Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “What Happens Next” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

For the final addition to my Poe Party fanfic I start right where I left off last week with Lenore’s discovery of the ravens in the house. I have really enjoyed writing these stories with Balt and Phil and I hope you’ve enjoyed them too.

“Perhaps this isn’t the best time to discuss the ravens in the room, Lenore.”

Edgar spoke in a strained voice as he worked to maintain his composure after the appearance of the unexpected, and murderous guest, Anne Bronte.

With a roll of her eyes Lenore remarked,

“Fine, I guess you have a point, but don’t think I’m letting this slide just because we are dealing with murderers right now.”

“If the two of you are quite finished, we are in the midst of a murderous reveal.”

Charlotte was pointedly staring at Lenore and Edgar with a look of irritation. Edgar tucked his chin toward his chest and apologetically gestured for the Bronte sisters to continue with their deadly dialogue. The ravens, who had led to this interruption, mimicked the author and bowed their beaks as they shifted as far back as they could into the shadows. They listened intently as the sisters elaborated on the murders, but as soon as Chekhov was mentioned Balt whistled under his breath,

“That Chekhov guy sure sounds like a pistol.”

The smaller raven gave a light croaking chuckle,

“Once, twice, three times a lover, huh Balt?”

Both birds had to muffle their laughter with their wings, but before they could regain a modicum of composure, Phil squawked out the word,

“Ghost!”

Thankfully the reveal of Eddie seemed to have distracted the remaining authors and Lenore from the birds, but Balt still flung a wing around Phil’s open beak.

“Shhh, do you want the killers to hear you? Seriously those ladies would probably kill us as quick as any of those authors. Eddie can’t be a ghost, with the psychic gone there’s no way to do that whole summoning thing like what Lenore went through. Just keep quiet birdbrain, I’m guessing Eddie isn’t here for a polite conversation over cold soup.”

As the no longer dead Ed began his villainous monologue, the ravens gasped when it was revealed he was the brother of Lenore’s long dead lover.

“I never would have guessed this was for revenge Balt. I mean it’s not Lenore’s fault Guy died.”

“Poor Lenore, she might not want us here, but seriously this Guy obsessed guy went too far. I was starting to ship Wellenore too. I thought this was one of those serial killer things, like some kind of deadly reading list. But heck, that psychic really should have worked on her powers of premonition, then Eddie wouldn’t have gotten the chance to give her a wring with that phone.”

The conversation suddenly grew violent at the mention of Shakespearian subterfuge and the ravens, who had been chirping amongst themselves, were stunned by the sound of shattering glass.

As the Brontes and Eddie began to expound upon their murderous deeds and the moment that led them to this night, the ravens were captivated. When the fighting began Balt turned to Phil,

“I’ll follow Ed, you stay with Lenore. Keep safe fluff for brains, I’ll be back once our raven loving author is alright.”

Balt flew after Edgar, winging wide of Charlotte and her gun. He landed in the library as Eddie landed a hit directly to Edgar’s face. While the raven wanted to help the grieving author he couldn’t find a way to make his way into the fray. Back in the dining room Phil stayed hidden within the shadows, but the moment Lenore was stabbed he flew toward her. In his concern he, much like Charlotte, had forgotten that Lenore was a ghost, but he was quickly reminded when her wound magically disappeared. As the Brontes gloated, Phil watched as Oscar snuck up behind them and shocked them into submission. With a happy chirp, Phil left Lenore and Oscar to revel in their victory over the sinister sisters and made his way to the library. Swooping in next to Balt, he appeared just in time to see Edgar take down Eddie with the rock they had seen fall from Annabel’s dress. The ravens watched as their author moved away from the body of Eddie. His eyes were wide, but instead of panicking, he seemed to have a plan in mind. He knelt down and, with a great show of force, pried the loose floorboard free. Working quickly Edgar began to shift and pull up boards so that there was a hole in the floor roughly Eddie’s length. Balt and Phil hopped toward him as he began to maneuver the corpse of his former rival into the irregular grave. Once he had pushed and prodded the officially dead Ed into the hole, Edgar began to move the boards back into place. The ravens flapped their wings in an attempt to fan the perspiring author’s brow and once he was done they swept their wings along the floor to hide any traces of dirt that had come up from the foundation.

