“Crows frighten me.” The man in the red coat looked over the other man’s shoulder at the solitary crow sitting on the fence.
“I watched the bastards eat my dog.”
“You what?” The shock on the man’s face was apparent.
“I watched them eat my dog.”
“How exactly did that come about?” The man’s shock turned to disbelief as the conversation moved forward. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his trench coat to keep warm. Behind him, a flock of crows silently descended upon the fence to join the other.
“Fido, very unoriginal name, I know, was running around in the yard and BAM, one of the black monstrosities suicide bombed the shit out of him. Damn thing smashed right into his back.”
“I’ve never heard of such a thing.” The doubt in the man’s voice made the man in the red coat chuckle.
“You don’t believe me.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Anyway, the thing broke its own neck, but it also broke Fido’s back. Poor boy was in agony out there in the yard. He whimpered and squealed like a stuck pig. I opened the door to go scoop him up and take him to the vet, but a flock of them came out of nowhere before I got to him. I tried to shoo them away, but there was nothing I could really do. They just turned and cawed at me like a damn flock of madmen. I even turned the hose on them but they just went ahead and pecked pieces off the poor little guy while he howled in pain. I’m ashamed to say it, but I went back inside and let them have the dog. I covered my ears with my hands and sat at the kitchen table until the crying stopped.”
“You know how crazy that sounds, right?”
The man in the red coat ignored the question. “I can’t help but feel I should have done more.”
“I can see why you don’t like crows.”
“I didn’t say I don’t like them. I said they frighten me.”
“There’s a difference?”
“It’s not just that they ate my dog. Every time I see one it gives me this look like its saying,
‘We’re coming for you next, buddy.'”
“That’s a lot to say with a single look.”
“You think I’ve lost my mind, don’t you?”
“Maybe you should talk to somebody about this.”
“I am talking to somebody. I’m talking to you.”
“How exactly am I supposed to help you with your fear of crows?”
“If I lead them to you, maybe they’ll leave me alone for a bit longer until I can figure something out that will satisfy those little bastards.”
“What do you mean, ‘if you lead them to me’?”
The countless crows lining the fence behind the man in the trench coat cawed in unison. He looked over his shoulder in shocked terror. He never even noticed the one swooping down from the sky until it crashed into the back of his neck. His eyes went wide when something inside cracked and his body went limp.