The Raven Girl
The Raven waited until the hand of the clock had passed the three o’clock mark three times before it swoop down. The altar was built thousands of years ago, and cleaned thousands of time since then; the people didn’t dare forget. Every third of march they covered it with red meat, hoping to please the bird.
Humans were bizarre; they know freedom was imminent, yet they celebrated it. They treated the Raven as if i were a deity, a god, and not a mere cog in the great machine. The Raven had never seen such a behavior. Not that it had anything to complain about - the meat filled the belly.
That had never been the larger part of it, though. The Raven was a mere cog in the machine, but it knew how to oil itself. The prophecy it had had written here thousands of years ago was a smooth middle step - some world out there was in great demand of good specimens from this one.
The God has eyes on all of you; with Its one and only choice given by the Universe, it shall free you from this life. The time comes as the eyes of Its messenger on Earth open for the seventeenth time…
It never hesitated to get itself something from its workplace.
Perched upon the great stone altar covered in read meat, it peered at the people as they looked back at it, their tiny eyes shining, too simple-minded for it to guess what they were thinking. Hope. Hope was something native to the inhabitants of this place.
The Raven liked the way hope shined.
A walkway ran from the back up to the altar’s foot, divided the crowd into two. The Raven ran its eyes along it. The people were quiet, a bubbling, boiling calm.
They waited, together for the moment, for the footsteps incoming.
When the people’s beady eyes shifted, the Raven knew she had come. She walked down the walkway towards it, each step eaten up by the whispers and mumbles around her. Click after click after click, she walked into its view, black hair flowing down behind her back, head held high and eyes open wide. She looked up at it as it looked at her, searching, calculating. She looked as if she walked out of the words of the prophecy themselves.
“The Raven Girl,” the people mumbled, echoed. The girl left the words behind her as she walked.
She came in front of the red, red altar, under the bird’s shadow, never looking down even for a second.
The Raven flicked its head. The girl took that as an invite to climb up.
When she had come close enough, the Raven spoke. “Before we depart, you can ask three questions.”
She never hesitated. “Are you the one writing the prophecy?”
“I,” the bird looked up at the sky, “am its author.”
“What did you do to the human who wrote it?”
The Raven looked at her, surprised. She stared back, unwavered.
“I,” it said, after a moment of silence, “took him with me.”
Thousands of eyes were on it.
“I took him to a better place,” it continued. “A place where everyone shall be the chosen one. Where one shall always be special.” It swept its eyes through the crowd. “Where you shall be in a short moment.”
The Raven Girl’s big eyes twitched. She turned towards the crowd. “For the final answer,” she said, “you shall speak to them just as you spoke to me.”
The Raven tilted its head.
“Tell us, o Raven,” the girl said, “why did you choose that man?”
The Raven waited for her to go further with her last question, but she just stood at its foot, quiet, as the people looked up at them. “I chose him,” it said, at last, “for the hope I saw shining in him.” It did love the shine of hope.
Before it can finish the sentence, the crowd erupted with shouts.
The Raven was too astonished at the sight to notice the cables the girl had tied around its leg. Only when she shouted, as loud as she could, at the crowd and at it, did it realise. “It has chosen before! It cannot choose again! It lied to us!”
The Raven cried out as the cables dragged it down the red altar. “Thousands of years!” The Raven Girl cried. “Thousands of years! Thousands of years!”
“Lie no more!” The people chanted. “Lie no more! Lie no more!”
The Raven flailed and thrashed, but soon its wings were held down to the ground. The people brought out stakes and ropes. They pinned it down, tied it up, dragged it away. Hope burned in their eyes, now nothing but fuel for their anger. It squirmed at the sight of that fire.
Amidst the chaos, no one but it noticed the Raven Girl had gotten a single feather from its body. The people brought in the saws and cleavers right as a wind washed through them and a large shadow circled the altar.
“I shall never be the Chosen One again!” The large bird cried with the Raven Girl’s voice, and in a moment it disappeared, leaving her words echoing in the air. They were soon swallowed up by the chant of people, just as they swallowed and teared the Raven down, dissolving it into the thousands of layers of simple, crowded mind./.