Route 7 Review - Page 124

He could tell his father was fighting to hold back tears. He could feel his own pouring hot onto his shirt collar. The crows. He felt rage climbing the tendons of his neck. He grimaced and clenched his fist. They had gotten his mother, and soon they would come for him. They would not stop until his entire family was dead. They had caused his mother’s cancer with the malicious microbes they carried in their beaks. The gene-damaging microbes had made their way through her eye socket and into her brain. Perhaps it was telepathy or nodules unique to the brains of crows which emanated harmful waves causing human cells to reproduce erratically. Jimmy never attempted to pin down exactly what the crows did or intended to do. To him, it was all of the above. He hung up on his father without a word of goodbye and nodded at Edwin, signaling that he was done using the phone. Back in his room, he continued to draw, label, outline and sketch, trying to decipher all the patterns and algorithms that constituted the entities to which the English language had attributed the word ‘crows.’ These were not God’s creatures. Not even Satan could cook up such a beast. They had to be the work of Sokar, the whale entity whose purpose was to rend humanity’s Creator to the bone and nullify all of existence. He pictured a black cauldron tended by Sokar and his council of mutants. The cauldron was frothing with bubbles, only the bubbles were eggs and the eggs were hatching, releasing a million more squawking abominations into the light of day. He envisioned a crimson sky filled with their black shapes: a backdrop for the blowing of trumpets of Judgment Day. He imagined himself integrated with the bark of a dead oak tree as they tore his face apart with their talons and beaks. “Bring it on, bitches!” he hollered. Several staff people’s heads turned at once towards his door. “Bring it oooooooonnn!” In a millisecond, Edwin was at the door. “Jimmy, are you okay in there?” he asked, knocking. “Yes!” Jimmy laughed. “I’m okay.” He dragged himself over to his bed and fished a plastic bag out from between the edge of the mattress and the wall. The bag was filled with dead birds. The birds had manifested from the darkest corner of the ceiling last night and Jimmy had speared them with a pencil. He dumped the birds onto a diagram of the Pentoculon, Sokar’s chariot, which he drawn on hundreds of sheets of loose leaf paper held together by duct tape. The five eyes of the top-like Pentoculon were labeled mind, soul, heart, wings and beak. He placed a bird carcass on each eye. “In fact,” he reached into his underwear and retrieved a shard of a broken CD, “I’m more than okay.” He sliced the palm of his hand and let the blood drip onto each of the dead birds. “I’ll never have to fear them again.” He grinned. “I’ve discovered their secrets, Edwin. They can’t kill me now. I’m invincible!” “Jimmy, you’re not trying to hurt yourself, are you?” “No way, man! I’m free from their curse! I’m unstoppable!” He stepped back, turned around, lowered his head, and with his newfound strength, crashed through the window. Three staff people including Edwin, burst into the room, but it was too late. The dead birds on the top diagram startled them, but they quickly noticed that the window had been broken. Edwin yanked his walkie-talkie out of its holster. “Brooklodge, this is Edwin over in 4-D. We have an AWOL code red. Repeat, a patient is AWOL. Twenty-one year old Caucasian male, six foot one, brown hair has gone AWOL.” “Copy that. 4-D. We’ll set up a perimeter,” said the garbled voice on the other end of the walkie. After fifteen minutes of searching, they finally found Jimmy near the volleyball court. He had stripped naked and was flapping his arms and squawking at groups of crows and other birds. It wasn’t long before they converged upon