestid beetles formulated their parade route. It’s funny, the speed at which Mother Nature can hide the crimes.
Never kill a crow.
Cindy Rhodes aka Mermaid Morrigan is an artist and musician residing in beautiful North Carolina. Mostly musical, she focuses upon her dulcimer, harp, and piano, but also dabbles in drawing and writing. Heavily involved in her groups "Sedna's Eternal Cove" and the "Full Moon Mafia," she hopes that you will enjoy her story's references to Morrigan and acquire a deeper love of corvids.