A mere moment after they finished the sound of sirens filled the air. Edgar made his way toward the door, followed closely by the birds. While he and the remaining guests would have to speak to the police, the ravens were free to slip away to the rookery. Once they’d settled onto their familiar perches surrounded by their feathered friends, they realized just how exhausting the night had been. Balt tucked his head under his wing, but before he could fall asleep, Phil nudged him ever so slightly.

“Hey Balt?”

“Yes Phil?”

“With all the murders and mayhem tonight, I’m just wondering…”

“Yes?”

“Well, what happens next?”

“My guess Phil, with a bunch of dead authors and a dead psychic floating around in the ether around here, we get ready for some spirited happenings. But for tonight I say we relax and try and get some shut eye. We’ll deal with whatever ghosts might be able to manifest whenever they decide to arrive. Now get to sleep birdbrain, it’s been a long night.”

With a slight ruffle of feathers Balt and Phil fell asleep to the rhythmic sound of a hundred ravens breathing in unison around them. Elsewhere in the house a similar rhythm echoed up from beneath the floorboards, hinting that the events of the evening were perhaps not quite over.

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and I run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Confession” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

The ravens swoop back in as the focus of this week’s Poe Party Prompt “confession.”

The ravens were startled by the sound of two thuds outside the door of the study. In their haste to move toward the noise the cards neatly laid out before them fluttered through the air, most of them landing in dark corners never to be seen again.

“Balt, what do you think that noise was? It sure didn’t sound good.”

“Going by the body count this evening I’d guess that thud was something at least mildly murderous.”

The larger of the ravens pushed his way between the slightly open door and the doorway, even with a less than eagle eye view he could see two men in police uniforms lying on the entryway floor. Phil, the smaller bird, flapped his wings ever so slightly and managed to remain in the air just above his friend’s head. When he saw the bodies he had to hold back a screech of surprise.

“Cops! When did the cops get here?! And when did they wind up there?!”

“Keep it down birdbrain or someone will hear us!”

Balt hissed as he pushed Phil back down to the ground with a flick of his wing. Before he could say anything else the humans in the hallway began making a great deal of noise. Edging their way out of the door together the birds moved quickly into the shadows of the hallway. After their time in the study they had to quickly catch up on everything that had happened. Phil pointed toward the body of H.G. Wells and let out a sad little squawk.

“Lenore looks really upset Balt, I mean she can’t die right, why would she be upset?”

“I’m sure all of this death wasn’t in her plans for the evening. Though she didn’t look that upset earlier when the other guests were dropping like flies. Maybe she feels really bad about one of the deaths we missed? Didn’t they say a psychic was coming? And where’s that one person, umm, Ingrid, Eleanor…”

“The quiet one? I think her name was Emi…Emilia, Emiline, oh! Emily!”

“That doesn’t sound right, but whatever birdbrain. It doesn’t look like the psychic saw the danger of this party coming. Bet she’s in the wine cellar with the rest of the corpses. Wait, what is happening?”

Both birds gasped as Oscar revealed his connection to Eddie. Phil whispered that he totally shipped it and Balt gave a shrug of agreement. They didn’t even have time to continue processing that news when they learned Ernest had thrown a match for the dead man, well the first dead man, and then accusations just kept flying.

“Lenore totally wouldn’t kill all of these people Balt. If all those people did haunt this place she’d never get any alone time ever again.”

“Not to mention Ed could never survive all the noise. Hold on did they just try to pin this on him? Ed didn’t even want to throw this party!”

Balt puffed up his chest and was prepared to swoop in and defend his owner, but before he could move the blame had shifted to Lenore and then to Annabel Lee. The ravens stared at each other in shock as the object of Ed’s affections fled the room. As the authors and Lenore chased after her they stood stock still in the shadows of the hallway. Only Balt and Phil were left in the entryway when H.G.’s device hummed to life.

“Look Balt, it’s the outside.”

They flew toward the screen and watched as someone shrouded in dark clothing confronted Annabel. The scene became violent, but suddenly the figure disappeared into the night as the silhouette of Edgar Allan Poe appeared on the bridge. Both birds bowed their heads as they watched him kneel down to hold Annabel, but after a moments pause Phil broke the silence.

“I have a confession to make Balt.”

“Seriously, right now? Well, what is it?”

“I confess, I still don’t understand how either of us could be a writing desk.”

As soon as the confession left Phil’s beak, Balt sighed and slumped to the floor.

“Timing birdbrain, timing. I have a confession too. I confess that I have the irresistible urge to flap the fluff out of you.”

With that the two birds turned back to the black and white image before them and became as silent as statues.

