If you see the crow in Avoranic | World Anvil

If you see the crow

Everyone had heard about this, but none of the kids in the room believed in it. They didn't plan to challenge what they'd just heard, but they wouldn't let it affect their lives either. Boy, were they wrong! They should have been more careful.

One day, a man in dark green clothing appeared in the little village. He was going to overnight in a forest nearby. When his mother asked why he just said that he enjoys hiking in the woods, just to not worry her. The truth was different though. He had heard about a group of young children gone missing and he wanted to help. He was convinced that there was something supernatural or rather unnatural about it.

When he arrived at what seemed to be the perfect place to set up his tent, he saw a shadowy figure appearing diagonally behind him. He turned around and saw a blonde, pale, skinny girl with freckles, but she was rather properly dressed and he assumed she came from a pretty well-off family. She had a red dress made of velvet with lace in the neck collar. The same fabric was used in the arms and the very bottom of the dress. It confused him that she looked so sick and that her blonde hair was clearly unwashed when she was dressed like that. Well, he guessed even wealthy families could neglect their kids, but still....

”Look, a murder of crows” she interrupted his thoughts.
“What’s special about that?” he responded without even asking who she was.
“Just wait and see…”
The gloomy girl turned her back on him and disappeared by the fireplace.
"Wait! It's turning dark outside. Are you sure you should be here by yourself?" he tried, but she was already gone.

After some later hours he finally fell asleep just to be disturbed by a horribly loud and somewhat wailing sound. He lit the flashlight and pointed it outside of the tent, but the darkness was acting like a compact wall against him at this point.

"Whose there?" he whispered in a frightened rueful voice, just to have the same loud wailing sound moving closer to him instead of an answer. He hurried to stand up and before he even blinked a murder of crows was flying as a swarm of vermin right on him. He placed his arms over and around his face, scared to have his eyeballs plucked out by a crow's beak. The swarm was feeling like a never-ending nightmare, and for a moment he was convinced that he was dreaming. Exhausted he fell to the ground, trying to protect his head and his body, lying like a baby whose mother never nourished it. He didn't know how this became it, because when he finally opened his eyes he saw everything as it was, but it was all mirrored; like everything was turned the opposite of how it looked just a minute ago. The place had turned completely wry. And if that wasn't enough, the forest looked completely dead now. The trees were black to their roots and the ground was burned. It looked nothing as it looked like the evening before he got into the tent to sleep. How could it have been a fire and he hadn't noticed? Or did it have something to do with the crows flying in a compact wall upon him? Was he going crazy?

"Yes", he heard a tiny voice beside him. The crows were gone, but the gloomy girl was back.
"Yes... what?" he asked her.
"You're going crazy" she replied like it was the most common thing ever.
"How did you... What?"
"You're not very special, you know. You're not the first one trying to overnight in this forest"
"What do you mean?" he was now as pale as the girl. "What are you doing to me?" he asked with a trembling voice.
"I'm doing nothing, I was the first one to die here"
"But I'm not dead"
"Well, if you say so... it's a bad circle, it began with me dying and then the circle just became a never-ending loop"