Can Thou Hear The Crows – Original Novel

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This is the first instalment of the original novel that I’ve started writing. The story isn’t finished yet, but I have a lot more content that I am willing to put up for you to read. I have based characters and situations on many aspects of my life, however some is truly fictitious. Please leave feedback so I know where to go next or what to edit. Well, here it is; I hope you like it.

*

I hadn’t been living with my new foster family for very long. They seemed nice enough and so did the house, but there was something about that place that unnerved me. Actually, it wasn’t even the house; it was the forest that was behind the house. My foster dad, James, told me not to go out of the back garden and into the forest. I didn’t ask why or even to bother arguing against it, I just followed.

“Andy, Kaitlin, Sebastian! Breakfast’s ready!”

“Coming, mum,” called Andy and Kaitlin in unison.

I simply placed down my book, arose from my chair and silently glided across my room. I heard Andy thundering down from the attic and Kaitlin came from her room just after me. Her golden hair almost flowed like liquid through the door frame. It came down to the middle of her back and covered her right eye. Her bright red lips held no lipstick, but still had a strong impact on the beholder.

“Oh, hi Sebastian, have…”

“Please, call me Bastian,” I interrupted with a soft voice that I tried to make as polite as possible.

“Alright then, Bastian, have you had a good first week here at Short Manor? Excluding the morning where Andy screamed at you for sitting in his seat at breakfast,” giggled Kaitlin. She was a very giggly girl with a soft, mid-high pitched voice. Andy and Kaitlin are twins. They are only twelve days younger than me. I’m 15, born on the 18th of September, meaning that they were born on the 30th of September.

“Why, yes, Kaitlin. Yes I have. It obviously feels weird having a foster family; I haven’t had a home or a family since my 11th birthday. Let’s go down to breakfast. I could eat a horse.”

“Move!” yelled Andy in a girly tone as he pushed between Kaitlin and me. We both just laughed at him and made our way downstairs.

“Why is the bacon in my roll crispy, Mum? I like it brown, Mum, but not crispy!” Andy snapped up his plate and returned to his room in the attic. Kaitlin giggled once more at her childish little brother.

“So, Sebastian…”

“Bastian, Mum, he likes to be called Bastian.” Kaitlin interrupted. Not as politely as I did earlier.

“OK then, Bastian. What cereal would you like?”

“Umm…what cereal do you have, Mrs. Short?” I questioned.

“Please Bastian, call me Mum. We have to start treating each other like family. Call me Mum and call James, Dad.”

“Julia, leave the poor boy alone. Give him time to adjust. He’s only been here a bloody week,” said James over the top of his newspaper.

“That’s enough of the ‘bloody’, James. Please. It’s only breakfast and you’re already swearing.”

“I’d hardly call that swearing Julia. If I was to swear I’d say…” he just trailed off the rest of his sentence.

I had thought nothing of the word myself. I’ve heard a lot worse on my travels. I can say that word in several languages.

“So Bastian, what would you like?” said Mum, interrupting the thoughts about my travels.

“Could I just have toast please. Mrs…Mum, sorry. Just plain toast.”

After I had eaten my food, I brushed my teeth and washed my hair; I sat back down in my chair and resumed reading my book. It was a book that my real mum gave me on my eleventh birthday. The day she died.

I’ve read the book on numerous occasions, but every time I read it, it brings back memories of mum. She died on my eleventh birthday in a restaurant that we went to.

My dad had a price on his head. The ‘gang’ that targeted him were called ‘Hades’ Hawks’. They believed they were chosen by Hades – the Greek God of the Underworld – to devour those who do not think the gang is a just cause, so to say. They are more like a religion than a gang, but still powerful. They wanted money from my dad, due to something I do not know of. He told them where they could shove it, so they targeted him. They found out some things about my family. They knew it was my birthday, they knew we would be at that restaurant. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant; it is as if my mind blanked it from my memory. It is as if my mind does not want to remember that night. The gang sent four men to the restaurant.

My mother went outside of the restaurant to get some air and she didn’t return, so my dad told me to see where she was, but as I rose from my seat, the gang burst through the doors. Four men. One of them was holding a rifle, one of them a pistol, one of them a steel rod with large spikes on each end and the other – mum.

I hate the next part so I’m not even going to think about it. At the very moment that I stopped my thoughts, a group of crows passed my window. I actually don’t know what a mass of crows is called. I’ll ask James, he’ll know. They made one hell of a noise. It seemed as though they were right next to my ear, in my head even.

“James? Are you in here?” I called, as I entered his study.

“Over here, Sebastian,” he shouted, from the library next door. I entered quietly.

“Hey Dad, what’s a group of crows called? I’m just curious.” I had to ask. It was eating away at my mind. I just had to find out.

“I’m not sure, but we’re in a library. Just take a look in a nature book or something?“

It turns out that the term is a murder of crows. I found it in a book called ‘The True Nature of a Crow’.

It said some crazy stuff about crows, but I’ll check it out another time. I also noticed a large black book with a crow on the front, entitled: ‘The Order of the C.R.O.W.’

I asked James about it and he gave me a funny look, put on a fake smile and walked out of the room. I thought nothing of this. He could have just needed to go to the toilet.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of my alarm clock. The noise it created was a shrill, three-at-a-time ring. I spun onto my back and flung out my left arm and hit the clock clean off the bedside table. Well, at least the ringing stopped. But, as it stopped, I heard crows outside my window. Could they be the same crows as yesterday? Surely not, maybe a few were the same, but not all. I opened my black and grey striped curtains to find blinding sunlight. I could not see even one bird, but could still hear the crows. I could hear Andy rising above me. My alarm must have woken him. Kaitlin, on the other hand, was yet to rise. She was a heavy sleeper and she loved her bed. The second day that I was at Short Manor, she slept till 3 p.m. I wake around 7:30 every morning. Sleep is boring.

Later that morning at the breakfast table, I felt an uneasy silence in the room.

“Mum, when are we telling him?” Kaitlin had just broken the silence.

“Let him finish his breakfast, Kaitlin,” Julia snapped, but the look on her face was apologetic toward me.

“What’s going on? Is it bad?” I questioned.

“Actually Bastian, it’s quite the opposite. You’re going to school with Andy and Kaitlin on Monday. We have to get your uniform today at the local tailor store,” Julia explained.

My jaw dropped.

I hadn’t been to school for over four years. I had totally forgotten about it.

“You’ll be attending CrowhavenCommunitySchool. We’ve sorted all the sets and classes. You’re in all the same classes as Kaitlin. You’ll just have to follow her for a while.”

My jaw was still hanging.

Image: darksouls

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