The Black Bird Speaks
They all walked back to the house in a group. Small things were tossed of shelves. Stereo was on the floor, but the house seemed perfectly sound and there were no broken widows or shifted door frames. So Emmylou put on the radio to see if there was any news of an earthquake. But nothing was being reported.
“Seems like it was something local and on the surface,” Jered said.
Just then the raven came flapping up and perched outside the living room window.
“That bird again,” Emmylou said to Larry.
“Zat the one that speaks a strange language.”
“Yeah,” Emmylou opened the window.
”Tegethnot, “ said the bird clearly Jered and Essie turned as if both of their heads were on the same string.
“That’s what it said to me yesterday.”
“Tegethnot?” asked Essie.
“He is speaking Talagi,” Jered said in the dead still that had fallen. Outside the rain and wind had stopped and the air seemed to held in suspense like a breath.
Everybody in the room turned toward Jered who shrugged and said, “Maybe we need to talk. I think you all might be in a position to understand some of what is going on.”
Just then there was a knock on the door. Emmylou looked puzzled, shrugged and walked out to the entranceway to answer it.
She opened the door on a man of about 35 years who looked like he had walked through a storm two miles down a gravel road.
“I hope you don’t mind the gate was open so I just came up to the house. Long time, its been a long time. Have you seen a woman about so tall.” he held his hand palm down up to the level of his chin “with a Venezuelan accent?”
“Yes she’s in my living room. Nice to see you again, Random, come on in and join the party.”
He walked in passed Emmylou and straight to Essie and picked her up and gave her a huge kiss. He did not show any sign that he saw anyone else in the room.
Essie pulled herself free after a couple seconds of completely giving into the kiss.
“Random?! How deed you find me?”
“That is a long story. But why didn’t you tell me where you were going, leave a note. I thought you left me for good.”
She came back close to him and put her arms around him.
“I thought I was leaving for good. I deedn’t know how to esplain where I was going.”
Random suddenly became aware of the others in the room. The first one he noticed was Jered who was standing back.
“When the ground shook I thought you were close. I just knew it, Man.”
Random looked at him, “I didn’t think I would ever see you again. Where in hell have you been for 5 fuckin’ years.”
“Hey man watch the language there are minors present.”
Maddie perked up at being referred to and said, “Hey I am a lot better at swearin’ an’ that anyday.”
“The thing I wan’t to know is what the hell is going on here?” Emmylou interrupted in exasperation and utter confusion. “Can anyone tell me what all this means?”
“Yes,” answered Jered, Random, and Essie at the same time.
“Well not completely,” added Random.
“Somehow I get the feeling that you are not a reporter and she is not a photographer. I do believe that you are friends with him, and I remember Random talking about you the last time we met. I don’t think I told you where I was living and I bet you lost my number.” This last was addressed to Random. He looked guilty.
“I was very distracted that day. It was the day Jered disappeared and Essie showed up at my apartment. A lot was going on.”
All eyes on Jered. “Hey I came back and explained what I could. I said I was sorry and Essie knows the truth now. I hope we’re OK.”
“Yes we’re OK”
“What about the last 5 years? We really thought you were dead or in some prison somewhere.”
“I just had to go. It was all too stale. I tried to stick around, but I had to split. I went back East, worked for my dad a bit, I thought about you guys, but I was busy, Man. Living, you know. How’s Steve?”
“As loose as ever. I just spent a lot of time with him this weekend. It was a weird weekend, weirder than Mexico.”
“That must’ve been weird.’
Emmylou suddenly stood up and said, “Look! I want to know what is going on here, and somebody needs to start explaining. That is obviously going to take a while so before we get to that let me just get my business out of the way.” She turned to Larry and said, “Can you get the goats and cows in and everything closed up?”
“Yeh, I can, but you hafta fill me in on this stuff when I get back.”
“Done, thanks Larry.”
“No problemo,” He said as he went out the door and across the yard to the goat barn.