I moved somewhere new today, a nice little village, quite and peaceful. The name of this place... I'm not quite sure at the moment, no signs, no banners, nothing to give away the name, even my GPS couldn't pick this place up. One of my friends told me about this place. Since this was my first time being here I didn't really know anyone, I didn't know what was what. I parked my blue Honda Civic inside a conspicuous looking parking lot--there weren't too many cars there currently. When I got out of my car, I was greeted by a person who looked to be wearing some strange ranger-style clothing. He took my keys and hung them up for me then asked me to follow him. I did as he said, looking around at my new home, a quite, peaceful town, away from the cities and towns. The buildings looked like something out of old history books, something from around Roman times. I didn't give them much attention as they weren't that on my mind right now.
I walked inside the building I was lead to and met someone who seemed for too cliché for words--old and wise, the typical village elder look to him. His left eye seemed to be made of glass and he had a nasty scar leading through it, I chose not to pry into is injury though. They were the old identifiable traits which made him stand apart from other village elders seen in games or films. He told me that, until a place can be sorted for me, I'd be staying in the inn... An inn. I thought he'd surely meant a hotel but as I was lead there, well not to be literal or anything but it really was an inn. I walked in and was given a room key right away, everything all ready, my bags already in my room, everything was set up... like I had been expected. I looked outside and something caught my eye, a peculiar statue I hadn't noticed upon arrival, as if it had only just been erected. A statue of a bird... Of a raven.
I left my room and went to check up on the new strange statue and sure as hell, it was gone again. I looked all over town, then looked up at my room. On the ledge was, yet again, a raven. I started to get a weird vibe from this place but I didn't have the time to dig into it. I went back to my room and lay on my bed, looking at me window, nothing was there, but I felt something come over me, some strange feeling telling me to look outside the window. That's when I saw it again, the statue of the raven. I didn't want to look at it anymore but I-I couldn't look away. Something about that statue, something about it felt evil, like thousands of years of pent-up malice and hatred.
The next morning I awoke in my room, got dressed and looked outside. The statue was still there. It was much clearer then before, with something written underneath it. I could barely see but from what I could read, it said 'Ravager neRe' in that exact way. I sketched the drawing and the words in exactly the same manner then left my room. While walking up to the elder's home I was stopped by someone. She didn't look like the rest of the folks, she seemed to be an outsider like me. As she opened her mouth the words echoed through into my head 'The statue, I know you've seen it... Run from here.' Paralytic and cautious, boiling blood and sweat-drops, I couldn't think. My shaking figure was confused. The ominous statue, what is with it?
I finally made my way to the elder's house, inside he was making tea, two cups for one person. "Sit down," he said.
How does he know I was coming, how did the innkeeper know? "What is going on here?" I questioned. His confused face shown that he needed more to go on. "How did you know I was coming, what about the innkeeper?" I asked him.
He gave me a straight answer, or at least I thought it was. "It's a small village Edward, of course we knew you'd come here. You had questions, we heard your car before you arrived."
I sighed in relief, then showed him the sketch of the statue. "Then what about this? Why can I only see it from my room? And what does Ravanger neRe mean? What about the name of this village?" I questioned, determined to figure out what was going on.
"What do you mean? You can see it right now if you turn around."
With widening-eyes and fear pouring out of me I turned around as quick as I could to see it there, staring at me, taunting me, its red eyes bearing down on my soul, like it was trying to devour me. "As for those words, that is the name of the town. Now I have work to do, please leave," he said.
I managed to walk outside, but as soon as I left the statue was gone again, I decided to--- Wait! How did he know my name? I never one told anyone my name upon arrival. Something about this isn't right. I questioned every villager I could find and they all said the same thing, but one name kept popping up, and I know they didn't mean the bird by the way they phrased it, they kept mentioning Raven, like it was a person.
The rest of the day was normal, but even so I wrote down everything that was said to me. Something was off... First there was this mysterious person name Raven, and second of all everyone acted like this phenomenon was normal, like every place had it. I just couldn't make the link. I only stopped working for food, drink and to use the bathroom. Before I knew it the entire day had passed and I still had no information. I decided to rest my head for the day and get a fresh start tomorrow. While picturing everything in my head I heard a loud scream, definitely from a female. I burst through my door and leapt down over the bannister of the stairs, I landed on my feet but got hurt a bit. As I charged outside the sight was horrendous. The young female from earlier was impaled, by crossbow bolts, all through her body. No chance of survival... Just looking at her body made me vomit. I collapsed on the floor.
