This is cute little tale of terror that I wrote a few years back.
I am a bit obsessed with blackbirds and their amazing little brains and their killer memory skills.
I am also of the belief that they may be more advanced than we even give them credit for these days. So, here's to the blackbird.
To their intellect; their fearlessness; and their dark side.
Long may they fly.
Double Take -Nightmare #68:
The two were inseparable.
That was the first thing Paul noticed about them.
His second observation was the way the two would communicate with each other. It was a specific low-moaned caw that intimidated him somehow; jerked at his nerves like the sound of fingernails down a chalkboard. But he didn’t let that stop him.
Retired and alone, he passed his days between lawn care, old reruns of westerns and this voyeurism. He was obsessed with these two identical blackbirds; planned his entire morning around the two conspirators. This was the only time they came to visit Paul and he was always ready, with his 6-pack of light beer and a bag of pretzels.
This is how he started his day ~ and he would sit out-back on his lawn chair, sip his beers, munch on his salted snack and follow their movements like a P.I.
If asked, he wouldn’t be able to remember his days before they flew into his backyard. In reality, it had only been a few months since they started coming to visit Paul.
And what Paul couldn’t see, even when he watched them frolic and hunt and kill for their morning breakfast; what he wasn’t able to comprehend as they flew by and soared high, squawking their song; and what he surely missed while he was choking down that last warm brew, was that they were watching him too…
It happened in the middle of July, early evening, as Paul sat down at his supper table to feast on some leftover chicken.
This last day, Paul heard a loud cawing echo from outside his window.
He studied the clock.
Way too late to be my buddies.
But it had to be…
In disbelief, he rushed to the kitchen window and pushed back the blind with the back of his hand. He saw only one of his blackbirds fly in and perch itself on his neighbors' shrub. It belonged to old lady Gibson who had been in the neighborhood long before Paul even took root here. The blackbird hopped a few limbs of the bush and stretched its neck to peer into the women’s window.
Odd, Paul thought to himself. And then instant panic rushed through him and settled into his chest; an immediate sorrow for the well-being of the second blackbird haunted him.
Why is there only one!?
And as if to answer, the blackbird turned to look at him, its beady eyes locked with Paul’s. The creature tilted its head.
And as Paul watched that blackbird from his window, it actually changed its form---
interchanged tail to head and back again ---while its buddy snuck in Paul's back door.