Excerpt from Chapter 10 – Sanctuary 2

Stepping inside the room I wasn’t sure what shook me up the most. The complete chaos that was now my bedroom or the huge crow that now stalked my bed, its claws deeply embedded in what looked like a field-mouse and its beak peck-peck-pecking at the poor rodents head, pulling fur away from the bloodied flesh underneath. It was a truly great beast of a bird, its oily black feathers puffed up making it look even bigger than it actually was, but by any standards this bird was horrifically gigantic.

At first, the crow seemed not to notice me, so busy it was trying to get to the meat of the mouse. I watched in horror as blood seeped onto the white duvet and the monstrous thing tugged and tugged at a piece of tough flesh until it finally gave and pinged back and into its sharp beak. Underneath its other foot, I could see a piece of piece of paper sticking out, its glossy front now spattered with mouse blood. I stared at it, taking a few seconds for the image to reach my brain and register what it actually was. Other pieces lay strewn about on the bed and the floor.

I cry escaped my lips and my free hand shot up to cover my mouth, for fear of breaking down into relentless sobbing at the sight of my beloved Nan’s photo torn to shreds and now desecrated by this devil bird as it feasted without care all over it.

Realising it was no longer alone, the bird looked up; its beady eyes fixed on me. Its head tilted to one side and then it simply went back to tearing another chunk from the mouse’s body. I closed my eyes, feeling my head pound furiously and the anger growing inside me like a rushing, raging whirlwind. When I opened my eyes again, I felt like this mist had descended all around me and all I could see was the devil crow and I was so enraged and disgusted at the very sight of it.

I flew at it, screaming like a woman possessed, raising the knife above my head and flinging myself on the bed. It squawked in surprise, a cry that pierced my ears so high and shrill it sounded, and its great wings lifted and it rose up, leaving the mouse’s decimated body on the bedcovers. Its huge oily wings beat against the air as it flew up into the corner of the room, hovering there as I knelt on the bed; mouse blood staining the knees of Marina’s jeans that I had borrowed. Suddenly and without any fear it swooped down at me and I shrieked as it landed right in front of me on the bed and began to peck furiously at my legs with its vicious beak; its wings still flapping as it jabbed at me. Looking down in horror I realised that it was desperately trying to reach the mouse’s body which was now underneath me and believing that I wanted its prize, it was now prepared to fight me for it. Fragments of my Nan’s photograph were swept up in a flurry and went falling to the floor by the demon bird’s furious attack.

‘Get out of my house’ I screamed at it and jabbed at it with the knife and the bird rose up again and then launched itself at me, this time aiming for my head. I shrieked and desperately tried to cover my face with my arms, petrified that it was going to peck my eyes out, but instead it tore at my hands with its sharp beak and I felt it stabbing at me again and again. All the time it was squawking and screeching and I could feel the great whoosh of its wings as they flapped around my head. I slashed at it and somehow caught it on the leg with the tip of the knife and it went falling to the end of the bed. I reached out and managed to grab hold of one of its horrible wings before it disappeared onto the floor or managed to fly up again and continue its attack. In absolute fury it began to peck at my hand with deep malice and I felt skin tear and immediately draw blood. Without thinking I lashed out at it with the knife catching its other wing and it screeched louder now and the noise just seemed to go on and on, reverberating sickeningly in my ears.

‘Stop it! Stop it!’ I shrieked in return and when I could take no more, I held its wing down, effectively pinning one side of the bird to the bed and thrust the knife again and again into the beast’s body until it stopped flapping and, more importantly, stopped screaming. Finally, when it was done and I was completely horrified by the scene that lay in front of me, I let go of the shank of the knife and propelled myself backwards until my back hit the headboard and there I perched, spattered with bird and mouse guts and blood, clutching my shredded hand and shaking as if I were freezing cold and standing bare foot in the snow.

 

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2011

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1 Comment

Filed under Lost Creatures

One response to “Excerpt from Chapter 10 – Sanctuary 2

  1. For me this is probably the very creepiest scene in Lost Creatures. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it really made me shiver, the thought of that massive bloody crow. I can see your horror-loving roots stronger than ever in this bit!

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