Savage World of Horror: Angel's Requiem

The Birds

Season 1: Episode 6

Near the town of Alder’s Creek, New Mexico
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The powerful guitar’s chord progression, accompanied by the clear-cut drum beats and powerful yet simple bass lines made the car speakers pulsate, working them to the limit they were designed for.

Riding shotgun in Tim Dawson’s ‘67 Mustang Fastback, Monique Hutchinson kept rhythm to Highway to Hell, one of AC/DC’s greatest songs. She looked at her iPhone’s navigation app then looked outside her boyfriend’s car window.

They were on a desert road that didn’t seem to lead anywhere. Nothing but dry shrubs were on either side of the road. Only the occasional power pole indicated that they were still traveling through civilization.

“We’ve been on this road for nearly an hour now,” Monique said sounding concerned. Her cell phone was not getting a signal so the navigation app couldn’t track their location. “Why did you leave the main highway? We could have been in Roswell by now.”

“I thought it was a short—” Tim started to say.

Suddenly, something struck the car’s windshield punching a hole through it.

Monique screamed.

A large black bird went through the windshield and struck Tim’s face with enough force to cave it in. In horror, she realized that her boyfriend was no longer driving the car. And it was heading straight for a power pole on the side of the road!

Reacting, Monique grabbed the steering wheel. But she overcompensated, forcing the car to pull far to the right.

The car veered into an embankment and came to a sudden violent stop.

Monique’s head struck the Mustang’s dashboard.

Then the world went dark.

When she came to, Monique’s head felt as if someone had struck it with a sledgehammer. She looked to where her boyfriend lay dead behind the steering wheel. The bird that struck him earlier was still lodged in his head.

It looked like a crow.

Monique’s training as a nurse urged her to check herself for any injuries. Except for a few cuts, she was relatively fine—although the impact left her feeling dizzy.

She looked for her iPhone and was lucky enough to find it on the seat next to her.

She knew there wasn’t anything she could do for Tim. She carefully freed herself from the car. She fought the urge to panic as she climbed out of the embankment and stepped onto the road.

Monique looked at her iPhone There were no dots which meant she couldn’t call for help.

She went back to the car to see if maybe Tim’s Samsung cell phone was working.

After finding the cell phone where Tim had left it sticking out of the car’s cigarette case, she nearly broke down when it too showed no signs of getting a signal.

Monique made her way back up to the road. That’s when she saw them.

Crows. There were crows everywhere. Hundreds of them.

They were perched on top of the car and on the telephone pole, but most of them were on the road all around her. Monique sensed something wasn’t right. They were all quiet. Not one bird made a sound. And they all seemed to be looking—no, staring—at her.

A wave of fear washed over her.

She slowly started to walk towards the car. Maybe she would be safer inside. She hoped someone would eventually drive by and spot the wreck.

The crows all turned their heads, following her every step.

Then suddenly, as one, all of the crows cawed in anger, took flight and flew towards Monique.

Their cawing drowned out her screams.

**

Near the town of Alder’s Creek, New Mexico
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

David Zabloski’s BMW went into a sudden and violent spin. From the back seat, Joe Holland woke up after striking his head against the car door’s window.

Zabloski was jolted from his sleep when he felt the world suddenly start spinning. He opened his eyes and wished he hadn’t. He looked out the front passenger window and saw a power pole coming at him…or rather, his car was careening towards it.

Just as the BMW was about to crash, it suddenly stopped inches from the pole.

“Everyone alright?” John Dante asked. He was sitting behind the steering wheel. Both hands were caught in a death grip on the wheel. He was looking past Zabloski and couldn’t believe how close they had all come to hitting the pole.

“Good driving Dante,” Zabloski said.

“What happened?” Joe asked. He looked outside and saw how dark it had gotten since he fell asleep.

The drive from Albuquerque was long. From Angel City, they figured it would take approximately fifteen hours of nonstop driving to reach Alder’s Creek in New Mexico.

A few days ago, Zabloski was called in to her office by Miyoko K. Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief of the The National Inquisitor, the magazine company he worked for as an investigative journalist. Hamilton had talked to Zabloski and commended him for the great work he was doing. During their discussion, Hamilton recognized how Zabloski often risked himself personally to get at a story. She added that Zabloski was exactly the type of journalist she needed working on the company’s digital magazine, or e-zine, The Global Inquisitor. In a way it would be a promotion for Zabloski. The job would have its perks like being able to travel worldwide and being able to dip into company funds to help him complete his assignments.

Naturally, Zabloski graciously accepted.

Miyoko didn’t waste time. As soon Zabloski accepted, he was immediately given his first assignment. She wanted Zabloski to travel to a small town in New Mexico, not far from Roswell.

There had been reports of people claiming to see crows behaving strangely in the area near the town of Alder’s Creek. While birds acting weird wouldn’t normally elicit an investigation, Miyoko noticed that there had been other reports seemingly connected to Alder’s Creek.

