Gothic Fiction, Pagham-verse, Podcast, The Crows

Podcast S01E20 ~ Chapter 18 Up Now!

Chapter 18 of The Crows is online today!

CW for drunkenness, mortality/death date, boundary violation, pseudo-injection (brain), amnesia, decapitated corpse


CHAPTER 18: DEATH AND THE MAIDEN

Links on my podcast page.

Chapter 18: Death and the Maiden

…in which Ricky tells the truth…

“What the hell’s the matter?” Carrie demanded, a prickle of suspicion penetrating to the front of her mind, willing herself sober. It didn’t work. “Is this–” She gestured at the plate of crumbs and attempted humour. “Is this my last meal, or something?” 

“Oh, shit, no.” Ricky shook his head. “No, not yet.” 

Something in the way he said it sent a shiver down her back. “Ricky…” 

“I saw your wyrd,” he blurted, cheeks strained and red.  

Carrie pushed the plate away. 

“I saw the threads of your fate, and I saw… I saw where they stop.” He looked like he was trying to stop himself, biting on the words as they tumbled out, but a soothsayer told the truth. “I can’t change it.” 

“Stop?” Carrie echoed the terrible word, pronouncing it like a foreign syllable. “What… what happens then?” 

Ricky shook his head. “I don’t know.” 

The image of the crow slamming into the windscreen popped back into her head, making her jump. She hardly dared ask, but she had to. 

“How?” 

“I can’t see exactly. Could be a number of ways. It’s the outcome that’s certain.” 

“When?” 

He looked as if he was going to say the exact date, but he faltered. “Soon.” 

She realised she didn’t want to know. “How do I stop it?” 

“You don’t.” 

She swallowed, not taking this in. “What, so, that’s it? I’m going to die?” 

“Everyone dies.” 

Carrie shook her head, open-mouthed. “Why… how am I supposed to… how am I supposed to live knowing that? What do I do? I’m… I’m going to Dad and Ann’s. First thing tomorrow. Shit, I’ve wasted… so much time, I… I thought I’d see Christmas… won’t I? Why did you tell me at all?” 

“Because.” Ricky knotted his fingers together. A slick smack of his second lips hailed the tendrils as they poured out over his head. “It’ll be because of me.” 

Carrie’s heart clenched. 

A thin tendril snaked out like a questing root, tickling her cheek. She leaned away from it, blinking, not able to focus. It glided, worm-like, towards her earlobe. 

“It won’t hurt.” 

~ C. M. Rosens, The Crows, pp. 369-70

It’s Carrie’s last day on 13th May, and this is the early hours of the 12th. We’re very close to the end now.

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Many thank yous! ~CMR

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