Craaven

After getting kicked out of his home, eleven year old Edgar Craaven, is transformed into a raven by a crazed nature alchemist and is forced to survive with the help of his friend William Tuck. But after an almost deadly plane crash, Edgar finds himself thrown into a land that seemingly doesn't even exist. Now he's forced to survive in a strange world while at the same time falling head over heels for a beautiful young girl. However when she is murdered, Edgar begins to struggle to keep his sanity together.

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7. Chapter 6: A few miles east of Stonehenge; 1977

I woke up suddenly with a sickening feeling in my stomach. I groaned and rolled onto my back, Where was I? I thought to myself, staring intently at the sky. While I was pondering my whereabouts, I abruptly came to realize I couldn't see my beak in front of me. In fact, I couldn't feel that strange sensation of feathers in my skin either.

Confused, I sat up and was immediately greeted by the sight of my human legs. I gasped and stood up, feeling my face and twirling my hair to make sure what I was seeing was real...to my relief it was.

I smiled giddily and cheered- I'm a human again! I thought to myself. But my happiness didn't last long, for that sickening feeling came back and forced me to crouch back down and wince.

I dragged myself into a little cave that was just big enough for me to sit in, and I remained there. I was curled up for a long time, but when I finally felt like standing up, a distant voice made me change my mind.

"Young brethren...we meet again."

It was the same familiar, raspy voice of Hawky and knowing he was around, I curled myself tighter in an attempt to disappear. For once I wanted to be a raven so I could fly away.

"Come on out of there, you have nothing to be afraid of." Hawky urged gently. I hesitated, but eventually I came out anyway...

Hawky stood a few feet away behind a green camp fire, he poked and prodded at it with his dragon claw cane as I cautiously emerged from the small cave. Him, combined with the scenery around us made me almost think I was in some strange fantasy land, but this was real life... and that fact made me both question reality and feel awed that magic exists.

"Good morning." Hawky greeted with a slightly sinister tone. 

"Hullo." I answered suspiciously. Hawky cackled softly (unless he was coughing).

"No need to be so reluctant. I'm not going to hurt you." the man smiled cruelly. I took a step closer and sat down in the long grass, "What do you want with me? You've already succeeded with the raven-thing, what now?" I asked angrily.

Hawky's face went stern, and he stood up, giving me a harsh stare. "Boy, I brought you back here because what I have to tell you will really change your life." he explained mysteriously. I scoffed in annoyance.

"Cut the crap, would you?"

Hawky's scowl got colder and his eyes seemed to burn into my soul. I gulped.

"You better believe what I have to tell you because it's not everyday someone can catch a glimpse of your future! You're headed down dark paths, Edgar!" Hawky hissed. His tone made me shrink into the grass and feel helpless.

"I only turned you into a raven so I can keep you from becoming what you will." Hawky sat back down calmly and poked at the green fire again.

"What will I become?" I wondered weakly. Hawky's eyes shot in my direction, "That's for me to know, and for you to find out...But I will tell you your life will become a living hell. Unable to sleep or eat, you won't breathe, you won't die, you won't live, and the world will hate what you are."

I raised an eyebrow in disbelief. It was extremely hard to take this man seriously, knowing he was a raving loon who happened to know black magic (or whatever the hell it was).

"Are you joking? Or are you just crazy?" I wondered. Hawky's gaze remained cold and harsh, "I'm not crazy, nor am I joking. What I see is real...and what I saw in your future made me change you into an animal, in hopes that you couldn't fulfill your fate. Obviously I didn't count on you meeting that other bird and learning how to fly, now I have no choice but to keep you with me."

I made a face of disgust, "What?!" I stood up and stepped up to Hawky, "I'm not staying with you even if I'm going to become something terrible! I don't want anything to do with you! I don't care if I end up a mass murderer, or a lunatic in an asylum, I don't even care if I die! As long as I'm not in your hands, I'll be fine!" I yelled in his face.

Hawky didn't seem too moved by my exclamation, in fact all he did was say, "Oh if I were you, I would care if I died. Because that's when you fulfill your devilish fate."

"Oh! Are you just trying to tell me that I'm going to Hell? Are you selling indulgences now? Well that's very kind of you but I don't give a shit!" I yelled sarcastically. At this Hawky stood angrily and grabbed me by the neck...

