A short story based off the poem "The Raven" BY Edgar Allen Poe
I can hear him. I can hear the sound he makes, when everyone is asleep. And the sounds he makes him when everyone is awake. Looking back, I should have saved him. I should haven’t let him die.
Now all I hear is he. Every sound here is his. The clink-clink on the window is his, the pitter-patter on the tin roof is his, and the tap tapping on the walls is his, too.He’s everywhere.
“Lenore! Where are you? Lenore! Your mother is so sore. You can’t even be bothered to get porridge anymore? Lenore! ” my father cried.
I knew better to reply.
With a silent grunt, I lifted the broken plate of slob up slowly. I watched the bubbles rise to the top and pop. The surface as pale as the stark white floors of here that, on rainy days like this, were soggy and slick. The stench of moss filled the house; it steeped into everything. It left the air wet and heavy. Everything smelled like death with his smell. He owned this house now.
With quick steps, I headed to my mother’s room. I walked and listen to his little echoes, to all the clinks and pitters and tapping and patters he made as he followed me.
I didn’t bother anymore to run to father and tell him. I couldn’t stand to meet his cold eyes anymore. I could not stand to hear his hard words scrape my ears raw, as he told me that it wasn’t real. It was imaginary. That I was lying. I never lied. But he wouldn’t be able to remember that. Even if he tried.
I walked into my mother’s room and father grabbed the plate from my hands But I didn’t see him. With my head bowed, my eyes stared at the paleness that ate away at my hands. Everything was getting so pale now.
I closed my eyes and tried to remember color. Tried to remember my favorite ones, but all I saw was gray. I looked up at mother’s face, her little mouth opened as father shoved the slob down her throat. She was too far-gone. Her whole body turned pale and gray.
The illness was quick and now she was no longer my mother. Now she was a ghost. A dying flower pressing against a cotton pillow, scent clouded with that of my mother’s. That was all she was to me. That and nothing more.
“Lenore, leave now. Your mother is sore.” I took off.
Restless to get away from the death bouquet, I ran to the field where he and I first met. That field where ,many days, ago he laid, almost dead, on the forest floor.
I can still remember it. I can remember his body, so still, and covered with blood. His leg twisted, and bent wrong. But most of all I remembered his eyes as he looked at him, silently he pleaded for help. I gave him none.
I still remember him, my stalker, my ghost and my only friend. How strange it is that, although, he is all of these, he is still and foremost a bird. A raven, to be exact.
I never got a good look at him, but what I did saw has haunted me. His broken eyes, his broken legs, his broken body, but the only thing that wasn’t broken was his need for life. My mother was a doctor but I had no knowledge to what she does and, until then, the thought never crossed my mind.
I convinced myself that I could do nothing for him and left. But I knew in my heart I stood have stayed. I should have tried. But I didn’t. Instead I left him for dead. To be eaten.
Perhaps this is his revenge, I thought. Perhaps it was God’s. Maybe it was my own guilt .But whatever it was, I came back home, soaked from the rain, with the sound of smashing bottles ringing like a chorus.
I didn’t have to look. I could smell it, the decaying flower was gone. The cotton pillow thorn out the window.
My mother was dead.
“ "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!’ ” My father screamed.
His voice drifted off from my mother’s room, and a great sobbing emerged from the walls where his voice boomed.
“Nevermore, Nevermore” he said, voicing floating like the fog.
That was not my father’s voice.
That sound I heard not by choice. I stood like a statue. My eyesight failed me, I saw nothing. All scent left the room but that of decay. I couldn’t breathe. But I could stand and listen. And he made me listen as he crouched closer to me.
“"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"” my father said.
“Nevermore.” He said, voice prickling my ears.
And it continued like this, my father and the bird in an endless quarrel. Until...he stooped. My father’s voiced drifted off with him to sleep, as his body dropped on the floor.
Finally, my sight returned and I saw him.He was here. His oily black feathers brushing against my cheek. His dark blue break biting into my cheek. Him broken body and all, feathers wet and slimy. And he spoke to me, voice gravelly and eyes wide open.
“And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;” he said.
“And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!” I replied.
And this is the story of the day Lenore died.