Minnesota, United States
Currently Offline
Last Online 114 days ago
Nevermore - A short tale of terror. Can also be read on Reddit: https://redd.it/67pu5y


I grumbled at the sound, annoyed at being pulled from a peaceful sleep. It was the very distinctive and loud sound of something tapping on a window. My window. I had no idea who it could be, but I needed to wake up anyway. It was my night off, and I didn't want to waste it sleeping. I wasn't sure what the noise was though; probably a tree. I stood up a little too quickly. Half-asleep and fighting through the dizziness, I pulled on the cord that raises the blinds. They were halfway up when a sudden chill ran down my arms and neck. Perhaps it was caused by the realization that there wasn't a tree by my window and I lived on the second floor. Or maybe it was a premonition. A warning that I would've been better off staying in bed. I almost let go of the cord, turned around and left the room. But there was something there. I could barely make it out in the darkness, but it was something. It looked sharp and angular, like a bird's beak.


It was louder this time. More demanding and ominous. Maybe it was a bird. I'm still new to this area, having lived in the state of Minnesota for less than a year. I don't know what the birds here are capable of. The thought calmed me - a woodpecker or similar bird was going to break my window, and I just needed to shoo it away. The blinds came up, showing me little more than darkness. I could see the TV still on in my neighbor's bedroom, and the night lights at the school near my house. But nothing else. There was nothing -


I looked down at the second tap. A long finger covered in a black glove was tapping on the lower portion of the window. I stumbled back in the darkness, panic overtaking me, and tripped over the table that holds my laptop, knocking it over. I landed painfully on my back, and quickly raised myself up a little. The laptop had flown a short distance from its small table. Its screen, awake now and partially bathing the area in the blue light of its start screen, pointed at the window. There stood a figure, cloaked in black, wearing the Renaissance era mask of a plague doctor.

The mask was long and bone-white, a frightening contrast to the dark, billowing robes covering its body. Its eyes... I thought for a second that it wore some kind of goggles over the mask, but there were two holes in the white, just above it's beak. And in the holes were two orbs of penetrating darkness. I did not know that shade of black existed - did not understand that there was such thing as blacker than black, until I stared into those inky voids. The thing raised its left arm and tapped the glass again, averting my gaze back to the window. It tapped slowly this time. Softly. I got a better look at its finger, but oh God, I wish I hadn't. It was long - twice as long as any person's - and unnaturally curved in several places, as if it had been broken over and over again but never quite healed. The finger ended in a long claw, as bone-white as the mask and dripping with a red substance that could only be blood. It pointed directly at me as it tapped. And it stared... I did not dare look into those eyes again, but I knew they bore into me, knew they saw me, knew that it was pointless to run. I could feel them. I knew these things in my heart and soul. I knew my doom had found me.

I wanted to scream. I needed to. And indeed, that is what I tried to do. I screamed in panic, fear and desperation, I screamed, drowning out every thought and every other impulse. I screamed loudly enough that I was sure I'd wake the neighbors, but as I briefly caught my reflection in the window I saw that my mouth was open, yet no sound escaped my lips. I looked at the thing...the plague doctor...again, despite myself. I could no longer see beyond it. My neighbor's TV was gone, as were all of the other lights outside. I thought for a moment I saw the school lights, but there was only blackness. I realized the blue light from the laptop was gone now. All light was gone. All that remained was blackness, and I knew it for what it was: the same darkness in the creature's eyes. I could somehow still see the creature, but it was all I could see anymore. The thing raised its beak slightly, and I could make out something...some things, long and sharp, white as a tooth but with reddish stains, thin and jagged like rusty nails. Did it have a mouth? Were those...oh god, were they teeth? I did not know...did not want to know. But long wisps of a smokey substance seemed to flow into the direction of the rusty nails, as if the creature was swallowing something. I traced the origin of the wispy smoke with my eyes. It was coming from my mouth...

I continued to scream inside my head, but was yet unable to make a sound. I was paralyzed as well. With fear, I thought fleetingly, but it was something more. Or something else... I knew then that I had lost all hope. I felt only a heavy despair, like a taint that spread to every part of me, crushing my soul. In sadness and regret, I knew that I would die. Death is not what scared me. I knew that this monster was eating me. Devouring everything that I was, am, and could be. I knew that I would forever be a part of it. In that moment, I knew what Hell was, and I knew I would never escape it.

The bird saved me.

It was a raven. Not the relatively small ravens you see here in Minnesota, but a large bird, like the desert crows back home in New Mexico. It landed on the creature's shoulder and turned its head. Braver than I, it stared into one of the dark orbs of the mask. It cawed loudly, and pecked. Over and over again, like a hammer to an anvil, it drove its beak into the creature's mask, pausing several times to look at me and caw loudly. I watched it for what felt like hours but, realistically, must have been seconds, since the creature did not respond to the bird at first. I watched, and with each caw and each peck, I regained a little of my will to live. But the bird...I did not understand what was happening to it. As I regained my strength, it seemed to lose some of its color, turning from a dark black to a blackish-brown. A few of its feathers fell off, floating away into the night. Its eyes, once bright with life, were turning a milky white.

The raven was being devoured.

I could see wisps of a smoky-light substance trailing from the bird's body to the doctor's beak. This beautiful animal that had come to save me was losing its fight, and I knew I had to help. I felt weak, nearly helpless and hopeless, and still felt that impending sense of doom. But in that moment the feeling that I'd soon die actually helped me. I knew I stood little chance of surviving, but I had just enough strength to face my death while fighting it. There was little to lose. With effort that cost half of my regained strength, I pulled myself to my feet and pushed the window open. My remaining strength was used to plow my fist through the window screen, impacting finally and painfully on the monster's mask, right near where it's twisted nail-teeth must have been. At that same moment, the raven turned its head to me and cawed a final time, sadly, as if in farewell. It drove its beak into the creature's dark eye, and it pulled. The eye the bird pulled out looked as void-black out of the socket as it did in it. I felt nauseous looking at it this time, as if it was unnaturally wrong, like a cancerous sickness given physical form. The bird and the eye disappeared then, and the plague doctor screamed. It was shrill and loud at first, what you'd imagine a cockroach would sound like screaming as its being stepped on. But then the scream sounded more and more human...

I woke up with a start, and realized the scream was my own. I was covered in sweat and exhausted. My stomach churned, as if I hadn't eaten in a few days, but I felt too ill to touch food. The sunlight seeping in from the
< >
Valérian Jan 14, 2017 @ 8:30am 
Minnesota yeah! :steamhappy:
pol | xygaming.com Jun 26, 2015 @ 4:27am 
+rep. Very fast and reliable trader. Thanks! :happy_creep:
Windóusico Jun 15, 2015 @ 4:47am 
+Rep. Great trader. Thanks!
Darth Sidious [PT] May 15, 2015 @ 2:38am 
+Rep, Friendly and trustworthy trader!
CeissaDesiste May 14, 2015 @ 8:50pm 
+REP - Great trader! Always friendly, fast and trustworthy! Another smooth trade!