by Christian Ward
My friends and I belong to a club that meets up every fortnight. None of us are sure how we joined or what the rules are exactly. That's part of the fun. We just wait near a freeway on the outskirts of town and a black van comes to pick us up. We are blindfolded and gagged. I don't know by whom or what. Once Dave thought he saw a mask, like the one the guy from Scream wears, but he couldn't be sure.
We black out and wake up in a random location. No place is ever the same. Once it was an abandoned farm where all the people were dressed as farm animals, another time we were dumped in the desert.
The most fucked up time was when we woke up in a forest somewhere. It was winter and the trees were moustachioed with snow. No-one was about. We walked around in circles, getting lost. Everyone was starting to get delirious, imagining the moon was unravelling its skin, the trees were giant needles for us to be impaled on.
And that's when I saw them. Half a dozen crow-like creatures. They were tall as people but had the heads of crows. I'm not sure where they came from or what they wanted; they just appeared.
I can't remember what happened next. There is the taste of smoke in my mouth and my skin is charred. I don't know what caused it.
Sometimes I see flashes of images when I sleep: surgeons, lots of surgeons. One reaches in and pulls out reams of black feathers. Fade. Lead coloured sky, remains of a forest. Men with guns, lots of men with guns. Another fade. In a room, folding my wings back into my body. Letting my eyes grow, my mouth emerge.
I haven't been to a club meeting in a while. I'm too afraid of what I'll end up next.
Bio:Christian Ward is a 28 year old London based writer and translator. His work
has appeared in Diagram and Elimae and is forthcoming in Ezra, Welter
and The Emerson Review.