"No boy! You're not going to Hell, You're not going to Heaven either! You're fate is destined on this Earth forever! But you will forever be a spawn of Satan...a demon...a consumer of human flesh...a blood sucker... you will be a creature worse than the creations of witchcraft or man!" Hawky yelled furiously, his eyes burning holes into my flesh. I gagged and stared at him fearfully, desperately trying to make him let go.

"let me go!" I pleaded. Hawky dropped me on the floor and watched as I coughed and gagged, trying to breathe again.

"I knew you wouldn't be easily persuaded, so instead I'll give you a deal." Hawky stated calmly. I looked up at him, despite still gasping for air, "How can you possibly persuade me?" I wondered, my voice weak and raspy like his.

Hawky reached into his brown tattered robe and brought out a box. It was a fair-sized case lined with a dark brown leathery material and locked with an old fashioned combination lock.

I stood up, curious as to what was in the strange case. Hawky grinned, pleased with my wonder, "If you join me, I will give you this fancy trinket as a token of my gratitude." he stated, and opened the box.

Inside, was what looked like a simple pile of bones. Scattered spine vertebrae lined the inside of the box and in the middle was a bird skull. I gave Hawky a confused glare, "What the hell is this?" I asked. I'm not sure if a token of gratitude was a dead bird presented in a tattered old box, but if it is I've been doing it all wrong. Hawky's sick mind disgusted me, and I wanted to get away the first chance I got.

But unfortunately and fortunately, Hawky didn't speak, instead, he grabbed one of the vertebrae and slowly lifted the...necklace...out of the case.

I stared in awe at the strange relic, examining every microscopic detail and seemingly impossibly perfect design. There was a long black chain connecting all the vertebrae; it glimmered and sparkled like obsidian in the morning sunlight. The raven skull as well, shone brightly, and on closer examination, I realized that there was a large transparent jewel lodged in it's eye sockets.

The more I stared at the wondrous jewelry, the more alluring it seemed to be. When I first saw it, I thought it was a disgusting joke, but now I want it... I want it more than I have ever wanted anything before. The necklace seemed to taunt me, it was like a toy a child sees and begs their mother to get it for them by saying, "Mummy! I need it, it's speaking to me!" This necklace really was speaking to me... The faint whispers in the back of my mind were hard to ignore...

Unable to hold back any longer, I reached for the skull, but just before I could grasp it in my fingers, Hawky pulled the necklace away and sneered, "I'll only give it to you if you vow to not leave my side. By taking this necklace you swear to an oath that says I am your master. I control you... you do my bidding and in return I give you shelter, food, an education, and this necklace."

I looked at Hawky with an innocent face. He was giving me a choice, I could simply turn and run and forget about him and living in the wild. I could start a new life on my own. But I would be homeless, I would risk starvation and even disease by doing that. He was giving me a chance to live in a crappy house with crappy food and clothes... but with a gorgeous necklace and quite possibly an education on magic.

But he tried to kill me several times before. The thought suddenly came to my mind and I had to rethink my choices over. I would have no food on my own and also I would become this demon Hawky says. But I would be free, I wouldn't have to worry about Hawky always being up my ass trying to get me to not fulfill this absurd fate of mine (honestly! Who could believe such a thing like that?)

Where would I go? Would I even survive on my own? Can I even find William again? This thought drew me closer to the necklace, the one that still whispered to me in an unknown language that somehow, I understood. I gazed into it's sparkling eyes and thought about the possibilities of learning the magic that Hawky knows. Maybe I'll even learn how to make a green fire like the one burning in front of me.

Hawky was offering me everything that a boy needs to survive, more even considering all those possibilities. But I don't want to be confined to a contract that states that I can't go anywhere. I don't want to be stuck at Hawky's side. His appearance is freaky as it is, how would I be able to live with him?

So suddenly... a new choice came to my mind.

"I'll agree to the vow." I said, defeated. Hawky smiled cruelly and held his hand closer.

"I promise not to leave your side until the end of mine or your days...which ever comes first. I'll listen to you, and take your gifts gratefully. I'll do your bidding without hesitation, and in return you'll give me the necklace." I explained, looking down at the grass in front of me. Hawky chuckled and threw the necklace in my lap, the sudden feel of the bones clinking on my skin startled me, yet excited me...as he had bought my little scheme.