Recently, a young couple on their way to Roswell had apparently decided to take a shortcut through Alder’s Creek on their way to Roswell. A call by one of the couple placed them near the small town before they disappeared. A state police’s investigation didn’t turn up anything.

When asked, Alder’s Creek only sheriff claimed not to have seen the young couple. With no further evidence proving the couple were even near Alder’s Creek, the investigation was closed.

It was assumed the young couple had both ran away together.

Joe got out of the car. The sting of the cold night helped to wake him up even more. The others followed and took out flashlights and their guns out of the trunk. That’s when Joe noticed that the car had a blowout. One of the back passenger tire was completely flat. “You hit something hard, Dante,” Joe said pointing to the tire.

All three walked back down the road to see what the car struck. They found what appeared to be a sharp metal piece lying on the road. They weren’t certain but it looked like it may have come off an older model car. They also found a badly dented hubcap in a ditch along the side of the road. It had the image of a horse on it.

“What kind of car was the missing couple in?” Dante asked.

“A ’67 Mustang Fastback,” Zabloski answered.

Joe swept the area with his flashlight. “Looks to me like they came through here,” he said.

“It sure does,” Zabloski said. “But the sheriff’s report said otherwise.”

“Let’s get the BMW’s tire fixed and have a talk with the sheriff then,” Joe said walking back to the car. “It’s just past eight. Early enough.”

Together, they got the car up and running again.

After a short drive, they came upon a closed gate that barred their way. They could clearly see a thick chain and padlock on the gate. A nearby brown sign read that Alder’s Creek was less than two miles further down the road.

“I thought this was a public road,” Joe said. “There shouldn’t be a gate here. Let’s go around then.”

“Can’t,” Dante said. “We’d have to drive into the ditch. This is a BMW, not a Jeep. And we certainly can’t go around the hillside on the left.”

“So now what?” Joe asked.

“I think we should wait until tomorrow morning,” Zabloski said. “Let’s stay here in the car for the night and head on out on foot in the morning. Maybe the sheriff might even come and unlock the gate for us by then.”

Despite not really wanting to, the group decided it was best to stay in the car until morning. They each took turn taking watch.

But as the night wore on, they couldn’t help but sit in wonder at the pervading silence that envelope them all in darkness.

It was as if some malignant force had turned the night’s volume completely off.

The group started very early the next day. No one had come to unlock the gate so they decided to leave Zabloski’s car behind and walk the two miles into town.

They had only walked about a mile along the road when they noticed hundreds of crows circling the area above them.

Suddenly, the crows broke into three murders, and flew straight down at the three.

“Run!” Dante yelled. The other two barely heard him as hundreds of birds descended upon Joe obscuring him from view. Only his pained scream could be heard above the crows’ cawing.

crow-surround-graphite-on-paper-2010-95x90cm1.jpg
Zabloski, too, found himself fully surrounded by a whirlwind of black feathers, talons, and beaks. He could feel the birds pecking at every exposed part of his body. His kevlar vest protected much of his upper body. He quickly pumped his shotgun and let loose a blast which killed most of the birds around him.

Apparently, the single shot was enough. Having lost most of their numbers, the murder of crows around Zabloski soon scattered in all directions.

Free for the moment, Zabloski ran towards the trees for cover.

He was soon joined by Joe who was also injured in the attack, but had managed to shoot his way through the birds.

The last of the murders was destroyed by Dante who quickly joined Zabloski and Joe.

“Now what?” Joe asked still feeling the effects of the birds’ talons and beaks.

“Looks like a farmhouse just past those trees,” Zabloski pointed. “We need to get inside quick before more of them show up.”

By the time the three made it to the farmhouse, another murder of crows was quickly flying towards them.

Two more murders had joined the first when the three barely made it to the barn.

Inside, the barn was empty save for some old tools and several bundles of hay. A two farmhouse stood less than a hundred feet from the barn. But with the hundreds of birds perched outside of the barn, the house may as well have been a hundred miles away.

Joe got out his first aid kit and started patching up the cuts on himself. He then helped out Zabloski.

“Let’s catch our breaths and make our way to the farmhouse,” Zabloski said.

“I’m not sure the crows are going to let us off easy,” Joe said. He put the first aid kit back when he was done and walked to the barn’s opening. “I wonder why they don’t just fly in here after us?”

“I think it may be because there isn’t enough room for them to fly in together as a group or something,” Dante said. “I noticed back at the road how they tend to attack together like some school of fish or something. Apparently, they’re stronger together.”

“Well at least our shotguns can cut through them,” Zabloski said while reloading his shotgun. He then walked up to Joe and looked outside.

Hundreds of crows surrounded the barn on two sides. They could also hear the sounds of hundreds of birds moving around on the barn’s rooftop overhead.

For the moment, all three had an ominous feeling that they had just been corralled and trapped by the deadly crows.

To be continued in The Farmhouse


Cast:

Joe Holland
(Muscle for Hire)

David Zabloski
(Investigative Reporter for The Global Inquisitor)


Special Appearance By:

John Philips Dante
(Private Investigator)


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