13 Crows, One “Windoor”
You scan your surroundings again, your brain trying to reconcile the possibility of your…my…situation.
Holy lamb chops!
This feels way too…too…real.
And you’re having a hell of a time trying to convince yourself it isn’t.
A lucid dream…huh?
You don’t remember ever having one of these before.
“I guess there’s a first time for everything,” you mutter.
A small grin tugs at the corners of your lips, unable to suppress the amusement at the fact that you even talk to yourself in your dreams.
You pluck a sunflower from below, bringing it up to your nose. You sniff its petals tentatively. You’re not a fan of smelling flowers. Never have been, so you’re not even sure why you do it.
Its aroma isn’t particularly pleasant, but it’s not bad either.
For some reason it smells…familiar.
You frown, eyeing the golden-yellow plant with suspicion. As a child, you were allergic to most flowers so your mom kept you away from all of them. Sunflowers included. Why would this feel nostalgic if you don’t have any experiences with sunflowers in the first place—
Unexpectedly, something large and black jets by you, leaving a massive gust of wind in its wake. It’s a complete blur but the sight of it startles the crap out of you and immediately drags you out of your thoughts. Before you can recover, you feel another one speed by you just as abruptly.
And then another.
Your heart races with renewed fear as blurs of black continue to rush by you, frazzling your hair and nerves. Your head turns back and forth impulsively, trying to see what it is…and you immediately wish you didn’t.
All of a sudden, a swarm of crows rush in the same direction, flying and swishing by you in haste like they’re running late for an appointment with Donald Trump’s hairpiece.
A wave of nausea washes over you as you take in their morbid sight. You like birds in general, but crows make your skin crawl. You don’t know what it is about them. It’s not their color that irks you because you adore ravens and blackbirds. You don’t even mind the way they sound so much.
But crows…crows just seem to carry this aura of gloom and despair wherever they go, and you’ve always found that unsettling.
Maybe it’s because they eat dead people…
As soon as the thought forms, you feel this strange, impending sense of danger, and all at once, panic, anxiety, and fear quickly bubble to the surface…and you lose it.
Instantly, you take off in the opposite direction of the crows, sprinting as fast as you can, trying—and failing—to ignore the chorus of crowing behind you as you run. You have no idea where you’re going but you don’t care. All you know is that you need to get as far away from these creepy things as possib—
You stop dead in your tracks, your legs halting in the grass without your permission. Before you even realize what’s happening, your feet are moving of their own accord, turning your body around, and just as quickly as you ran from them, you start to run after the crows.
Holy mother of God…
It’s as if your feet have a mind of their very own. Your brain is screaming at them to run in the opposite direction, but they won’t listen.
They won’t stop.
You can’t even begin to describe how insanely bizarre this feels. You have absolutely no control, like you’re not even in your own body anymore.
Even though you’re terrified out of your mind, you continue moving in their direction against your will. You can’t understand it. You don’t know why or how you’re running towards something you’re obviously afraid of; something that has always induced a heightened sense of fear in you and that you feel could potentially harm you.
You can see the flock of crows in the distance, assembled on the rooftop of a small white building that you’re positive wasn’t there before.
Thirteen of them.
And they all glare in your direction like an unimpressed audience at a failed stand-up comedy show.
Even from several feet away, you can feel their collective gaze on you, their eyes prying…as if in search of something.
Good God…I feel like I just stumbled into an episode of American Horror Story.
Your pace slows as you near the cottage-like building, each hesitant step bringing you closer and closer to your unchosen destination. You get increasingly nervous, not just about the glaring crows but the cottage as well.
Something about it seems…off.
Grass and sunflowers move under the pressure of your feet and around your gown, their wispy blades and petals bending and swaying at the mercy of the wind and the turbulence your movements bring.
It’s such a stark contrast, weird and ironic at the same time; the angry-looking crows have this ominous weight about them but the vegetation beneath your feet feel as soft as clouds…so light and serene that you actually feel like you’re floating.
Like I’m on air…
As you get closer, you notice some sort of metal cross on the roof of the building.
You’re not sure why, but an unusual rush of calmness unexpectedly washes over you, giving you a sense of assurance and peace of mind that you didn’t have before, superseding your fear.
You’re not religious by any means; don’t believe in God or any supreme deity or anything like that.
So, why does the sight of a random cross make you calm all of a sudden? the voice in your head whispers.
You frown, more than a bit concerned by your strange behavior.
First, you’re terrified out of your mind and running toward a bunch of large, scary crows and now…this: this strange, eerie calm that seems to have come from nowhere.
Aunt Flow must be visiting a little earlier than planned this month because you can’t understand the abrupt changes in emotions you’re experiencing.
Nope, my last period was over a week and a half ago. Isn’t supposed to be here for another—
Wait, why the hell are you debating with yourself over the arrival of your period in a freaking dream?
Goodness, Eli, you’re really turning into a basket case, you silently scold yourself. Get it together, for fuck’s sake!
You roll your eyes, shaking your head in amusement.
At least you don’t feel any of the apprehension you did just moments ago.
You quickly scan the building in front of you and find it to be…simple.
You’re all for modesty but this just looks like it wasn’t even actually built for anything.
There doesn’t seem to be any real structure; no definitive front or back, no obvious door, and even the roof that’s now housing the thirteen angry crows doesn’t look like much thought was put into it—like it has no purpose.
The only thing that looks remotely like an adornment is the metal cross hoisted at the center of it, and even that is quite minimal.
It doesn’t seem like anyone’s inside, either.
Without a second thought, you start to pace around the small establishment, searching for a way in.
You have no idea why you even want to go inside. It sure doesn’t look like much from here and you doubt there’s anything worthwhile in it. Still, you can’t suppress your sudden curiosity about the small, humble structure.
Several moments pass and you circle the cottage a few times, your eyes peeled for any doors, hollow walls, or even cracks. Just when you’re about to give up, you finally stumble upon the only opening in sight; a strange, somewhat geometric but irregular cavity toward the back of the small building.
You can only describe it as a “windoor”—a merge of what would probably look more like a poorly designed window and a narrow, almost anorexic door if it were separated.
You’re not sure how you missed it previously.
It’s tiny but it doesn’t seem that obscure.
I could have sworn it wasn’t here before…
After several moments of hesitation, you finally decide to go inside—despite the incessant glares of the feathered creatures above you.