Chapter 1 – The Bird On The Flagpole

It rains in January. It snows but I It mostly it rains. It was Sunday, and Branwenn’s friends had not invited her to go to the ice skating rink. They usually did. On Friday, she had heard them talking about going, they were whispering loudly to each other, talking about how they would have a massive sleepover on Saturday night, and then go ice skating the next day. This was the second week after winter break, and nobody had talked to her. Branwenn had absolutely no clue why. So here she was reading, listening to the rain pelt her bedroom window, and trying to not think about her friends laughing over hot cocoa and popcorn in the skating rink lobby.

Out of all the books she could be reading, she had decided to pick a collection of Edgar Allan Poe short stories and poems. A sure sign that she wasn’t feeling at her best spirits today. She was reading “The Raven”.

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December and each separate, dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Branwenn had just survived reading “The Black Cat”, and she was ready to plow through something a little less saddening. But this seemed impossible, especially with this poem. Well, with anything by Poe. She looked outside to stretch her eyes, and saw a raven, sitting calmly on the flagpole across the street, at the town hall. She looked closely. There was no denying that the bird was watching her. Brandon stiffened, and then looked back down at the leather book. The bird was now sitting on a “pallid bust of pallas”. It was looking at the man, and saying “Nevermore.” It just kept saying it at the man. Branwenn couldn’t help but look up again. The bird was still there, sitting on the American flag easily sitting on the gold eagle’s head, without feeling any obligation to respect the crowning glory that the eagle was.

It still stared at her. When Branwenn finished the poem, she snapped the book shut. The sound echoed off of the cathedral ceiling of her bedroom. She got up, pulled on her rain boots, and walked outside, all the way over to the raven. Rain pounded her hair, and it plastered to her face. She looked up at the raven. He wasn’t as imposing as Branwenn had speculated. He just looked down at her with a rather amused look on his face.

“Get off!” He stayed.

“Get off!” Branwenn waved her arms above her head, but the bird did not move, he just looked down at her with the faintest hint of a smile. Brandon shook her head, and blinked her eyes. He was a bird! How could he possibly be smiling?



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