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Weapon” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

This time I attempted something a bit, literally a little tiny bit, artistic. The ravens are still hiding out from all the hubbub at the party, but they keep finding some very fun stuff in Edgar’s study.

After Balt and Phil had finished reading Ed’s book of eulogies, both birds stretched their wings and made their way toward the door. They had planned to leave when suddenly the doorbell rang.

“Ed doesn’t have that many friends, who else could possibly be coming to this party?”

“I don’t know Balt, maybe Whitman decided to drop by.”

“After that letter he had me deliver, I doubt it. Oh wait, I heard the word police. Looks like we’re going to be roosting here for a bit longer little buddy. Wait, Phil, where’d you go?”

Balt craned his neck about in an attempt to figure out just where his feathered friend had flown. In such a small room he honestly couldn’t figure out where Phil could have gotten to when he heard a muffled cry.

“Help! I’m stuck!”

“What the…”

He flapped over to a dimly lit corner of the study and found the smaller bird wedged between a number precariously piled boxes.

“Okay, hold still, I’m going to give your tail feathers a little tug and you should be able to slip out.”

As Balt yanked sharply on Phil’s tail, the highest box on the pile began to fall. Game pieces rained down on the ravens and nine cards landed in small pile beside them.

“I have no clue how you got back there birdbrain, but it does look like you unearthed something interesting. Those cards don’t look like the normal weapon cards you’d find in a board game. Hmm, looks like our killer might have been planning this a lot earlier than we thought.”

With a skilled talon Balt moved the cards around on the floor to reveal all the murder weapons so far in on convenient place.

img_20161012_235331947    img_20161012_235341665

*I hope you can mostly read those, I was going to do something fancier, but totally don’t have the skills for it. Also anyone else planning on buying a cheap version of Clue and turning it into a Poe Party game?*

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and I run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Eulogy” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

I present to you more to you some writings by Edgar Allan Poe himself! Okay, not really, but I do have the ravens coming upon a new notebook containing some mildly morbid work by the writer in this new addition to the Poe Party Transmedia Exercise for the theme, eulogy.

“Those horoscopes sure did sound specific.”

“All smoke and mirrors I’m sure birdbrain. Still sounds pretty busy out there, maybe we should hide out for a little bit lo…”

Before Balt could finish his sentence both birds heard a feather ruffling scream ring through the air.

“Yeah, maybe let’s avoid whoever is killing guests and just roost in here for a bit. That alright with you Phil?”

“Yeah, sure Balt, hey wasn’t there a statue of you on that bookcase yesterday?”

“It wasn’t a statue of me fluff for brains, but there is normally a raven bookend on that shelf. It looks like one of the little leather books has fallen over. Let’s take a look shall we?”

Both birds flapped over to the shelf, but in their attempt to roost they knocked the already horizontal book onto the floor.

“Is this Ed’s poetry book?”

“I don’t think so, these don’t look like poems, at least not exactly. I think that says, ‘Dearly beloved’ right there. Hold on, I think this is a book of eulogies, at least sort of eulogies. I think Ed is practicing for funerals.”

“That’s dark stuff Balt.”

“I mean he writes about death and dismemberment, heck eulogies are tame by comparison.”

“I guess, but are these about the people at the party?”

The two birds leaned closer and began reading over the bits of text on the pages before them.

