Crow Justice

Eric Marin

There are times when I feel human — a damned strange thing for a grackle to feel, let me tell ya. Mebbe it’s got somethin’ to do with the fact that I used to be a man.

When that crow spirit, Jack, turned me into a bird, my way a thinkin’ didn’t change a whole lot. I know I done wrong, but bein’ made a bird — that’s just too damned harsh. Too damned permanent. ‘Course, Jack coulda just killed me. Can’t get more permanent than that; but, hell, this is torture.

If I could talk to somebody about it, mebbe I could get back to bein’ the real me. I can only squawk and screech, though. Regular folks throw tortilla chips and crumbs at me to leave ’em alone. The Walkers I tried to talk to just looked at me like I was a critter they’d as soon squish as talk to, and I got on away from them as fast as my wings would flap.

Even though I never see ‘im, I can feel Jack watchin’ and grinnin’ at me. Frustratin’ as all get out, that’s what it is.

It ain’t my fault that the Austin door to the Dreamworld got jammed open like that. I didn’t know I was dealin’ with Nullers when I took the money to look the other way. Hell, I figured it was just a few spirits lookin’ to have a little fun with us mortals, then head on back after they went and got bored.

No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Turns out I was a little cog in a big old plot to suck the life right out of our world. Now, if I’d known that, I’d never have taken the money. Well, I’d probably still have taken the money, but I woulda turned ’em in right after and made the money disappear. A man’s got needs.

Jack didn’t buy my argument, but I guess he believed me when I said I didn’t know it was Nullers doin’ the payin’. He probably woulda just tore me to pieces if he’d thought that.

Things could be worse, I s’pose. I could be somethin’ lower than a grackle. A beetle, mebbe. A roach. ‘Course if we up and blow ourselves to nuke hell someday, a roach’d be a damned good thing to be. But if the Nullers take over, bein’ a roach would mean I’d be just as unmade as everythin’ else. So, I guess it’s a good thing Jack stepped in and put a stop to the Nullers’ plans.

‘Course, I’d prefer that he hadn’t made me a bird and all. But I’m still ’round to complain about it, and that ain’t so bad.

So, if you see a big ole grackle hangin’ round Town Lake that looks a bit too knowin’, if you know what I mean, don’t be too quick to shoo ‘im off. He could prob’ly do with a bit of talkin’ to. He surely could.

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