I happened upon a murder of crows this afternoon, glutting upon the strewn remains of a garbage bag outside the Clarion South dorm. Bushland crowded around the bin depot, providing ample perches for the crows. There they sat, a triumvirate of avian portent, cawing and pecking at the refuse.
My approach disturbed them, sending two of the group into retreat. Within a heartbeat they were a black smear amid the greenery, then a fading echo. Their third remained in the stand of trees, safely beyond my reach but still within my scrutiny.
It cawed to the sky, a series of sharp calls. Its ghosted brothers answered across the breeze as though they were ensconced in some hidden realm close at hand, yet forever beyond my understanding.
I watched the bird, so similar and yet so different from the crows of Western Australia and their mournful dirges. This bird rankled defensive, yet maintained its staccato song. It regarded me in my black clothes, an affectation of its midnight shade, waiting for a threat I’d never enforce. It was then, listening to its call, that my epiphanies struck.
The resolution Hunting The Angel of Midnight (my pinnacle story for both Clarion South and my collection – the amalgam of Disparate Whispers and my newer stuff under the title In the Heart of Midnight) cleft through my muddled brain and declared itself to me in one vibrant resonance.
I now have an idea that is worthy of the buildup. More accurately, I should say I have a conclusion to the idea that will transform the story from interesting to sublime (once it has been properly edited post Clarion). Grief seems to be a common theme to the 2005 Clarion South stories, and this story (I hope) will epitomise grief and provide that dark, melancholy heart to the collection.
Currently though, I’m ripping into more Harbinger-universe words, but am also getting into my collaboration with Suzanne, which also promises to be a SF/Fantasy/Horror crossover blockbuster. I look forward to the challenge on this, as we’ve come up with some strange and demanding concepts, but the richness of detail in our brainstorming/plot-noodling sessions is too much to ignore.
I also look forward to my upcoming collaboration with Jun. I’ll go on the record and say this was one I’ve been looking forward to for a while, as I’ve been impressed with her lyrical style of prose and darkly imaginative ideas. I think I may earn the title, The Collaborator.
For now though, it’s back to the blog blackout. Creative madness inspired by crows is too rich a vein not to mention. The extended verdict of my Clarion South tenure will not be aired until I return home in latter February.
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