The Six Signs

Photo by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash
Photo by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash

The first sign came in the form of migrating crows. Not in the least bit odd, apart from the fact they don’t. They poured from the fields like a great Black Plague, out over the basalt cliffs and away.

The second sign was subtle: A grasshopper dead in the snow.

The third sign was less so. An earthquake hit the city, shaking every brick from its neighbour and every bottle from the fridge. I lost my milk in the event, which annoyed me greatly.

The fourth sign was as easy as breathing. The wind changed colour from nothing to lots. Crimson particles filled the air.

Sign five was my personal favourite. A dove flew over and sat upon my shoulder. There, the creature cooed for all it was worth, until I stroked its head. This seemed to settle my avian friend. Perhaps the crows sensed this.

Sign six, the final one, was given a name: The Return. The crows streamed back over the ocean like a black fog. They coagulated, poured down like an open vein, ignoring everybody except one, me. They pecked and cawed, scratched with sharpened talons, refused to stop. It woke me from my slumber, that which all else had not.

I awoke from my dream to the dove at my feet and a snowing of black feathers. I looked from one to the other and wept, for I was no longer bound by disdain. The wind, having returned to clarity, only emphasised my own crimson nature. The steadiness of the earth only served to highlight my volatile self. Mephistopheles had returned from his sojourn, and thanks to the six signs sent by my father, Death, would make sure the world knew. Well, everyone has to have something to do.

The End

Thank you for reading

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.


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