September 15th 2020
I don’t know how to start this. I don’t know how to address this. But I’m writing because it’s the only way to keep my mind. The pounding on my door gets louder each repetition, I swear. Maybe it’s in my mind, maybe they’re stronger. I don’t know, but I can only assume my time here is limited. So I guess I should start from the beginning.
It all started with the crows. It was a regular day, a normal Thursday morning. I was in my apartment, working. People were outside, walking their dogs, going to work, getting ice cream, going about their lives. And then everything went dark. I looked outside, and, I don’t even know how to convey it. The sky was blotted, choked out by crows. Just, a massive swarm, circling in the sky. There must have been at least several thousand. So many that the sun could not even get through. And then they started falling.
It was one or two at first, and then they began tumbling down in dozens, hundreds. All dead, they fell. Their corpses almost shattered my window, as they rocketed from the sky. People in the streets ran for cover as a hail of birds assaulted them. And then it was over, the sun returned. I looked on the street to see everything covered in a black mass of crows. A mother left the shop she was taking cover in and tried kicking a few out of the way. Immediately, she started convulsing and curled into a ball. Blood ran from her eyes and ears. I’ll never forget what I saw next. She turned around and sprinted back into the shop. She grabbed her children, a small boy and girl, and threw them onto the stack of birds.
They too convulsed and started bleeding. All three of them went back in, and tried to grab the shop keeper, but he was bigger, too strong for them. So, they bit his throat. Oh god, they tore his intestines out! I was shocked, disgusted, but I couldn’t look away. The chaos continued, I saw men, women, and children brought out and sacrificed to the birds, turned into bleeding monsters! Anyone who gave enough of a fight was executed. Limb from limb, they were ravaged. I saw an old woman bite a brawny mail man’s throat out. I saw a child stab his own mother with a knife. First in her legs, then her stomach, and then he cut her throat. I recognized one of my co-workers, Johnson. Blood was running from his eyes too, I noticed him as he dragged a girl out by the hair. And then our eyes met. His bloody, wide eyes looking into my soul.
I shut the blinds, but it was too late. A pair of footsteps clobbered up the staircase, and came right to my door. I’ve locked it shut, and thrown every piece of furniture against it, but he just keeps trying to get in. It’s been hours and he has not left. I have enough food and water in here for a few days. I guess, all I can do is try to survive for now. I can only hope he shall tire soon.
September 22nd 2020
They are still there. They have not once let up the banging. Not once. I am losing my fucking mind!! Ya know what the worst part is? It’s not the banging, or even the smell oozing out of the floor. It’s the silence. They don’t make any vocal noise. No screams, grunts, or anything. They just keep banging away…. I’m running out of food.
September 25th 2020
Whoever finds this notebook, I pray you live in a time where these things are no more. I ran out of food, so I opened the blinds to make an escape strategy. There they were. At least fifty. They sat on windowsills, on the corpses of the slaughtered, staring at my window. How long have they been waiting for me? How long have they been there??? And on the mass of crows, a message, spelled in lines of intestines. “Join”.
That’s all it says. I’m out of food, and the banging has not slowed down. I’m three stories above the ground. I’m going to jump from this window, head first. I can only pray that when I land on the pile of crows, I am killed before I can become them. Godspeed.
I was driving into Florida on 75 south listening to a crackly country station. The speedometer read eighty, and I was still pushing the gas. The clock read 3:00am. I reached for the coffee that I’d bought from a big-chain gas station, and I sloshed steaming coffee onto the console. As I brought the coffee to my lips, I heard a loud POP, and my truck began to skid off the road. I managed to straighten the steering wheel, guiding the two-seater into a grassy ditch. I cursed aloud as coffee spilled all over my jeans. When I came to a stop, I took a deep breath and opened the driver door. I looked at the back tires – the rear passenger tire had blown and was shredded. I hopped into the bed of my truck to grab the jack and a crowbar. When I felt under the truck for the spare tire, I cursed again, and my heart sank. I’d put my spare on the front passenger wheel about a month ago and had forgotten to replace it. I climbed into truck and felt around for my cellphone. The top left corner of the device read – NO SERVICE. I rolled my eyes and tossed the phone back onto the passenger seat. My vehicle was the only vehicle that I’d seen on the road in hours. I paced the grass near my blown tire for minutes, restless. As I stared into woods that lied ahead, I saw a light in the distance. Maybe there was a farmhouse or something out there. I pocketed my keys, put my phone in my pocket just in case, and I grabbed a bottle of water.
