TITLE: CALL OF THE CROW
GENRE: Middle Grade magical realism
Josh Albright sat at a worn wooden table in his clubhouse surrounded by nails, a tin box of craft supplies, and a slightly chewed pencil. The smell of fresh cut pine filled the room. He wiped excess glue onto the crumpled directions for a do-it-yourself birdhouse.
Light came from overhead where a lit model of the solar system spun around a fiery sun. Josh stuck the last piece of the birdhouse into place and admired his work. Transforming one thing into another was a kind of magic.
“There.” He spun his project around so his visitor could see it. Outside an open window, a crow stood in the backyard’s only tree. The bird’s sleek feathers gleamed against the reddened sky of a Utah sunset.
“Ready to move in?” Josh brought the new home closer to the familiar crow, but it didn’t move from its low hanging tree branch.
“Fine. I’ll paint it. Will that make you happy?”
The bird tilted his head. Its deep black eyes looked like a tunnel to some far away place.
Josh’s best friend Steven squeezed in the narrow door of the clubhouse with his arms full of supplies for a sleepover. Josh lightened the load by taking the food.
“I can’t believe you made a house for the symbol of death,” Steven said. “Besides, they stalk us from nests. Not birdhouses.”
“Stop that, will you? Crows don’t mean death.”
“Then why do they always show up in movies, right before someone gets it?”