The Raven in the Window

Outside the rain is pouring, each drop splattering as it hits the ground. Inside, an old man sits on a cushioned pew, his frail back bent forwards and his hands cupped to his face. Completely alone in the cavernous church, he is undisturbed. Rows of empty, dust-covered pews line the church behind him, in front of him stands only the altar. Besides slight creeks in the floorboards, the church remains silent, a place of tranquility in an ever-changing, fast-paced world. The old man stands and walks towards the side of the church. With each measured step, his weary legs bring him closer to a beautiful stained glass window. It is a picture of a woman standing in a field full of color, next to a tree. A streetlight outside casts rays of light through the panes of glass revealing the artistic wonders within the window. All of the colors instantly become brighter and the translucent picture is illuminated. Looking up at the tree branches, the old man is entranced by the vibrant hues. Filled to the brink with colorful birds, the branches are quite a sight to see. As he marvels in their elegance, the old man’s eyes flitter between each bird’s vivid set of feathers. Alone on another branch sits a raven, its jet black beak and wings stand out, anomalies among the rows of birds. The old man immediately recognizes this symbol of misfortune. It is a bad omen. Just then, the doors at the back of the church fly open. A man walks in looking disheveled, his collared shirt ripped and untucked, his pants bedraggled. Lifting a gun, the intruder points it at the old man’s head.

“You, you did this!” he shouts, pulling the trigger. The bullet pierces through the old man’s forehead, lodging in his skull. As his knees buckle, his legs give way, and his lifeless body falls to the floor. Outside, the rain continues to pour. Inside, the man’s blood spreads slowly across the floor.

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