I stood up and smiled, holding the morbid piece of jewelry out in front of me. Hawky chuckled darkly and moved to the fire to snuff it out. I stared intently at him as he poured water on the fire.

I quietly stepped towards him, putting the necklace around my neck and raising my hands, ready to attack him. Once the raven skull hit my chest, the stone in the skull turned a vivid green color, and the whispering in the back of my mind became silent. I didn't think much about it though, as I was only focused on taking Hawky out once and for all.

Hawky was about to turn around and hand me what looked like a robe, but as quickly as I could, I lunged at his neck and wrapped my fingers tightly around his dusty skin.

The man fell backwards and gagged, struggling to push me off. I persisted, too determined and filled with adrenaline to give up. But after a few seconds, Hawky grabbed a nearby rock and struck me across the head with it.

I grunted and fell over, holding my bleeding skull in pain. Hawky stood up and coughed hysterically, trying to regain breath.

Unfortunately for him, I wasn't done yet. I stood up again and tried to ignore the searing pain that rushed through my body. Hawky kept his eyes on me, too aware now that he knows my intentions.

"What are you doing, boy?" he asked, already knowing the answer. I growled, struggling to keep my footing, "I said 'I promised to never leave your side until the end of mine or your days... which ever comes first... Well you're going to go first." I explained, quite sinister tone of voice that startled even me.

Hawky made a noise in confusion just before I lunged at him and rained down punch after punch to his face. He grunted painfully as blood spurted from his mouth and nose.

Disgusting. I thought to myself, cringing and punching him harder. Just then Hawky grabbed my wrists and squeezed them with amazing strength. His nails dug into my skin and soon I was the one groaning in pain from his fingers stabbing my arms.

Hawky threw me off of him and stood again, "You insolent boy!" he yelled angrily, spitting out blood and taking off that tattered brown cloak of his. Well now he's ready to fight!

I laughed, "You honestly don't think you're going to fight me?" I got up and gave the man a strange stare, mostly because his choice of clothing was quite a sight to behold. He wore a faded black leather trench coat, black trousers, and steel-toed boots... What godforsaken era is this man from??! What the hell is he wearing!?

I scoffed and Hawky gave a loud grunt before charging at me. Damn! The old man was surprisingly agile as he swung punches at me. I tried to dodge him as best as I could, but occasionally his sharp, bony fists would catch my jaw.

Eventually, I was thrown to the floor, but quite conveniently, there was the rock Hawky hit my head with next to me. I grabbed it and chucked it at the man's face. The rock struck the man's nose and he groaned loudly.

Oh how I wish I was a raven right now! I thought, realizing the advantage right now. But suddenly, a sharp pain ran through my spine and feathers erupted from my skin. The magical green jewel in the raven necklace started to glow, and before I knew it, I was once again a raven.

I cawed in surprise at first but quickly dismissed it and turned my attention to Hawky and charged at his eyes with my talons outstretched. The man screamed violently as he tried to push me away. My talons scratched at his brow and would sometimes graze his eyeball, but his frantic swatting wouldn't allow me enough time to completely sink my claws in his sockets.

I cawed again in frustration before swiping my talons down along his face again and stabbing my beak into his eye. Hawk screamed gruesomely, before collapsing onto the grass again and holding his eye in pain while it bled.

I landed on the floor gracefully, the mass of flesh that was once his orange eye still in my beak, dripping blood onto my feathers.

I watched him calmly as he wriggled around like a fish out of water. The gurgled screams he emitted were pitiful and weak; and in my eyes I only saw him as a helpless rodent, fidgeting around, trying to escape the raven's grasp.

I dropped the eyeball and imagined myself human again, just like I had when I turned raven again. Within at least three seconds, I was standing above the old man, staring down at him with a dark expression that felt no emotion for his agony.

"Edgar! What have you done!" Hawky screamed at me, his voice high-pitched and scared. I knelt down to get a better look at the expression on his face, "I beat your ass and gouged out your eye, what's the big deal, you old prick?" I answered quietly. Hawky whimpered again and squirmed.

"I'm bored..." I stated and raised two fingers to his other eye.

