Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Heather Campbell would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Blackbird

By Heather Campbell All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Fantasy

That Which Cannot Be Acknowledged

“…Reaching as low as negative four degrees Fahrenheit tonight so expect to wake up early to defrost your cars before work tomorrow. And now....”  The too-cheerful voice washed through the deepening gloom of twilight from a run-down electronics store apparently trying to highlight televisions if they’d taken the time to set up something that could broadcast sound into the street. It would be some sort of sale; probably going out of business judging from the state of the current local economy.

The small, slight figure of a girl—woman?—trudged down the empty street lined with abandoned offices and boarded-up buildings that once contained small businesses but now seemed only to consist of grimy layers of dirt and scattered trash that fluttered feebly in the wind. She placed one foot in front of the other as if the ability to summon the movement needed for each step required a monumental effort. Her once black stockings, now gray, dingy and full of holes, gathered in wrinkled heaps around her ankles. Long, skeletal-like arms hung limply at her side, swinging listlessly with her slow, steady rhythm. The black, greasy strings that barely passed for hair only twitched with each movement, too stiff and dirty to do much else. It hung in her face, obstructing most of the pale, sickly features from the harsh almost-light that managed to break away from the worn-out street lamps. Large, black lumps of skin and bone that almost matched the nest on her head grew from the rags on her back. Long and sickly, the tips of the strange appendages dragged on the ground, trailing behind her like a forgotten train, and occasionally leaving thin, black objects that may have once been feathers on the worn sidewalk. No air of haste touched the mechanical movements and no eagerness or happiness could scratch the black bubble that seemed to weigh down the very air around her too-thin frame.

She slipped by an alley, passing a group consisting of several other mangy, dirty people huddled around a trash-can fire. The orange light barely hovering over the dented rim cast flickering shadows across their faces, making the little that could be seen in the darkness appear almost unholy. No one moved, as no one seemed to notice her despite the fact that she made no effort to hide. Instead, they just stared at the flame dully, any hope within them now long gone. They held their hands out towards the miniscule warmth, just barely staving away the seemingly perpetual cold. They would stay there until one of the group spotted a cop, or someone equally as dangerous, and then scatter like rats. They always did. She'd watched them before and had no need to look up and see them again.

The fire flickered more than usual, and for a moment the air felt even chillier than it should have, but the sensation passed almost immediately. Those that took notice brushed it off as their own scarred mind playing tricks on them and huddled a little closer to the bent aluminum.

No rustling of fabric marked the girl's passage as she moved on, her motions making no noise to be carried on the small, sickly breeze as each plodding measure dropped onto the cracked ground. Her tattered clothing clung to her body in well worn, permanent wrinkles when it didn’t linger behind her wake in a torn flutter.

She had almost reached the next intersection when a new figure faded into view; a businessman, alone and wary, hurrying to his destination with briefcase held firmly against a heavy coat. He didn’t acknowledge her and thus didn’t seem notice when she stopped. He’d managed only a few feet past her when her cracked, bleeding lips parted. The voice that crawled out started low, almost inaudible with the wind in the background, but the man paused none the less.

Then the song came like the wrenching of a creaking gate, unnaturally harsh and loud in the stillness as it wove its spell in the air. Malice had no place in it, neither did anger or fear, but no one would ever mistake the emotion in the shaky notes for happiness, joy or even contentment.

Another soundless footfall had her turning ever so slightly towards the man and the tuneless song grew in intensity, twisting and turning in the early night. The man blinked and looked around, his eyes widening with panic.

She caught the scent of his feelings, and immediately her song died down, giving one last dark note before falling into silence. For a moment, the man shook his head, and turned to continue on his way, his own gait now far quicker than before.

He hadn’t really heard her. They never did. Somehow, they perceived her, but they didn’t realize...they couldn’t. This knowledge did nothing to lift her mood. On the contrary, it only deepened her sense of hopelessness.

Slowly, like a rusted cog, she returned to her previous path, one foot sliding forward, scraping the cement as she once again began her automatic, aimless trek.

Of course she wouldn't be heard. Truthfully, she didn’t know why she’d even bothered to try in the first place. How could anyone hear something they couldn’t acknowledge? What would she accomplish if hear her song managed to reach someone? She didn’t know anymore. Any memory that could have given even a hint to such knowledge lay buried in the past; a place she could no longer reach and she’d long since become too weary to care. The last trace of her old self that remained showed only in the occasional bouts of whatever it was that would grow inside the empty place where her heart should have been; the part of her that would cause her to force her unheard song from her throat on the rare occasion that she could muster the motivation.

She continued to move down the street, her plodding pace heavy and simultaneously insubstantial. Black feathers drifted down to litter the ground behind the stumbling figure, only to be picked up and flung, unseen, by the wind and leaving nothing but a sense of emptiness and loss in their wake.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Heather Campbell
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...

Dave Allen: Well-rounded. well-detailed story. Bull's done a thorough job developing her characters. An intriguing read!

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

Olivia N J Hamel: I want this book. I love it so much. It is so enjoyable to read and to have a copy of this always, I would be very happy, to always be able to come back and look at it again.

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

Kayla Wentz: This book had me hooked from the beginning! I kept coming back for more. It only took me a day to read! I couldn't put it down! Absolutely A-Mazing! This book keep the story going and there's never a dull moment!

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

More Recommendations

Nate_L: This story is amazing. The style, the description, it all drags you in. The characters are mostly the well known characters from King Arthur. There's Merlin, the sword: Excalibur. I recommend reading this through, at least a little, as it's a very satisfying read. I added it to my reading list af...

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

Barbara Ponder: This book is aimed at teenagers, however the style and content caught my attention and it is a long time since I was a teenager. Intriguing and enlightening novel I hope there will be a sequel soon.

Morgan-Leigh Nortje: A storyline and plot not unlike something George R R Martin would have produced, only with far less tragedy. The stunning story of a young princess who goes into hiding and takes on an epic journey to save her father and her kingdom. With characters that you feel compelled to love and a plot that...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."