Dearly Beloved, such an overused phrase, think of something more elegant, On this tragic day, yes much better, on this tragic day we find ourselves mourning the loss of one of our own. While the women she wrote may have been little, she herself was a great writer. Bit of lightness there, let it add to the emotion.
Today we honor the bountiful spirit of a man who could even bring warmth to the coldest lands. Oh very nice Edgar, let’s see. His work was as prolific as the amount of vodka he could imbibe in. That will need tweaked, perhaps I shouldn’t mention his drinking habits at such a serious time.
I myself was shocked to hear that a women who wrote about creating life had been taken from this world. Possibly a bit too humorous, but it’s just too easy. Enlightening or illuminating personality later on. I’m sure she’d approve of the comment, she’s probably donating her body to science. I bet I won’t even have to speak.
Ingrid, Eloise, Eunice, oh Emily yes, Emily I, you were, today we, I think I left the kettle on, really should go deal with that.
Her characters had such keen eyes for detail, but even they couldn’t have seen the death of their creator coming. Very clever, perhaps add a sweet quote from Miss Marple, such a kind character. Yes, that will be perfect.
While she may have written under a male pseudonym, yes everyone knows I can talk about it, this author was proud of her work and wished to make a name for herself. Don’t mention the fake mustaches, don’t mention the fake mustaches, really not the best time.
His quips could bring any room to tears, but today we weep not out of joy, but out of overwhelming sorrow. Such an opulent man would want an elegant send off to celebrate his fabulous lifestyle. I’ll definitely need a prop, perhaps I can bring a small picture, oh no a portrait, it will have to be a portrait.
Such a strong willed man with a penchant for shows of masculine bravado seemed as though he could never be brought down by even the strongest challenger. We have come together today to honor his loss to the ever valiant death. I could light a cigar for show, maybe pour out some whiskey for him.
The eldest of a sisterhood of writers, her grace of character and keen fashion sense made her a delight at parties. A handkerchief flourish seems appropriate here, I’ll borrow one of Lenore’s. I can leave it in the casket.
An inventive mind that looked to the future has found himself stolen out of time far too soon. His inventions will live on though he has been lost to this world. Can you make a bouquet of gaskets, gears, maybe some spark plugs? Oh perhaps make a donation to some sort of inventing guild.
I suppose Lenore is already dead, but maybe for her haunting anniversary I’ll recite The Raven for her.
Oh Annabel Lee! I cannot even bring myself to think of your death. Well, I can, I mean I do have that poem, but oh I cannot, I will not allow myself to think of it now.
Ugh, Eddie Dantes, Annabel could do so much better. Not that she can’t date other people, we aren’t together, but why him? Not going to waste any more time thinking about him, nope, oh wait. Yes, the devious character decision, yes! That will be wonderful! *maniacal laughter*
Hmm, my own eulogy. Perhaps create a list of my work to be read before the mourners. Ravens can roost in the trees surrounding the cemetery, a light mist will fall, and my casket will be overlaid with a bouquet of blood red roses. Oh yes, that is a delightful image.

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Horoscope” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

This week’s theme for the Poe Party Transmedia exercise is “horoscope” and I decided to give the ravens a bit of a break. I hope you enjoy this little addition.

With a psychic on the way, Balt and Phil hopped back into Ed’s study. They had hoped to have a birds’ eye view of the seance, but with all the authors, plus Lenore, moving around they thought it best to stay out of the way. As they moved through the darkness, Balt managed to find a match, and with a bit of beak work, he and Phil managed to relight the candle on the nearby desk.

“Now what’re we going to do Balt? We can’t leave the study until the psychic’s gone and it’s not like we can sneak back outside from here.”

“I guess we just pass the time until we can wing our way out of here. Let me see here…oh hey here’s a newspaper.”

“Didn’t you go to the bathroom upstairs?”

“Sigh, birdbrain, I was going to suggest we read the paper, not use it as lining. Look, it’s turned toward the horoscopes, maybe we can do some mystic mystery solving of our own.”

With that the two birds perched over the paper and tried to gather some information from the power of the stars.

Aquarius (Jan 20th-Feb 18th ):

Okay, so things are going to get like super cray. You’ll look totes amaze at a party and even meet a brand new bae, but your Guy, I mean guy is going to make a surprising appearance. Be chill girl, you got this! Cause hey you got that paranormal power keeping you floating along tonight.

Leo (July 23rd – Aug 22nd):

Try and find the joy in the little things tonight. Enjoy the new adventures you and your feathered friend have found in an unexpected place. Don’t fluff yourself up, just relax. Oh and look out for your left wing later.

Pisces (Feb 19th –March 20th ):

Keep your feathers unruffled by the gruff pecks and pokes from your bird brother. No matter what you think, he’s having a great time sneaking around with you. Oh remember to duck.

Virgo (Aug 23rd – Sept 22nd):

It’s going to be an interesting evening for Virgos. You might find yourself red in the face, shocked by an unexpected turn of a knob, or stabbed in the back by an unknown associate. Some Virgos may also find themselves finding love in unexpected high places.

Aries (March 21st – April 19th ):

Surprisingly you are spending the night at home reading a good book. You were hoping to get invited to a dinner party, but it looks like you might be safer snuggled up on the couch. Though maybe avoid that pad thai in the back of the fridge, it will make your night a whole lot less fun.

Libra (Sept 23rd– Oct 22nd ):

You’ll find yourself bonding with new friends against a common enemy. Some Virgos though will be dealing with unwanted attentions from men, while others will be able to provide fierce commentary in the face of frightening events.

