My first novella, City of Kaiju, is finally out! Available through Amazon and Books2Read. You can see a preview of the very first chapter here. Help support a fresh new author with a fantastic read this summer.
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I remember watching Hey Arnold! when I was a kid and one of the most memorable episodes (among many) was the episode involving the Pigeon Man. This creepy guy who takes care of carrier pigeons on the roof of an abandoned building by himself. He was shunned for his unusual behavior and attraction to these unique avians. Do give it a watch if you can. The only reason I bring it up is because this story reminded me of that episode.
Today’s short story is Flight of the Crow Boys by Micah Dean Hicks, as featured in Lightspeed Magazine. You can find it here. This is something I’m sure many have experienced in one time or another. Rejection, fear, just for being unusual or weird to an insane degree. Always pegged as dangerous when they’re trying to get by one way or another. We all know the type.
So let’s see how this story unfolds.
Flight of the Crow Boys
The story opens with five brothers, all wearing black, feathered clothes with their equally strange father. They believe that one day, the winds will pick them up and take them elsewhere. But when it comes time to pay the rent, they’re forced to trust an oncoming wind storm to take them and the city along for a ride.
Typically, we see the “creepy guy” as someone dangerous, when half the time, they keep to themselves. Doesn’t mean you have to initiate a conversation, but no doubt they’re in just as much of a bad position as anyone else is. This story reflects that. There’s more to these people than their looks give them credit for. We get to see their daily lives whilst figuring out who they are, why they hang out with their dad, and how they can survive the normality of life being who they are, a bunch of crow obsessed people who are too antisocial (which is very symbolic if you think about it)
The plot is solid enough. The family goes about their daily lives, the landlord gives them an eviction notice, and they must prepare for a windstorm that will take them away. You’d have to wonder what their mindset is like throughout this story, how they got into this mess, and even their personal lives while living with their equally creepy father. No doubt this might also allude to people who can’t get by, like drug dealers and the like, and it makes you sympathize with them as they struggle on a day to day basis.
The magical nature is also a nice touch. They plant crow feathers on anything that they feel is important, even other people. Also in the story is a quintet of sisters much like them, who no doubt mean a lot to the brothers as they are the most accepting of them. The crow feathers are magical enough to lift anything, and while the object’s weight is noted, it can lift heavy objects with no issue. This, again, invokes that nostalgia I had with my own childhood no doubt reappearing in another tale. While the ending wasn’t as optimistic as the episode of Hey Arnold!, it still invokes that sense of isolation and neglect, feeling your whole life is wasted because you and your dad are insane.
I became quickly invested in the characters, which is rare for a short story. I really connected with them and it brought back many childhood memories, ones I can enjoy again in a cycle of nostalgia and new takes on old memories.
This is an ominous, yet emotional tale that I enjoyed all the way through. It’s short enough that a lot went down which I appreciate. Definitely give this a chance.
That’s all for today. If you liked this post and want to see more, I have a Ko-Fi page set up. Why spend three bucks on a Starbucks Coffee when you can help support hard-working authors like me? Every bit helps and keeps me going. So thank you, and remember, the inn is always open.