The Caw and the Coo

It was a very small room, certainly not big enough for two. Yet there it was with him, resting slightly outside the illumination of the single, naked bulb that burned dull, both night and day for his well-being.

It began two weeks before…

Stanley, a night foreman at the local foundry was trying to sleep. The heat of the summer day though was stifling and he found himself awake long before evening.

Wish for more sleep, he lay on his cot. As he did this, Stanley listened to the cry of what he believed to be a bird as it echoed through his open window.

It took him a few minutes to realize that the crying wasn’t jus’ that of a bird, but of a baby, too. As the baby cried, a Raven answered, attempting to calm the baby’s tears.

Soon, Stanley became aware that the Raven and the baby were cawing to one another. Frightened, he grabbed his long deceased mother’s bible and began praying, fearful that the calling back and forth was between Satan and a minion in training.

Shortly afterwards, he began hearing voices; menacing, evil, growling voices. The voices lead to a fear of shadows and other dark places, making work impossible.

Other workers watched as Stanley became obsessed with the dark and a fear of what lurked in it’s inkiness. A couple of them eventually reported his odd behavior to the local authorities, who felt inclined to take him into ‘protective custody for his own welfare.’

Now, Stanley’s trapped in the confines of an asylum, unable to escape. He knows that whatever is in his padded cell, it’s there to take his life – but it can’t save for that single, naked bulb.

“God! Help me!” he cries when the power suddenly goes out.