Part 29

Parklands High School student MATEESHA HOWARD has a shocking reunion in store for Rourke and his wife in part 29 of the never-ending story.

ROURKE gripped onto Alice’s arms as they both neared the edge of the slope. Harry stood before them, his arms outstretched with his hands unfolded. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he assured them.
“Leave us alone!” Alice screamed, her voice piercing through the ears of Rourke and Harry, causing both of them to recoil. “I told you, I’m not going to hurt you,” Harry said.
“That display back there doesn’t really incite trust in you, Harry,” Rourke quipped. After all, Harry had lured them to an ambush and then revealed himself to be a crow.
The sky thundered up above and great raindrops fell splashing to the ground and onto the foreheads of Rourke, Andre, Harry and Alice. Beads of rainwater trickled down Rourke’s hardened forehead.
He allowed the raindrops to make their way from the bridge of his nose, refusing to move from his protective stance around Alice. “You needn’t be worried about the girl, I’m not here for her,” Harry said as he softened his body language, standing coolly with his hands by his sides. “I’m not even here for Eliza, Andre or Johnny, Rourke. I’m here for you.”
The grip on Alice’s shoulders relaxed and she darted out from under Rourke’s hands to the sharp drop of the slope she’d seen Eliza fall from. She dropped to her knees and lay down on the cool earth, her shoulders and head leaning over the edge.
“Eliza! Eliza, can you hear me?!” Alice’s tiny voice echoed down the slope, bouncing off the rocks that circulated at the bottom. No response.
“What do you mean, you”re here for me?” Rourke”s eyes locked onto Harry’s, confusion
swirling in his deep brown eyes as his eyebrows furrowed together in the centre of his forehead. “What do you want from me?”
Harry’s face broke into a devilish grin. “It’s not what I want with you; it’s what Virginia wants with you.”
“Virginia? What does any of this have to do with my wife?”
Harry laughed bitterly. “Are you so blind that you didn”t realise that the only reason you’re still stuck on this island is because of her? The only reason any of you are stuck here is because of her.”
Rourke looked dumbstruck as he tried to process the words that had just come out of Harry’s mouth. How could his wife have anything to do with their predicament? Rourke didn’t even know if she was alive.
A piercing scream broke Rourke’s thoughts as Alice leapt to her feet from her stance at the top of the slope. She dropped to her knees and lay down on the cool earth, her shoulders and head leaning over the edge. “I can see them! They’re alive!” she cried.
Rourke ran to her side and peered down over the edge to see the bloodied faces of Eliza and Johnny at the base of the slope. “Is everything okay down there?” he called down to them.
“Yeah, do you think you could get us up sometime soon… as much fun as it is bleeding to death down here,” Eliza teased, holding her bleeding arm elevated in her other hand.
Harry made his way to the slope and stood beside Rourke. “Don”t worry,” he said, the devilish smile still fixed on his face, “they’re here.”
They looked to the sky to see dozens upon dozens of black-clad crows flying in their direction. The head crow screeched as she landed delicately at the base of the slope.
Her murder followed, with the exception of several crows that retrieved Rourke, Andre and Alice from the top of the slope and dropped them clumsily at the feet of their leader.
Eliza and Johnny were pushed into place beside Rourke as Harry flew down from the top of the slope.
“It’s good to see you again Rourke, it’s been a long time,” the crow said as she morphed into her human form. “I don’t suppose you recognise me now I”m the alpha crow.”
Rourke raised his eyes to the black-clad women and the colour drained from his face.

To be continued

First published in the Mercury newspaper, Tasmania, on October 30, 2012

ADVANCED English student Mateesha Howard is the
writer of part 29 of the Mercury’s never-ending story Lovesong of the Crow. Mateesha is in Grade 10 at Parklands High School in Burnie. Teacher Karen Slade said Mateesha had a strong interest in English and was leaning towards studying
journalism but she also had a fascination with medical science that made her contemplate studying medicine.
The fourth of five children in her family, Mateesha has three older brothers and one younger brother. She has lived in
Burnie all her life and is eager to venture out of the North West Coast to
bigger cities. Mateesha wrote her first story when she was six. It was about
a tiger cub named Stripy who had lost its mother.
She hopes that being part  of Lovesong of the Crow project for the National Year of Reading will help her with her dream of being a novelist. Her two favourite books are by Australian authors – The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak and Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi.


2 thoughts on “Part 29

    • A passionate and gifted young lady who’s contribution to the never-ending story has enriched the story in a unique way. Well done.

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