I woke up in a room--not my room at the inn, but a different one, I walked down the stairs, it was completely different... Was this all a dream, was everything that happened in the village a dream? I opened up the door and saw I was still there, just in a different house. The woman's body has been moved and the blood had been cleaned up. As I walked around all I got was 'Good morning Edward." And "I hope you slept well Mister Foster." I walked into the church and began praying to God to help me. During my prayers I heard a noise, like something in the church. Looking in the noise's direction, I saw a poem. I read it out loud:
The obvious see with their eyes,
Not with their minds.
You seek the deathly prize,
Of the raven divine.
Eyes on eyes, never breaking,
Closing will close.
Answers are your for the taking,
As Raven flows.
The villagers, the statue, the poem, it's all linking to something, but what could it be. That poem has never appeared in the Bible before. Just what the fuck is going on here...
Back at my home I spent hours putting together the pieces of my puzzle, they were fitting together somehow but it felt like ramming the wrong pieces of a jigsaw together to try and make a picture. Did that woman figure all of this out, did she know what all this meant? Was she... killed because of all this? I need to figure this out and quickly. Night began to fall as my work began to overcome my patience, in anger I flipped my table open and charged towards the elder's house. Fiercer then a lightning storm and the boiled up rage just screeching to be realized from inside my being.
Bang! Bang Bang! Nobody answered, but the door was unlocked, it swung open but there was no sign on the elder, like he had just vanished without so much as a squeak. I tried knocking on the other houses but they were all the same, abandoned, not a single sign of life.
I looked outside to see the statue, its eyes still bearing down on me. Wherever I went it was taunting me. I left the house, still staring at the thing, walking ever closer towards it. My eyes began to ache and had to close down on my only chance to inspect the statue, for when I reopened my eyes it was gone. I ran back to my house is disarray and slammed my door, locking it behind me.
I sorted the table out and gathered my notes together. I wrote down the events of what just happened, for the first time I saw the statue from the outside, every time I was outside it had gone... What was different about this time? I thought. I started questioning my own sanity. This can't be real, I must have drifted into some form of deep sleep, a nightmare. None of this made any sense... I can't trust anyone here--they know something, they're hiding something from me and I will find out what it is. I decided to crawl into my bed, pondering the situation, trying to bind the pieces together before falling into a deep sleep.
Bright and early next morning I woke up in my bed, looking up at the strangest event ever. A blood stain carved my roof, a message. I jumped out of bed vomited in disgust, my bed was covered in blood, my forehead, my hair, my eyes, all bloody. I never paid attention to what the message said I just ran to my shower and turned it on. I tore away at my clothes and threw them aside, before standing in the shower for a good two hours, making sure I was cleaned, I mean I was clean within the first ten minutes...I was trying to clean my mind, wash away the fear, clear the Raven's cacophonous call away.
After my shower I made my way back to my room, staring at the message on my roof... Glaring at the next piece of my puzzle. I took my phone out and took a picture of the words, then stared at my phone, the picture, the fucked up message... 'Raven is always watching you.' Yet again I studied my information. Putting together that Raven was more than a bird now, maybe she is some form of God to these backwater people. But I had yet to figure out the death and the poem, the true answers still eluded themselves from my page. Seeing with the eyes, not with the mind. That must mean I have to see whatever this is with my own to eyes instead of brushing it aside and thinking to much, but what about the rest of the poem?
A deathly prize from a divine raven? Maybe her death had some stronger connection here then I first realized... Maybe this divine raven, which seems to control their idiotic brains, told them to kill her? I'll leave this part aside for now and move on. Eyes never breaking and closing will close... Wait! I thought... I remembered the difference, every other time I left I never had contact with the raven, its physical appearance was lost to my eyes each time, I always took my eyes off it, closing and door, looking around... But last night I kept staring at the creepy statue, if that's what it really was... It only disappeared when I looked away. Maybe I have to reach the raven while staring into its eyes the whole time... That has to be it, if not then I'm stumped... I should have asked that woman what she meant before she died! That was my best shot and I fucked up!
The last two lines... Possible meaning if I do reach it the answers will come my way...
I walked around the village in my usual manner, talking to people and such, watching the young children play, killing time until next nightfall. I put up a façade of not knowing, I didn't want anyone to catch on to me, I can't die like she did... After gathering the some answers, fitting together piece to piece, one still plagued my mind... How they knew my name? I went to the only café in the village and ordered some food, a small pizza, ham and mushroom on top of it. It took a while to arrive...