Taurus (April 20th – May 20th ):

You have been keeping some secrets about a gentleman from your past, but you won’t be able to keep that connection hidden for long. Don’t go Russian, umm, rushing into any inconvenient situations. You won’t want to be tied up when things get dangerous.

Scorpio (Oct 23rd – Nov 21st ):

Feel free to imbibe in your favorite libation and really enjoy yourself tonight. You’ll find yourself being axed, well asked, some very difficult questions, but try not to let that get you down.

Gemini (May 21st – June 20th ):

You’ll spend tonight writing fanfic and binging seasons of your favorite detective drama. A number of your friends will be busy tonight, but don’t worry Mrs. Hudson whipped up some snacks to see you through the night.

Sagittarius (Nov 22nd– Dec 21st):

Your outfit may be critiqued rather harshly, but try and enjoy yourself as best you can. You may need some cough drops or extra mustache glue, depending on how your evening is going. If you are feeling ignored, don’t worry, blending in just might help you make it through the night.

Cancer ( June 21st – July 22nd ):

You’ll finally get to share your thoughts on Spanish sunsets with a beautiful woman, but this won’t really be the best night for pick-up lines. Keep an eye out for unexpected party supplies, but maybe try and be knife, I mean nice and share your finds with those around you.

Capricorn ( Dec 22nd– Jan 19th):

Remember when you mentioned throwing a party? Yeah, you probably should have background checked your guests and upped your insurance before you invited all these people over. Also, if you survive the night, you need to get more raven feed.

Can you guess which authors are which star signs? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @kleffnotes. Find me on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and I run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Journal Entry” #PoePartyFTW

Hi Internet People,

For this week’s entry in the Poe Party Transmedia Exercise I present to you some ravens at a writing desk as well as a horrible homicide pun.

As the authors rushed toward the library, Balt and Phil flew through the door of the rookery to join them. While they had to tread carefully once they made it near the library, ravens are not as swift by talon as they are by wing, they managed to enter in time to see the body of Fyodor prostrate on the rug. So close to all the partygoers, Lenore in particular, they couldn’t utter a single croak. Balt gestured for Phil to follow him out into the hall as the humans began moving the Russian author out of the room. In an attempt to get out of the way the ravens found themselves in the shadowy doorway of Poe’s study. With the combined shove of both birds, the door swung open just enough to let them slip inside. Phil was the first to cry out in a crow of surprise.

“Fyodor is dead! Did you see him Balt?! Fyodor is dead!”

“Whoever did that must have had an ax to grind with the poor Russian.”

Phil’s beak dropped.

“Did you just, seriously Balt?”

“What? Is Oscar the only one allowed to make bad murder weapon jokes?”

With that comment Balt flew toward Poe’s desk, where one candle was still burning in a wax covered holder.

“Seriously, has Ed never heard of a fire hazard? All this paper, that candle could set this whole place up in a heartbeat. Hold on, is this his journal? He must have been writing in it before the party started. Want to give it a read birdbrain?”

“It’s his private journal Balt, do you really think we should?”

“He is an author Phil, I think that means anything is fair game as long as it’s written down.”

Balt puffed up his chest and perched himself near the open page, with a rough coughing squawk, he began to read the page in his best Poe voice.

“Dear Journal,

Tonight is the party, which I feel is to be beset by sorrow and ill will. With Annabel Lee bringing this heinous man who seems to share my name, or at least a cartoonish and immature version of the elegant moniker of Edgar, the night will be tainted by this unwanted guest. I will make a fool of him tonight though, I have made him an ape for the murder mystery tonight. Annabel will find herself saddled with a simian of a man throughout the entire dinner. Perhaps this will sway her heart to someone of a much more educated mind. Lenore is insisting that I must help prepare the table. Perhaps the night will not be as woefully horrific as I fear, but I feel a pall around this drafty house.

Yours,

Edgar”

Balt let out a low sigh as Phil whistled under his breathe.

“At least Ed didn’t have high hopes for the evening, right Balt?”

“I guess so, but wow, he really didn’t think tonight was going to go well at all.”

With that Balt lifted his wing and flapped just enough to blow out the flame beside him. While tucked away inside the dark den, the birds had yet to learn of the odd arrival of Agatha Christie and the death of George, or after that confession, Mary Ann.

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and I run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine

Edgar Allan Poe’s Transmedia Exercise “Secret Passageway”#PoePartyFTW

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.

Find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, I write for The Nerdy Girl Express and I run their Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Katherine