I’ve brought C. S. Boyack back to share a terrifying story with you that will literally give you the creeps. This one is lots of gory fun!
I know many of you know Craig, but for those of you who don’t, and so you can get a sense of why he writes what he does, please let me introduce you to C. S. Boyack:
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Author, C. S. Boyack
By C. S. Boyack
It’s been two days since I slid off the county road. The wreckage of my car blew the windshield out, and the nights were freezing. I haven’t heard a siren since the wreck. Last night, the flashing blue lights and sound of a snow plow told me any tracks I left got erased.
I managed to dig out some of the clothes I intended to drop at the Salvation Army and pile them around me. I know things are broken, my leg for sure. My left breast is bloody where the seatbelt caught, and the airbag fried my hair. I have a deep cough, despite only being able to take shallow breaths.
A deep thud hit on the roof. The snow knocked off branches and pinecones all over the forest. The clunking moved across the roof, and a magpie looked down through the hole where the windshield should have been.
It spread its wings and glided to the car hood, crow hopping until it reached a beam of sunlight. It ruffled its feathers and soaked up the warmth.
“Shoo!” My voice croaked from all the yelling I did. I broke into a wet cough that tasted of blood.
The bird turned my direction. “Sorry lady, but today is the day. We’ve been watching you.”
“Go away. Get some help if you can talk like that.”
“Don’t work that way. Birds have a code. We can’t start eating until you’re gone, and we can’t fly for help.”
A shiver, more visceral than the frigid temperature deserved, ran through my body. This beautiful black and white bird intended to eat me. I wriggled deeper into my pile of used clothing. “Please go away.”
“I feel for you, lady. Really, I do. Winter’s a tough time out here, and food is scarce. Some of us starve to death every year. When a gift like you shows up, we’re risking our lives to just go away.”
“What about my life? How can you be so callous about it?”
“I didn’t wreck your thing-a-ma-jig there. It really is unfortunate. I only hope you go before dark. After dark, something else might find you, and there would be precious little left for me.”
“What comes after dark?”
“The bears are all sleeping, but wolves are always around. They won’t even wait for you to move on. Nasty, brutal creatures, they just start eating the minute they show up.”
“Are they nearby?”
“I didn’t see any when I flew in this morning.”
Another magpie landed with a spray of snow. “Am I number two then?” she asked. “I was heading for the landfill and remembered the wreck. Thought it might be nearly time. I’ll tell you, something fresh would do me a world of good.”
“Winters seem to get tougher every year, don’t they?” number one said. “Have you been to the roadkill on the edge of town. Someone hit a nice young doe.”
“All cleaned out, I’m afraid. A coyote got the last decent bit two nights ago.” She turned to me. “I don’t mean to rush you, dear, but do you think you’ll be much longer?”
“You’re awful. Waiting for my life to end. I don’t want to be eaten. Go away.”
“None of us want that,” number one said. “There isn’t much we can do about it after we’re gone.” He turned to the second magpie. “If I dropped over dead, would you eat me?”
“Absolutely,” she said.
“Would you start before I passed?”
“Of course not. I’m not a wolverine. Birds have a code.”
“See, lady. We’re back to the code again. You have nothing to worry about from us. We won’t hurt you.”
A larger thump landed on the roof. “What was it? I say hypothermia.” A raven hopped onto the car hood and stood beside the first magpie.
“It hasn’t happened yet,” the female said. “Besides, I think it’s going to be from shock.”
“You’re both nuts,” the first magpie said. “She’s got some bad injuries. I think she’ll bleed out internally first.”
“Oh come on,” the female magpie said. “She’s been talking to us. That’s a sign of shock.”
“I’m not saying she isn’t in shock. I just think the cold will take her first,” the Raven said. “Some nice internal blood clots would be tasty though.”
“She’ll probably have some of those too, but I still say shock takes her.”
“I’m still here,” I said. “I’m scared, cold, and in pain. Please go away.”
“Can’t do that,” the Raven said. “What you’re going through is tragic. We all respect that. That’s why birds have a code.”
“Are you sure I’ll go today? Someone has to be looking for me.”
The first magpie said, “Oh yeah, you look bad. There are bruises all over your face, blood in your hair, and you’re so pale it will probably happen before noon.”
“I’m not in any pain.”
“That’s the first step toward hypothermia.” The Raven puffed up his chest.
“What’s it like? You must have seen it before.” I started coughing violently.
“There’s that internal bleeding I told you about,” the first magpie said.
“We really don’t know, dear,” magpie number two said. “None of us have ever died before.”
“They say there is a light at the end of a tunnel, and I just wondered. Is it that way, or is it darkness? Maybe there really is a grim reaper.”
“We’d all like to know, lady,” the raven said.
I nodded off and jolted awake. The sun was higher, and snowmelt dripped off the highest branches. Another magpie perched in a bush, and a second raven on a low branch. “A regular damned smorgasbord for all of you. What you’re doing is terrible.”
I nodded off and snapped awake twice more. Each time there were more birds. Finally, I nodded off and felt warmth returning. My pain lessened, and the pain in my chest went away. Then I heard the first magpie.
“Let’s call it. Time to get ours before the coyotes arrive.”
This story was creepy and came from C. S. Boyack’s book, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, Part II. It is his second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. Every story can be read in a single session. This time there are a few tributes to the pulp era. Stories include science fiction, paranormal, and horror.
Many authors do something special during October, and I’m no different. Every Tuesday this month, I’m posting a micro-fiction that has a Halloween theme. I call this Macabre Macaroni, and you can read more stories for free on my blog, Entertaining Stories.
Now let’s see if I can wake up from this dream about a bunch of birds! Hey, are you interested in appearing on my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts? I’m looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an enthusiastic author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.” ~Colleen~
“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.