The Flock of Deconstructed Reality
by Rachel Green
There were crows flying above Blue Fairy Hill. Harold could see them in silhouette as he passed beneath the winter-stilled beeches that covered most of the lower slopes. Beech gave way to pine which yielded in turn to sloe and hawthorn as he reached the top. He stood panting and the woman sat on the outcrop of flint glanced at him, narrowing her eyes.
"Why are they silent?" Harold asked. "The crows, I mean. I've never seen silent crows."
"They're not crows." Meinwen shifted position, sending a clatter of leaf debris over the edge. "Look at them properly."
Harold stared upward. "They look like crows to me," he said. "Very dark crows, with silver speck."
"Those aren't specks, they're stars. The crows are holes in the sky. They've been circling for hours, waiting."
"Waiting for what?"
"Me?" Harold thrust a hand into his pocket. There were perhaps a dozen feathers there. Was there enough to summon a flock of birds? "Why?"
"You're not natural, Mr. Waterman. You shouldn't exist in a world of mortal men. Magicians... demons... they are the stuff of fantasy. You are a fantasy; the construct of a writer's imagination."
"What if I am?" Harold pulled out his hand and flung the feathers into the air. "Frater suffragium!" A dozen crows burst into being, each one slotting neatly into the silhouettes to repair the sky. He smiled. "Then the world must be a construct too, and thus conform to my desires."
Meinwen nodded, sighed. "Well reasoned."