Note: This story is an entry for the finals of the 2015 Creepypasta Freestyle Competition.
For a full list of entries, see this category.
Subject: Your own Revenge story and characters from the world of THE CROW
The Crow and the Golfer
Golf had always been a favourite pastime of Henry’s. I imagine it appealed to his rather exact nature; his sense of chivalry; and his competitive streak. All things that defined the man himself, as well as the sport. That’s one reason why he was picked – his sense of fair play. Those ones almost always make for an enjoyable competition. The best, more often than not.
I don’t believe for a moment that when Henry was called by one of his friends, asking if he wanted to have a game, he would have an inkling of what was would occur as a consequence.
So let’s observe him, shall we? From his own point of view, of course.
When he arrived at the green, among the current of thoughts going through his head – Why are we even going at this time…Helen’s going for custody, dirty little slut…that Patterson boy is getting an A, yes he is…- Henry found that his fellow players were already waiting for him – two men, similar in age, who had always been great friends to him since the moment they had met.
Barry and George; Lloyd and Davis – perhaps the best duo that had ever graced the meticulously tamed green steppes of the course, or its beer-swigging victory halls in the oak-panelled lodge. They had conquered many opponents together, and had earned his respect when they had defeated me and his partner, a nameless fellow he soon forgot, in the mid-year feat of 1975. We had become acquaintances first, then game friends, and the rest was history.
Henry nodded to them as he pulled into the parking lot of the course in his steel Vauxhall. Night had already fallen upon the twelve-mile area, well-maintained forests and paths already darkened by its embrace, the pale floodlights brimming at full capacity – piercing the darkness with its harsh light. Barry was leaning against the small stone wall next to the path – the one that led onto the course. A thin man with already whitening hair, he was usually quiet and soft-spoken. But a great laugh if you coaxed him into a jolly mood. It normally took a few beers.
There was a click as he pressed the button on my car-keys. An orange light flashed, weak and artificial, before a systematic lock of the car took place. Secured in a moment, Henry slid the keys into his pocket with a clink, and walked towards Barry. Dressed in the traditional golfing gear – polished black shoes, cream trousers and checked shirts, as well as a leather cap. His shoes clicked against the uneven, cobbled ground as he continued on, echoing into the silence.
“How’s life treating you, Henry?” Asked Barry as soon as he got close enough.
Henry shrugged. “So, so – teaching’s hard enough when you’re young, never mind pushing fifty. You?”
“Fine, I have to say. Marissa got a pay rise. Who’d have thought, huh? Now we can afford that, eh...BMW, I think. The one advertised on Channel Four.”
Henry felt a slight spark of jealousy. He’d never be able to afford one of them.
“Well, that’s great. Really great. Where’s George?”
“Away getting a snack and a bottle of water for each of us. It’s hard enough trekking around this bloody course without a rest or food.”
At that moment, from out of a small, blocky building – constructed of expensive panel wood: the board could easily pay this off the exuberant membership fees Henry and the rest of the association paid per month: and red-brown brick – George emerged, holding a trio of water bottles and chocolate bars in each of his hands, while at the same time balancing his golf bag. Just looking at him balancing them brought a snort of amusement to both Henry and Barry’s lips.
But not in a cruel way – far from it. George was often dubbed as the ‘comedian’ of the East Renfrewshire golfing establishment. His jokes were more than simply funny – they were hilarious. In a plain way, though – he didn’t have the time, or patience, to give long soliloquys about one humerous event or another. Just quick, sarcastic jokes.
And that was what we liked.
“Evening, gentlemen,” he said as he neared, dropping the bottles on the ground in the process. “I hope the evening finds you well.”
“And you too, Jim,” Henry replied with equally farcical grace, bowing slightly. “And you too.”
“You good?” the new arrival asked, cocking a silver streaked black eyebrow.
“Never been better.” Countered Barry, stretching his still-flexible legs, even at his age, and dusting himself off.
Henry gave a weary shrug, shouldering his golf bag. “Good, I suppose.” He indicated to the gravel path with his head and the other two, taking the hint, nodded and set off down it, feet crunching on loose ground.
