These Dark Wings
John Owen Theobald

Gothic Story

By Max P, Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School

Lightning struck the tall terrifying tower. The loud crash rung in my ears as I stared up at my prison cell ceiling. What had I done to deserve this? It wasn’t me. I was framed. I was innocent. My execution was tomorrow for that terrible man’s deathly deed. I stared out of the small windows looking upon those pesky ravens. They were the same as me. Imprisoned in this hellish place. Though we were one and the same, I still wanted to harm them. What had become of me?

As day approached I could not get any rest for I was about to go into an endless slumber. Suddenly, a loud noise rung in my ears, taunting me. I jumped to my feet. However, I was merely afraid of the screams of the other inmates. There screams fill me with hatred. I must escape. I have to escape. How could I live in this place any longer? I closed my eyes and thought about my plan. I thought long and hard over the cries of men plagued by torment. Then, I realised what I must do.

My Grim Reaper with a noose in his hand came to my cell, wrapping on the door with his cruel hands. “Open up,” he said, “It’s time.” I stood up, shaking with every movement. Following the executioner, my plan began. Quickly, I grabbed the noose from his hand and strung it around his neck. Covering his mouth, I slowly choked him to death. As I saw the whites leave his eyes, I smirked. “I can see why the man who sent me here committed his crime in the first place,” I thought to myself. I exited the tower with the shouts of the inmates following me. Alas, sunlight at last. I had not seen it properly for a week. I looked around, making sure to be ready for oncoming threat. I caught sight of my execution place. Several men and women were standing awaiting my death. I examined their faces, wondering what they would have looked like once I had perished when I caught sight of a raven wandering just in front of me. I had grown a great hatred for them during my time in the tower.

Instinctively, I lunged for it, grabbing it by the body. It cried in despair filling the courtyard with noise. The heads of the onlookers to my execution turned to face me. Quickly, I snapped the wretched thing’s head. Many men armed with swords and armour ran at me. Dropping the bird, I ran in the opposite direction. The guards chased me. It was me against them. I ran towards Traitor’s Gate. However, the gate began to close. I ran faster and faster. I had to escape it was my destiny. Then, the truth hit me like the gate in front of me hitting the floor. What had I become? Taking the lives of birds and people alike. The guards closed in on me and the rage that filled me when I killed the guard and the bird returned. It didn’t matter if I was a murderer. How could it?

A soldier made a lunge at me but luckily, I avoided it. While he was off balance, I took the chance to grab his sword and imbed it into his brain. Relishing in my accomplishment and with blood over my hands, I screamed at the other guards. They looked nervous. I laughed quietly, making a small warning lunge at the other guards. All of a sudden, a raven came flying in my direction. I took a swipe at it with my sword, cutting it in half. The raven’s guts fell into the guard’s eyes, temporarily stunning them. Taking this opportunity, I flew past them. I was going to make it. I was through the main gate. I was free.

As I made my way through London, the pump of adrenalin I had from my daring escape left me. My senses took over me. I had truly done a terrible deed. I was just as bad as the man who framed me. The thought of him made my madness take over me again. I had to find him. I had to kill him. I had to take my revenge. Swooping through the streaks in my black clothes, I would stop at nothing to find him.

Several days had passed since I had avoided death. Several fits of rage and madness had taken over me. And several fits of depression and sadness at my horrible deeds passed over me. I was in an inn far away from the Tower. Wooden panels layered the inside and a blazing fire roared in front of me, flames caressing the air around it. Intoxicated, I sat on the floor outside, leaning on the front wall. Onlookers passed by not knowing the murderer who sat in front of them. I took a sip from my bottle but no liquid remained inside. Enraged, I threw the bottle into the street. Depression took over me again and I curled up with my head in-between my arms. I screamed loudly. Passers-by stared at me with little sympathy on their faces. I heard a whisper. Was it someone talking about me? It had to be. I screamed again. I couldn’t live like this. I began to stand up to go inside and get another drink when I saw a face in the crowd that I recognised. It was him. It was the main who framed me – no dread or depression streaked his face as streaked mine. This was it. This was my chance. I could kill him. I could kill him now. The sweet smell of his blood would soon be entering my nose. How pleasant it would be to take his life as he took mine.

I took off. I was going to fly at him and swoop down for I was a predator and he was my prey. Words could not describe the joy that filled me as I chased him through the streets. Fear flooded his face as pleasure filled mine. He looked back. I looked at him. I grinned. I drew my sword. He ran away faster. Taking a sharp corner, I followed him eagerly. Suddenly, he fell to the floor. This was it. I had my chance. I leapt on top of him pinning him to the floor. My eyes glinted with delight as I struck a lethal blow with the sword I had stolen from the guard into his chest. Blood oozed out from his chest. My body became filled with delight but then, my delight turned into something darker. Something worse. I caught sight of the mirror image cast by the corpse’s eye. In it I saw myself as a raven. I was the thing I longed to destroy even more than the man who framed me. Without a trace of doubt in my body. I took the sword from the corpses chest and pierced my own with the same blade, joining the ravens in their true land.