When something visits me in my sleep and flips around my head in the waking hours. I simply must catch it and put it down on paper. All due to a writing prompt for my monthly writing group meeting this week.
The torn curtains was the prompt and all I could think about was a boy with a crow on his shoulder. He would not go away, he annoyed me at 2am in the morning. He kept tapping at the creative side of my brain and yelling….
“I’m in here and I need to get OUT!”
So here he is, a rough idea that needs setting free, before I go back to my other projects.
Enjoy this short story I am sure Dudley Deadwood will make an appearance again as my children want to know what happens to him and they have decided already that his nick name is DEADLY DUDLEY.
People will tell you, especially when you are a kid, be careful what you wish for. I never understood, until the day my family moved to Crowville and I my wish came true.
My wish is nothing huge or crazy like wanting to own a football stadium, even though that would be cool. I was the invisible kid, the one no one remembered at parties or anywhere. It was time to step up and be somebody different. I Dudley Deadwood wished I could be noticed, with a name like Deadwood you think it would happen often. When I moved to Crowville, I met Screech and everything changed.
Friends told my parents not to move there, they said the town was weird and strange things happened. My parents sold their art to make a living, they took it as a chance to gather inspiration.
“The stranger the better.” My Dad said.
The only one a bit scared was my baby brother Iggy. I can’t say I blame him he was the most popular kid in his Pre School, without even trying or knowing.
I guess I should start where it all began, the day I met Screech. What kid can resist a double dare, especially a chance to stand out. The local bullies had demanded I meet them at the haunted house at the end of my street, they double dared me to come. Sal and Rusty the creepy siblings. I walked slowly up the pathway, my mind thinking maybe I should not bother proving anything to these dull-headed dim wits. I was curious mostly, I did not believe in haunted houses.
I stopped outside the two-story mansion it looked like it needed a paint job and a very handy, handy man. The sign read Crowshaven do not enter. The windows on the ground level were open, torn and tattered, blood-red curtains flapped in the breeze. The weirdest thing, the yard gave me the creeps, birds everywhere. Crows in the trees on the roof, I had never seen anything so bizarre.
“Are you ready Duds?” said Sal creeping up behind me, she was tall and thin with a sour grin on her freckled face, she smelled like oranges.
“Yep, let’s get this over with, what do I have to do?”
“See the apple tree in the back yard you have to bring us all back an apple.” She said.
“Too easy.” I said.
“Be careful if she sees you, you are dead meat.” Added Rusty her brother, he was short and plump and had a mean looking scar above his brow.
“Yeh, she’s a witch and she will curse you if she sees you.”
I wasted no time and crept through the gate, looking from side to side. My heart thumping as if I had just finished a marathon. I began picking apples. The crows scattered, making more noise than a thief needed.
“Curses on you foul creature.” The voice was high-pitched and curdled. I turned to see Sal and Rusty running away, leaving me holding the apples. The screaming became louder and almost hysterical.
“Get out of my house!” An old woman stood at the window waving a broom madly at a crow flapping its wings, trapped in the torn curtains, I moved without thinking and unravelled the bird. It flopped to the ground, one wing hanging loose.
“Thank you boy.” She said With a toothless grin, they are a menace. “What is your wish?”
“You helped me and now I grant you one wish, hurry, I have a soup on the boil child.”
“I, um I would like to be noticed.” It just came out like that really.
“This will come in time, be off and do not steal apples from my garden ever again.” I ran out of the yard without looking back. The crow screeched, hopping along behind me.
“Hey can’t you fly? I will take you home until your wing heals, my parents will adore you.”
The next morning I thought about that wish. My pet bird Screech was sitting at the end of the bed he had chosen me as his new friend. When I looked out the window the trees were no longer bare the crows had come.
Tell me if you think your kids would like to read more about Crowville and Dudley, I hope you are having a productive day.