Crimson’s Creative Challenge #14: Four and twenty blackbirds

Marsh Road


‘Blackbirds!’ called Aunty Evie, hopping excitedly from foot to foot.

‘They not blackbirds, dumbo,’ said Cass. ‘They’re crows.’ He limped on towards the telegraph poles, lame foot dragging on the cracked road. ‘Twice the size of sodding blackbirds.’

‘Leave her be,’ I mumbled. ‘Every black bird is a blackbird to her.’

She was singing a nursery rhyme now, reedy, rushy voice a mix of adult and child.

‘Simple,’ muttered Cass. ‘Brain like a bag of candy floss.’

Up ahead, Evie struggled through long dried grass, hand outstretched to a boundary fence. Beyond, the field was already dull, waiting to sleep.

Cass pointed with his cane. ‘Stop her, will you.’

I saw what she was reaching for – a row of wings pinned to the wire, flapping a black rainbow in the wind.

Somewhere we’d taken a wrong turn.


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge#14. See here to join in.


10 thoughts on “Crimson’s Creative Challenge #14: Four and twenty blackbirds

  1. You’ve worked a really eerie air into this, which I much like. It’s that juxtaposition of child-like and ominous. Something darkly this way comes …. 🙂


    1. Thank you Crispina. Glad it came across as dark. Although I hate the practice, that old farming habit of killing crows and pinning their wings is a great image for a story – grim but evocative. Thanks so much

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t help feeling sorry for the birds… it’s beautifully written with your masterful descriptions of persons and places, as always. And it does feel slightly ominous.


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