Crows at Dawn
Crows at Dawn

Crows at Dawn

Crook, Thief, Despicable. Words that followed me as I took flight into the endless night sky littered with lights of the future. Little did they know now.

My claws are stained red, my wings a sign of danger and malice. My eyes see everything and nothing. Still, I returned to my family or the only ones that were left. The only ones that I could save. So few amidst the many. I couldn’t get enough for all of us, but it’s better than nothing. As we let sleep overtake us, we allow ourselves to dream of comfort, of safety, of a better life. Because someday, we will.

Another day, another battle. The little ones are already crying so loud, it might attract unwanted attention. Every day, Every. Single. Day. We refuse to fall into the slippery hands of despair. Instead, we held onto the tiny string that hope gave us. So, hours before sunlight, six of us siblings took flight.

There are a lot of places that we could go to scavenge food, but at this time of day, the bakery is the only place that we could get any luck. I hope that it was the old man who is taking charge of the kitchen. He would always give us bread and sometimes grain. With the cold wind with us and night stars following, we flew with all our might.

Alas, it wasn’t the old man but his son. His shouts can be heard from our altitude, and this proves that we wouldn’t be begging. Today would be much more difficult, but it wouldn’t stop us. The hourglass of starvation and death is nearly empty.

I told them of my plans. Four of us would be a diversion, while the two of them would come quickly and snatch the bread. As I neared the big kitchen window, I could already taste the freshly baked bread, I could see its golden-brown crust. One bread can feed my family for a day. But a voice as loud as thunder and as frightening as lighting came down upon me and woke me up from the small piece of comfort I’d dreamed of.

It was but a reminder to stay alert and play the part. The cold wind has left my wings and replace them with the fiery inferno from the oven. Who knew that something as cruel as it can make something as beautiful as bread. I was close to the window now and could feel the fast beating of my small heart as the man pounded that dough until it was perfect. So close, was I to death, that I have no choice left but to live.

With my voice as hoarse as the raging seas, I screamed my loudest. I sang a song of despair, of how cruel you people are. The unfairness of it all. Why should we be deprived of such a gift you so hastily throw away. The others, too, sang the words their heart had endured for so many years.

The baker’s son was shocked to his bones. His rage visible in his skin, as red as the flames behind him. He lunged for a knife to chase me. With my hope with me, I flapped my wings and veered left as the others swoop in. Too distracted by our songs, my siblings, like the assassins they are, took the bread.

“It’s over. We could go home.” I muttered, as we fled the kitchen and greeted the open air. Today was a good day. We can survive and live another day. But I didn’t know that we would lose more than we took.

It was when we reached the rooftops that I heard it. Silence. No songs of success, no hymns for the sun as it slowly conquered the night sky. The little stars are saying their goodbyes.

I stopped, looked back, and stood there watching, as the silver light took flight and silenced the voice who pleaded mercy.

Five were left.

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