Hi Internet People,
This week’s transmedia prompt for Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party was “secret passageway” and I have more adventures of the ravens, this time in a brand new environment.
In the inky blackness beneath the boughs of a twisted tree two ravens are perched on a window ledge. As crickets chirps around them and the wind blows cold, the smaller of the birds tilts his head sharply to the side and croaks to his companion,
“Balt, hey Balt, what’re they doing in there?”
“It looks like they’re splitting up to me, but none of them seem particularly happy about it.”
“Oh! Look, I think Ed might be going off with Annabel Lee. Oh, wait no, that guy, Ernest is going with them.”
“Poor Ed, he got rooster stopped at his own party.”
“Um, Balt, I don’t think that’s how you say that.”
“Have you ever had a rooster walk out in front of you when you are hopping for a honey?”
“Well no, but…”
“Then you have no idea how quick a rooster can stop a wingman’s work. Ernest definitely seems like a bit of a rooster.”
“Whatever you say Balt.”
The two birds tried to see which pairs went where, but with their vision hindered by the size of the window, even their best craning fell far short of giving them the bird’s eye view. As Phil continued to tip and tilt himself to follow each of the authors’ movements, Balt stretched his wings and made his way toward the roof. Even though his friend had moved out of sight, Phil could still hear the low mutterings and grumblings of the larger bird. Just as he thought he saw someone moving back toward the dining room, he heard a victorious caw rip through the air.
“Birdbrain, up here! Someone left a window open on the second floor, I think we can sneak in, just flap quietly. We can’t let Lenore hear us.”
Phil flapped his way to Balt and the two of them managed to wiggle into a slightly ajar window through a mix of beak jabs and clawing. In their attempts to make a silent entrance both birds wound up flopping onto the floor with a dull thud. With a few shakes and mild fluffing of feathers, they righted themselves and made it slowly toward the hallway on tiptoeing talons. Balt shoved a wing in front of Phil and swung his beak toward the smaller bird.
“I hear footsteps, shhh.”
Phil froze and they waited as they heard the voices of two men and a woman discussing what sounded like vacation plans. When they could move again Phil whispered, as best he could,
“Did Ed just say he wanted to go to Spain?”
“He did, and then he mentioned a sunset. I’ve never known him to seek out a sunset. He must really like Annabel Lee if he’s willing to risk a tan for her.”
This almost set the feathered friends into a laughing fit, but with the looming threat of Lenore they managed to stifle themselves. As they moved down the hallway Balt nodded his head toward what to anyone else would have looked like a large mirror hanging on the wall.
“Alright Phil, we just need to push on that little rusted looking bit of filigree on the lower left hand side and we’ll be able to make it downstairs.”
Simultaneously the two birds pressed their beaks to the metal piece and the mirror slid slowly into the wall. Balt flapped his way into the elevator and Phil followed behind looking a bit skeptical.
“Have you ever used this thing before? It looks complicated.”
“Don’t worry, we just hop in and push the right button.”
“Which button would that be Balt?”
Before the larger bird could answer the elevator door slid shut and began moving down.
“Well, I guess we just go along for the ride.”
They came to a slow stop in a lower portion of the house, then to their surprise the door was opened by a pair of hands. Instead of hopping out Balt and Phil tucked themselves against the back wall and tried to stay completely still as two men, well they thought they were two men, stepped inside. Not wanting to risk moving their heads to get a closer look the ravens listened as best they could to the conversation happening above them. Phil recognized one as Oscar Wilde, but he couldn’t ask Balt who the second person was. The elevator rose and opened onto a completely dark floor. The two people seemed confused by their surroundings, but Balt and Phil immediately knew they had made it to the rookery. They slipped out and rose to roost above the two guests, but their flapping woke a number of ravens who had decided to stay out of the way of the party. In the cacophony of hellos, shut ups, and where have you been cries, Phil managed to learn from Balt that George Eliot had been the other man in the elevator, though the smaller bird had apparently met the man while he was in his regular attire as Mary Ann. The room full of ravens grew louder and louder as the two authors attempted to pry open the door, when suddenly a scream seemed to pierce the air of the entire house.
Talk to ya tomorrow,