They shared a small, fleeting glance with each other as Henry turned away. They both knew about the divorce. In the past few months, their normally happy-go-lucky friend and seemed suppressed; tired. In fact, especially with his lined face and deep-set eyes, he had looked thoroughly beaten. Harvey wasn’t aware of this at all. He, on the other hand, was focusing on keeping track of where his feet where stepping. It was nearly midnight at the track – with the floodlights of the parking lot now behind them, all they had to guide them was the moonlight – partially obscured by the clouds – and the meagre, weak bulbs that were lit along the path at ten meter intervals. They barely penetrated a meter into the darkness. Everything beyond that was unknown – blackness.
Not for the first time, Henry had some misgivings about coming to play this late. His bones weren’t what they used to be – one bad fall, one miscalculated step, and Mr Urquart the History Teacher would end up Henry the Cripple.
There was also that incident – thirty years ago, when he had been barely three years into the club. No-one liked to talk about it. But it was hardly surprising. With such a tight-knit community, and with such an authoritarian establishment, it was to be expected.
The trees, hedges and forests were slightly darker than the night sky – definable, recognizable silhouettes against the twilight. But it gave the place an eerie feel; a cold feeling; the deep, sickening feeling that something terrible is going to happen.
Fear. Small, but there.
Something flickered across Henry's vision, and the fear lanced. He cursed, jerking slightly. His friends stopped behind him.
Barry spoke with worry. “You all right, Henry?”
Henry laughed, though it had a slight edge to it. And he did it quietly.
“Just a bird.”
“You don’t get birds here.” Barry sounded cautioned, sounding more than a little unimpressed.
“Oh, so you’ve suddenly became a fucking wildlife expert, have you? Been pumping the goats in your spare time?” Unsurprisingly, this was George.
Laughter broke out as we continued, relieving a little of the tension.
“I might come as a surprise, but, no, I’ve not.”
“How do you know, then?” Henry asked, wondering about the answer.
“There’s a shooting range about six kilometres…” in the dark, Henry could hear him shifting, “…that way. North-East.”
He could practically feel George’s surprise – and his doubt. Evidently, Barry sensed it too.
“Wait…yeah, stop…just listen.”
They all paused, trying to hear. Just the faint, horrible keen of white noise that made you want to scream. Then a distant crack, very small and almost unnoticeable, came from the way Barry had pointed.
“See,” he said, self-important. “I knew it. They’ve been popping birds over there for the last year. How haven’t you guys noticed? I mean, it’s not like they’re being discreet or anything.”
Henry and George just muttered something incomprehensible.
“Mustn’t have been a local one, then. The bird, I mean.”
All conversation ceased as we continued on to the first tee, the atmosphere being made tense by the darkness. It seemed thick, oppressive. It could drive you mad, thought Henry, waiting out here. It’s bad enough in a group. But alone…
In his train of thought, he didn’t notice the tee until he struck it with his foot. “Found the tee,” he said.
“Excellent,” said George excitedly, spryly walking up and straightening it up on the ground as Barry appeared out of the darkness. “Who will take the shot?”
“I’ll decline - just this once,” professed Barry, spreading his hands in an almost surrender-like fashion.
Henry realised that they were both looking at him expectantly and so, with a toothy grin, took a golf ball from one of his jacket pockets and placed it on the tee. Barry, with his customary grace, took one of the long, silvery rods from Harvey’s nylon bag and tossed it to its owner, who caught it with a practised reflex.
Settling into the traditional tee-off position – both feet evenly spaced, parallel to each other, with the club held in a two-handed grip – Henry’s years melted away from him. His club came up and down quickly, in a flash of silver, and the pale orb that was the golf ball whizzed off into the darkness.
There was an appreciative outbreak of clapping, and the game was on.
They went from one tee to another, settling into the game, beginning to enjoy themselves. One tee; a second; a third, a fourth, a fifth, and the sixth. All the way up to the eleventh – four away from the game’s finish. By that time, it was dead into the night – darkness completely shrouded the course, which resembled a park more than a sporting area.
But as they neared the end, Harvey began to feel a particular sense of…unease. Of wrongness.
He had this feeling since they started, and he had never quite understood what it was – he had dismissed it as a common fear of the dark. But the darkness had seeped into him – poisoned him. A feeling of revulsion, of a pit of cold in his stomach, had begun to fester. It had begun to grow.