Strange how the only place of modern technology is the café. A normal microwave, a typical takeaway oven for pizzas and such, a cooker with 8 hobs on top. I was amazed by the originality of this building, it really reminded my of home, I started missing my job as private investigator... But I still felt like one here, trying to figure this out. My pizza arrived finally. The ham was laid out differently then normal pizzas--this one was laid out like a raven. I stood up and launched the pizza against the wall.
Everywhere I go that damn raven is haunting me, what do fuck does it want from me? I walked back home and locked myself inside, watching the time go by, waiting for one a.m. I knew everyone would be missing again, so I threw my camera around my neck and set off, opening my door and leering at the bastard raven. The situation felt like some wild western showdown, which one could shoot first? I took every step with extreme caution, crawling ever closer to the ungodly raven... I finally reached it after five minutes--it felt more like five years--my heart was beating fast, the sound of my sweat hitting the floor could be heard from miles away. I didn't know what to do next, I just touched the statue, I tried pushing it... I wish I never tried pushing it...
My hand! It went through the raven, like some kind of doorway, I pushed it in as far as I could... The only noise heard, was the simple 'Click' of a switch. The raven began to... to move! Its demonic caw pierced my eardrums, making me fall to the floor, screaming and covering my ears. After a few minutes of shear pain I finally pulled myself together, looking up at, at nothing? The raven was gone. Did I miss me chance again? I held my head down to the floor, noticing the panel was missing, I looked in closer and closer, just as torches flared up, revealing a staircase... My curiosity got the better of me, no turning back now I thought. I took picture of the staircase and began to climb down, like I was plunging myself into hell itself.
The stairs led to a cobbled pathway, torches leaned against each wall, hundreds of them, leading to a massive door. I barely managed to push the door open, taking every bit of my strength... Inside was a room, four walls, one roof, one floor, each with two words sprawled across them... Ravager neRe... The towns name? why was it here... I looked around but nothing. The door slammed behind me with the sound of menacing laughter, across the door was one simplistic word... Anagram. I swear I could feel my mind explode, this just adds to the puzzle... Could it mean Ravager neRe was an anagram? What could it possible mean?
Green Raver? Reragev Near? Grave nerear? Never arager? No. None of these made sense... Maybe the capitals had some important meaning... Two words, two capitals, one N, one V, One G, two A's, Three E's and three R's... That's when it hit me! The word Raven, Raven could be made! that had to be one of the words, the other began with R... R. A. N. G. E. R. Raven Ranger or Ranger Raven... If these are the words, then why these words? Sure some of the villagers wore ranger type clothing I thought... Ranger clothing, the Raven... Ranger Raven. Who is that?
I decided to move on, leaving the room from the only exit on the far left wall, leading to another pathway... But this one was different, wooden floorboards and lights? Why the sudden change. I didn't want to go any further but... I couldn't control myself. I just had to see what was going on. A new door was ahead of me, not as big or heavy as the previous one, but ominous all the same. In this room, was the body of the woman from the other day, lying on an altar. Like she bad been sacrificed. Next to the altar was a blood-soaked statue, of a woman wearing ranger clothing, a raven on her right shoulder and a crossbow over her left... I could take it anymore... I bolted out of this place with the haste of a bull, running away... All the while a voice rang into my head... One sweet and innocent... The words she spoke only added to my fear.
"Run as far as you want Edward... I will find you." I charged straight out of the passages, pushing the giant door open with inhumane strength, then kept on running. I ran into my house, pack my things into flight-cases, placed them into the truck of my car and drove off into the night.
It's been, three years since this all happened. I got my old job back and straight away I was sent on a murder case... It seemed like the other ones I used to deal with... When I arrived on the crime scene the body of a man was there, multiple holes in his body. We inspected the body further, maybe he was shot? Stabbed with something? The body was found inside an old warehouse, I looked around for more clues but I couldn't find anything... I felt strange though, off-key... Like something wasn't right. I walked towards the windows of the warehouse. I thought I was seeing stuff. I giggled to myself when I saw the raven statue. That thing was still on my mind... as I was staring at the raven I over-heard the cops talking.
"Maybe this guy was killed by a crossbow, there are bolts all over the place." I span around with widened eyes, disbelieve took over me, until one other cop came around a corner with a folder and handed it to me... He told me to look at it. There was only one piece of paper, with just six words:
You're next, Edward.
Love. Raven Ranger...