The woods were thick and ominous. The limbs of the trees reached out to play tag, and the musty smell of dirt and rotting wood was thick in the humid air. After about thirty minutes, I reached the edge of the woods. I looked back and realized that I wouldn’t be able to make my way back if I got lost out here. There had better a house out here. And a phone. I continued to tread a loosely plowed ground. The dirt was soft and light out here. It smelled rich and metallic. After another fifteen minutes or so, I tripped, nearly stepping into a hole. It was a circular hole and about three feet in diameter. I brushed off the dirt from my hands and regained my balance. As I took another few steps, I saw more holes. Looking out into the dirt field lit by the purple-glow of dawn, I saw little black pits everywhere. When I walked further, curious, I began to see something that filled the pits. In the distance, I heard the rotating thrum of an engine. A tractor – someone’s here. Thank God. I called out. As I trotted forward towards the sound of the motor, I stopped dead in my tracks. A human head was on top of one of the holes that had been dug in the ground. Its mouth had been sewn shut, and it’s milky, glossy eyes were wide open. I looked left and right and straight ahead: there were heads everywhere. In horror, I stepped backwards slowly, turned, and ran, dodging the holes like a game of hot lava. The rattling hum of the tractor clunked in the distance. A soft breeze whistled into my ears, and I could tell that the tractor was gaining on me. I looked behind me, tripped and scrambled back up to my feet, and the bright, prophetic beam of the tractor shone piercingly into my eyes. I turned forward, but I fell again as the dirt on the ground danced with a feverish rumble. A deafening sound erupted, and I curled into a ball like a child.
I awoke to a blinding light – the sun was evaporating into the morning sky. I tried to call out, but my lips wouldn’t move. I tried to run, but my body was trapped underground. I shoved left and right, but I wouldn’t budge. My eyes stung, and salty sweat dripped into my eyes, stinging them. A silhouette of a man dropped to a knee in front of me. He had on a straw farmers hat, and he held the handle of a shovel in his right hand. As his words came into focus, I could have sworn that he said something about fertilizer.
Mommy said Margaret would never hurt me.
When she brought Margaret into my room the first time and propped her up on the chair by the window, she said that it’s okay to feel afraid at first and that fear was like water leaking from an old bucket that couldn’t stay full forever.
Mommy said that Margaret looks different in my room at night, like her smile is too big for her head, because she’s so happy we’re alone and it’s safe to tell each other secrets. I’ve never heard Margaret say anything.
Margaret’s smile opens so wide it looks like her head is almost split in two, and her eyes get so dark I think she has no eyes at all, but Mommy says the shadows in the room are playing tricks on me, just like in Peter Pan. I wish the shadows wouldn’t play like that though, it gets so cold when they do.
When I told Mommy how I felt about Margaret in my room, she said that I was a big girl now and Margaret would protect me. I just feel so alone with her on her chair, her smile touching her ears. When I told Mommy how alone I felt she said that I couldn’t be alone when I had so many shadows to make friends with. She said the shadows get lonely at night too and need to snuggle to feel safe, Margaret makes them feel safe. That’s why my sheets get so heavy in the dark, because having Margaret lets the shadows know it’s okay to snuggle. I hate the shadows, they breathe so loud.
Mommy said Margaret would never hurt me.
Mommy said, when she was a little girl, Margaret would tickle her, and they used to braid each other’s hair after Grandma and Grandpa were asleep. I don’t think Margaret likes me like Mommy. Sometimes I wake up and I hurt so much from where Margaret was tickling me that it feels like when I woke up the wasps under the slide at school. I hurt so bad where they stung me that I cried and when I got home Mommy pulled out the stings and kissed me where I was hurt. She doesn’t do that when I show her all my new ones.
I started dreaming that someone was pulling my hair and when I woke up, my head was so sore and there were red spots on my pillow. When I noticed Margaret’s hair looked just like mine, and the little red stains on her fingers, I told Mommy and she said to shut up or she would shave it all away and give it to Margaret herself.
Mommy tucks me in every night. I try to stay up and watch Margaret, but it gets so hard when the shadows come. I used to sit up in bed to make it easier, but I don’t do that anymore either. The last time Mommy caught me watching Margaret, she got very angry. Mommy came into my room and sat in the chair with Margaret on her lap, like she used to do with me, braiding Margaret’s hair while the shadows snuggled me so hard I couldn’t breathe. All I could move was my eyes and I tried to tell Mommy I was afraid, but I couldn’t say anything. I started to cry but it got so cold I felt my tears freeze on my cheeks. The more I cried, the more Mommy’s mouth stretched like Margaret’s with that big, empty smile and I could feel my hair start to bleed and I hurt so much it felt like the wasps under the sheets with me, stinging me forever.
Mommy said Margaret would never hurt me.