The Lair of King Crow
(Part seven of a seven part series)
By Hunter Liguore
Darkness turned to light, and cold turned to warmth across my body. I felt a wet rag run across my forehead. I could hear birdsong and insects, and something clicking. Click-click-click. The king crab. A shiver went down my spine, as I slowly opened my eyes. I heard a familiar voice say, “He’s waking up.”
Trees and sky. A dark cloud indicating a storm was coming. Two faces hovered over me. It was Amelia and Cook, both smiling. They helped me sit up. I noticed immediately Amelia’s round, pregnant stomach. Her face was still as I remembered it, youthful and ambitious. I heard the footsteps of a young child, from behind. Ferdinand fell to his knees and hugged me.
“You helped me find my mother,” he said, pointing.
I turned to see a young woman by the trucks with a group of locals. The boy took off back to her.
I opened my mouth, but the words wouldn’t come out. I felt old and young, clear and confused. What had happened to me?
Cook spoke first. “That boy of yours is going to be quite a fighter.” He patted Amelia’s stomach. “It took us roughly nine months to take down that crab, but we did it. In the end it was your boy, Dr. W., who jammed those gears. After that, everything broke off into a million pieces of light. The second doorway opened up, and here we are.”
“We, we only lost nine months?” I said, taking water.
“Nine months and not a moment too soon. I think my water just broke.” Amelia clutched my hand, smiling. “By the way, we’re having a baby if you didn’t know already.”
“John,” I said. “His name’s John.”
She shook her head, laughing. “After Rockwell. Too perfect. I guess if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have ended up here.”
“And where is here exactly.” I stood up, glancing at the lair.
I faintly heard Cook telling me to hurry to the van, as the locals helped Amelia inside. We had a hospital to get to and a baby to deliver. I started to follow, eyes still set on the lair. It was like I had special eyes and could see all the spirits the lair had trapped over the years departing, finally at rest. Before I turned away, I thought I caught a glimpse of Rockwell, now an old man, held up by a cane, waving. In his hand, some papers.
“Thank you,” I whispered, waving goodbye to him, and to the lair of King Crow.
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Hunter Liguore holds a BA in History and is finishing her MFA in Creative Writing. She enjoys writing in different genres, and even more so mixing genres, rather than limiting herself to one. Her work has appeared in diverse publications, including, "Katie Ireland," in Miranda Literary Magazine, "Piece," in Terra Incognito, and "The Wizard of Peillon," forthcoming in Mirror Dance. If you would like to follow Hunter Liguore on her journey around the world in thirty stories and thirty genres, visit: http://www.theworldinthirtystories.com
Labels: Hunter Liguore