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XXXI. Ripe
Posted By Scott at 3/02/2020 4:24 PM

It was nighttime now. The stars were out in a full array of twinkling brilliance. Not a cloud could be seen in the sky.

Old Crow coughed and shuddered. Bits of skin had begun peeling from his face.

Ghost had grown tired of looking at Old Crow. His weak, pale body disgusted him.

“What is your true face, Old Crow?” Ghost heard himself ask, in disbelief. What had he done?

Old Crow bristled. He straightened himself up high upon his favourite branch.

“Why Ghost, I thought you’d never ask.”

Old Crow’s body began to twitch and twist, as if his bones were fighting each other to get out.

Dark black tears began to stream down Old Crow’s face.

He grew then, larger and larger until Ghost paled in comparison.

A deafening hum overtook the forest. The droning sound of a swarm of wasps filled Ghost’s ears. It made it impossible to concentrate, but he dare not look away.

It wasn’t wasps at all.

It was Old Crow, laughing. A deafening cackle from deep within his chest. Whatever he was, whatever he had been had changed.

The burning in Ghost’s chest was gone, replaced by an unimaginable chill. He was weak and helpless.

As he looked upon Old Crow, his true face laid bare, Ghost thought he might just go mad.

And then the stars went out.

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XXX. Catch
Posted By Scott at 3/01/2020 4:18 PM

When Ghost woke that morning Old Crow was gone, his nest empty.

Ghost follow the ragged trail of feather and blood Old Crow had left down to the riverbank.

There was Old Crow, gnawing on a fish three times his size. The fish was fresh, pulled from the river moments before.

The burning in Ghost’s chest was gone once more.

Old Crow paused. He was grinning at Ghost wide now.

“Ask me about my true face” Old Crow teased.

Ghost had been taught better. Whatever Old Crow was, and Ghost had seen bits and pieces of it over the years, it was nothing to be trifled with. No matter what face Old Crow was wearing, and he’d worn plenty, his true face was that of horror. Of that Ghost was sure.

But what had that burning in his chest been if not strength and courage? Even if it had subsided for now, what could this weak, sickly thing do to him now?

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