"No, NO, NO! PLEASE NO!!!" Hawk shrieked, raising a bloody hand to block me. I only grabbed his wrist and plunged my hand into his remaining green eye. The screams that filled my head were enough to make my ears explode, but I persisted, digging my fingers further into his skull and twisting the flesh around.

What am I doing? This isn't me! I would never do such horrid things! A thought suddenly invaded my mind and silenced the demonic whispers at the back of my head. I immediately retracted my bloody hand, staring at the mess I've created in horror.

I watched as Hawky groaned and wailed while blindly clawing at the ground in pain. I glanced at my hand, drenched in blood...his blood.

I retched at the sight of my hand and the old man. Seeing it now, I couldn't handle it...it was too bloody...too gruesome. Seeing what I've done to Hawk's face was enough to take someone's sanity away. This wasn't me... what came over me!?

Finish him! a demonic voice ordered in my head. I immediately dismissed my thoughts and stood up and stepped towards Hawky. He was unaware of me standing above him, but somehow, I knew that he knew I was going to finally end him.

I grabbed the back of his head and raised it, the sudden touch of my hand causing him to gasp and whimper. Pathetic old man. I hissed in my mind. I raised his head higher then slammed it harshly on the ground. He wasn't dead yet, so, enraged, I growled and slammed it over and over again until my ears were greeted with a loud and gruesome crack/squelching sound. His screams and whimpering went silent and I was left to stare in absolute horror at what I just did.

He's dead... I killed him... murdered him in cold blood. He's gone, so he'll finally leave me alone! I can live in peace now! I thought, letting go of Hawky's bloodied broken skull.

The whispering and that demonic voice in my head finally disappeared. All that was left to be heard was the calmness of the late morning and the birds above me. The day was too peaceful to accept what I've done.

I shouldn't have killed him...That wasn't me. I never thought of killing Hawky when I was younger; I never thought of killing anybody! I'm only eleven and already I've killed somebody... I just can't accept myself anymore! I won't accept myself anymore!

Who am I?!?!

...

It's been several hours it seems...maybe it was just a few minutes. I'm not even sure anymore. I've been sitting in the same small cave as before, watching Hawky's body and watching as crows start to appear, picking at his flesh.

The sick beasts...Don't they realize what they're eating? I thought, cringing. Despite being a carrion bird myself, I had no hunger for that buffet of a man. The only thing I seemed to be eyeing was his clothing and the bag he had left peacefully by the fire.

I needed clothes...I was nude at the moment, and if I wanted to live like this, I would need clothes...and Hawky was the only source around.

I've been debating for while whether or not I should strip him and take his paraphernalia (mostly in hopes of getting a head start... he might have food in that bag of his).

After several more long minutes, I finally decided... I crawled out of the cave and crossed over to Hawky's body, my presence making the crows gathering on his body flee for their lives. I knelt down next to the man's body and unbuckled the belt along his trench coat.

I flipped him over, and with all my strength, I pulled the coat off by the sleeves. I threw the coat aside, and with a hesitant breath, I began to untie his boots...

...

After being scarred for all eternity and after putting the clothes on, I dragged Hawky's body into a space between two boulders.

I wiped the sweat and what remained of Hawky's blood off my face and hopped down from the rocks, crossing the green grass to his bag to explore its contents. I unbuckled the bag's strap and started to shuffle through the seemingly random powders and glowing liquids (as well as a bag of peanuts, which I ate), when suddenly my hand landed on something cold and hard. It felt like it was made of metal, or really hard wood, so, to get a better look, I grabbed hold on whatever it was and pulled it out.

What I had grabbed...truly shocked me. In my hand was a medium-sized, old-fashioned flintlock pistol, fully loaded. I stared at it in awe for several long minutes, unable to comprehend why Hawky would have such an item on him, let alone such an old item... Again, what damn era is that man from!?

Eventually, after a while, I put the gun back in the bag and strung it around my shoulders. I had decided that, even though I'm eleven and have gun with me, which is extremely dangerous, if I keep it with me I'll be able to protect myself even when I'm human. I may not be good at guns, but I can always get practice.

After the gun was back in the bag, I looked at the sky, wondering if after all this I'll be able to find Will. I'll probably die if I don't find him.

So with the thought of finding William in my mind, I transformed into a raven and flew off into the sky...

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