Humans believe they can perceive everything. But when the last light of the sun goes down and the moonlight’s not enough, there are creatures. Birds so dark, they camouflage in the colour of night itself. Now, they are never seen in the day and the humans who do get the chance to witness these magnificent birds, are never believed by their counterparts. These tales told by these people become legends, and in those legends they are called the royal ravens.
One such royal raven was soaring right above a turquoise hat toting lady. The raven called Rossana by her friends wasn’t interested in the lady or the hat but what she was carrying. The lady carried a jar which contained the most exquisite and darkest coffee in the world, Death wish coffee. Now, this coffee came with a warning label that said it contained 200% caffeine. The royal ravens had a penchant for dark things, and this was what many believed to be the darkest coffee in the world. Rossana wanted the coffee for her beloved sister, Fatima, who was different than the other ravens in their colony.
With some trickery she managed to trip the lady and forced her to drop the jar. Before the lady could even get herself back up, Rossana was off in the night sky with a few of the death wish coffee beans held firmly in her beak. She flew from the city to her colony, settled in a grove of high arching trees just outside the city. She glided then, her wings fully stretched as she landed smoothly in her nest besides her sister Fatima. Fatima was different, all the ravens had different personalities and skills. Some were faster, some had a great sense of humour or some were very skilled in disturbing humans but they all had one thing in common, their colour . All of them , except Fatima .When Fatima was born she was dark but not as dark as night, she couldn’t blend in with the sky like the rest of them. Most of the people ignored her odd color as she was very young, assuming that her colour would darken as she grew up. But instead, the opposite happened, her colour only became fairer as she grew up. She was fourteen months old and her color was cream now. Of course, she was out casted by her tribe, she was considered a disgrace to their rich heritage. There were some people who tried to support Fatima though, but they were few and far scattered . In the end, the only support she got was by her sister.
Fatima picked on the coffee bean with her creamy beak, the death wish coffee always cheered her up. Rossana joined her as they both munched on the delicious coffee beans.
Today wasn’t an ordinary day for the sisters, today was very special indeed. Fatima’s left eye betrayed the secret. After chewing on the coffee, they touched there necks to each other’s wings. Fatima knew she couldn’t live in her colony anymore, the way they treated her was getting unbearable for her. Fatima would be seeing her sister for the last time. They both clutched each other tightly on the realization.
Rossana prepared a small handkerchief and wrapped some of the finest coffee beans in it. Fatima carried it across her wing proudly. Bidding farewell to her sister, she flew far far away, with no intention of returning to the colony which bullied her just because she was different . Fatima wasn’t seen by the royal ravens after that day, but there are legends, just like there are legends about the royal ravens. People have seen a white blur in the sky, some have been lucky enough to see the beautiful bird up close. A beautiful cream bird, and more like her have started to emerge. The White Raven.
About The Author
Himanshu Goel is a 20 year old engineering student in Punjab University, India. He is featured in 101words.org, Flash fiction magazine, a long story short, beam me up podcast and Polychrome Ink and forthcoming in The Singularity and Flash Fiction Press. You can usually find him at a McDonald or a football field in Chandigarh. Instagram – lighthouse_magician