“Samaritan…Samaritan?” She repeated. Turning my attention away from the door, I wiped the sweat from my hands and walked back toward the bathroom. “What did you see?” She asked.
“…I, I saw…” I was struggling to comprehend what I saw. “I saw black smoke filled with yellow and hateful eyes.. so many of them.” I looked over at her. “…But the sounds…” I said shaking my head. “..the sounds were like many voices chanting and speaking in low, but audible levels.” Looking at the floor, I said. “The voices seemed to be wrapped…that’s not the correct description, but…” I held my hands up to gesture. “…but its as close as I can get to describing it. The voices were wrapped in a huge tornado like sound.” I looked back up at her and asked. “What was that thing?”
“It is simply referred to as the Maw.” She paused. The look upon her face was almost expressionless. “It is a voracious creature that consists of many creatures. It is born of hate and greed and fear …and it simultaneously, feeds on the dying light within people, hope, empathy, compassion, by consuming them. It will feed and go on feeding until there is no more.”
I looked at her and smiled, then settled into a somber look while I worked to process the information. I smiled again and then laughed. The laughter began as a trickle and then burst into an open torrent. I fell back into the chair, knocking the clothes off as I laughed uncontrollably. “I’m losing it…” I said to myself. “I’m losing it. I’m talking to a dead Bird…get this…about black smoke with menacing, yellow eyes.” I rolled off the chair and onto the floor, spasming from laughter. You just need to pull yourself together, Kyle. You’ve been working too hard. That’s it, too hard. Now that you realize it you can mentally push it all away.
I opened my eyes and sat up, resigning myself to the notion that all of these things were merely manifestations of an overworked and fevered brain. I looked about the room and over to the bathroom doorway to see the girl still standing there.
What do you think?” She asked.
With my stare locked onto the girl, I asked. “What do you want from me?” The question was followed by a silence that rested upon the air of the room.
With a mixture of confusion and annoyance, I stood up on my feet. “Why do you continue to pop up everywhere? Why are you haunting me?” My brow furrowed. “And why do you keep calling me Samaritan?” Again, my questions were met with silence. We stood across the room from one another, staring at each other. The situation felt as though we’d reached an impasse. I thought to myself, maybe if I extend an olive branch by answering her question, she would answer my questions.
“What do I think about what?” I responded.
Her eyebrows lifted. “What do you think about that family? Why didn’t you help them?”
“I don’t think much about it at all.” I replied. “Assuming this is all real, it sucks, but hey… they knew the rules.”
“Shouldn’t you have tried to help them, Samaritan?”
“Hell no! Besides what could I do to help them? The best thing I can do is to keep my head down and continue to survive and hopefully thrive in this world.” I looked over at the black feathers of my bird suit. “It’s all I can do to deal with the shit, rising up to choke me on a daily basis.”
“The meek and vulnerable cry out for help, cry out for justice…” She replied.
Thoroughly annoyed, I sat on the bed before asking. “Why are you here?”
She walked around the room. “Can’t explain it…I don’t know how I got here or why, entirely. I just know I’m supposed to be here… kind of assigned here.” She looked around at the drab colors and spartan décor of my apartment.
I swung my head back and laughed. I pointed my finger at her. “I know… You are here because I saw what the crows did to you several months ago. I know you saw me. You looked straight at me at one point.” Nervously, I scratched my cheek. “Listen, I would’ve helped, but I couldn’t risk it. I already told you, I need to eat. I need to live and…” She stared at me in a particularly unsatisfying way. “I need to… Look. Do you want me to go to the police? Is that it?” I asked gesturing. “I’ll go, but I can’t be late for work, today… That’d be career suicide for me. Big things are on the way. This would be a bad time for me to lose focus on my grind, my career hustle. In this world those who rise to the top are those who maximize their potential.”
“I’m dead, Samaritan. The police won’t be as useful to me as they would have been several months ago.” She said matter-of-factly. “By the way, my name is, was Samantha. I was on my way from the grocery store that morning.” She smiled. “I was heading home to make breakfast for my girlfriend. I remember how she looked laying in bed that morning…so peaceful.” Her eyes dropped low, lost in thought. “She…always had such a restless soul, so catching her in these moments of peace were precious to me.” She paused. “I kissed her and quietly slid out of bed, without disturbing her…not knowing…” Her eyes traveled around the room before settling back on me. “And now my death at the hands of the crows is just a little bit more personal for you.”
“What do you mean, personal for me? Why for me? I didn’t kill you.” I said with a tone of terror.
She slowly walked around the room. “I was sent here to warn you…to give you another chance…” In death, she was still a striking beauty, even though her body carried the wounds from the crows’ assault. Her remaining white and blue feathers were Pollock splattered with blood, but still carried a sheen that was visible, even in the dim light of my apartment. “…but now time is running out.”
My attention was snatched away as the light under the door was broken. I could just make out the voices. It was nothing more than a couple of neighbors who were inspecting the damaged door to the apartment of the family across the hall. “And you…” She smiled as though she was reading my mind. “…did nothing, as usual. Well, as usual, if it wouldn’t cost you too much to intervene.”
“What was I supposed to do to help them?” I replied. “I sit in my room and I walk down the street with the constant pressure that one day They will find out what I am and come for me, too!” I yelled and slapped my hand down on the desk. “Don’t you understand?”
“Shhhh… calm down, Samaritan.” She placed her index finger to her lips. “If ‘They’ hear all that noise, you might get a visit sooner, rather than later.” Her lips widened back into a smile.
(C) Copyright 2017