So when he had accidently scuffed his third shot at the eleventh tee, sending their last ball spiralling into the forest, he had been very reluctant to fetch it – almost to the point of outright refusal.
“Come on, Henry – it was you who hit it out. It’s fair that you get it.” George commented, after Harvey had told him that he could get it.
“He’s right, Henry. And anyway, we’ve never left a game uncompleted. It’s not because I’m winning, is it?”
“Or are you afraid of the dark?” A merry twinkle had entered George’s eye.
But for Henry, the last comment had hit a little too close to home - to use the colloquial term.
“Fine,” he snapped, “I’ll get it. But one of you come with me. My bones are beginning to hollow.”
George sighed, leaning on his club. “Alright,” he said, “I’ll go with you.”
He looked at Barry. “That all right?”
Barry shrugged, sitting on a small mound.
“Yeah. Go, and hurry up. I want to get home soon.”
Despite feeling slightly sorry for Barry, waiting alone in the dark, Henry didn’t have any major reservations when he and George set off into the thinly-spaced forest. Branches snapped and creaked as they made their way across it.
“So where’d you hit it?” Asked George from in front of him, peering into the darkness. His face was a featureless silhouette.
“Definently this way,” Henry replied. “My eyesight’s still better than yours.”
“So you say,” muttered George, and they continued on.
Soon the branches began to thicken as they searched the ground – trees drew together, pushing into each other until the previously open forest, at one point, became suddenly, inexplicably dense.
Then, after some more minutes of silent searching, Henry looked up to find George. It took him a moment to find his friend, who was enshrouded in the dark some twenty meters away, walking away from him to a few bushes. Satisfied with his presence, George turned back to his searching.
The thicket of trees broke several hundred meters away, revealing a large hill, with a single, dead tree on it. Behind was a solitary pair of floodlights that threw it into a shadow.
And on top of it, a figure faced straight down. Towards him.
His lungs seemed to freeze with dread. He tried to call George, to speak, but all that came out was a strangled rasp.
Ten seconds passed. No movement.
Then the floodlights died. The figure gone, Harvey found he could breathe again. And he did, in a gasping, panicky rhythm. He turned, looking for George – but he was gone.
There was a flash.
And when he turned back, the shadow of the person had run below the treeline of the forest.
He lost it. Completely.
“George!” he shouted. Nothing. “George…” this was a rasp. Minutes past in a horrifying blur.
That gave way to a panicked scream of, “George!”
Nothing heeded him.
Terrified and alone, he began to move towards were he had last seen his friend.
Something spun out of the darkness towards him, and the figure clutching it grabbed his shirt. It came down and down, and there was screaming and more screaming as red blossomed, before…
A dead silence. _ _ _
“Oh, rise, you annoying mammal.”
He bolted upright, screaming as though all the demons of hell were at his back. It took him a moment to realise where he was.
But he felt different, somehow. Stronger; more flexible.
The man who had once been Henry Urquart looked around, understandably distressed, for the source of the voice that was speaking to him. There was a bird – a large, black crow that’s feathers seemed soiled and greasy – perched on a branch, nothing else. And it was staring at him.
It was like being hit by a sledge hammer.
“You can speak…?” It was like being told your wife had cheated on you – which, of course, had happened to him.
“Of course I can – and I’m not going into it. Listen, for I need to go soon. You and your two friends have been murdered by your wife’s new partner.”
It took him a moment to process this. “But…but…”
“You will seek revenge – it is natural. You must kill them.”
“What!” He was stunned. “I don’t want to kill anyone! Even if…it’s not just.”
The crow let out a very sarcastic sounding hoot. “Don’t be such a silly child, my friend. You can’t have justice without revenge – it’s not morally feasible. Don’t argue – I know more than you.”
“You want revenge – I know you do. So take it. Examine your feelings – do it honestly. They won’t be clouded. This is my…ah, gift.”
Henry stopped and, for a moment, thought. He thought about Barry and George’s lives, forever stolen. He thought about his scheming, traitorous bitch of a wife, and evaluated what she deserved.
And knew what to do.