As The Crow Flies
by Jesse Groppi
Three hours' travel as the crow flies, thought Father Crow, chuckling at the joke, You would have called me silly for that. You would have said this whole thing is silly.
Normally, Father Crow didn't travel. Normally, Father Crow spent most of his time napping in a drafty nest in the great oak tree. But today, he tried not to hear his joints creaking as he struggled to reach the upper air currents heading north along the coastline.
The Sun caught sight of Father Crow and pitied him as he wobbled into the airstream. She was shocked at how his feathers had dulled since seeing him last. Righteously, she burned away the clouds in his path.
The old raven sighed, relaxing as the soothing rays soaked into his muscles. He was glad to still see the A595 guiding him from below. North along the road, over the firth, then straight on to the castle, he reassured the empty space at his wing, I remember.
Father Crow's determination was steadfast, but each mile burned away at what was left of him. When he finally broke from the current, a pain shot down his left wing. Not yet! he cried, and tucked in for an early dive. A black shape looked up from a forgotten picnic's wrappings.
As he came closer, so did the blackness at the edge of his vision.
The glossy Scottish rook watched as Father Crow lost consciousness and tumbled to the ground.