Portland, OR

Jan. 23rd, 2019

The day looked so much different than it had before. It was the following morning after the horror that had finally ended in her parents’ bedroom. She’d been taken to her aunt and uncle’s home just up the highway, on the borders of the city. Their back porch overlooked the towering spires of Portland and the busy streets that wound around them, allowing people to go to and fro as she watched from her seat upon the back deck.

Amaya felt in control at that moment, though she knew that at any point the thing inside her could come back and demand that same control be relinquished and she be consigned to the depths of her own mind once again. It could demand, but it couldn’t force.

A sudden loud and shrill caw grabbed her attention as she looked to her right. The deck around her was quite wide, stretching across nearly the entire back of the house and wrapping around the far corner to her right where it disappeared from sight. The caw had come from this direction, and as she looked she could see a large, dark black crow sitting upon the edge of the deck railing, looking at her as it uttered another croaking caw.

She felt a strange pulse in the pit of her stomach, but didn’t acknowledge it. She knew what it was, and what it meant. But she wasn’t ready for Azazel to come out just yet. The demon knew very well that he could come forth at any moment, but what he didn’t know was how she was keeping him down, pretending to be helpless as she bided her time.

“Oh now go on, shoo!” Her aunt Mae, a kind older woman and her mother’s elder sister, waved one hand at the crow as she exited the house through the large sliding glass door, her left hand holding a small bowl of fruit that she’d cut up for Amaya. The crow spread its wings and cawed at her, not moving until Mae came closer, at which point it lifted up and away.

Amaya watched it go, her eyes trailing the bird as it wheeled about in the sky, perhaps thinking to come back.

She almost wished it would.

(to be continued)


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