Monday, October 22, 2007

The Stranger - part 1

People began looking over their shoulders and exchanging glances. Whispering to each other. Who was the stranger dressed in black at the back of the church?

They had expected a quiet affair. The family, a few friends and a couple of old work colleagues. And that was pretty well how it was. Most of the mourners knew each other, or a least knew who they were. Except for that one shadowy figure behind them.

When the time came to leave for the cemetery, they turned and filed out from the gloom of the church into the bright sunlight of the spring morning. But where was the mysterious stranger? He seemed to have vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

They gathered around the grave. The priest offered prayers up for the saving of the departed's soul, and through tear filled eyes, the bereaved saw the stranger moving slowly around at the rear of the assembled crowd.

As the coffin was lowered into the ground, the stranger moved silently forward and threw a hand of soil onto the cask. But no one felt him push his way to the front. And no one saw him leave. He just disappeared.

The wake was a solemn affair. There was mush discussion about the man in black. Nobody knew him, but everyone felt as if they should.

In a tree outside sat a large black bird. Watching. Observing. Head darting from one side to the other. As the people left, it silently and slowly flapped its wings. As if in slow motion. Then it flew up and up and up. Higher and higher until it disappeared from view.


Click here for part 2

26 comments:

  1. Did they miss out on something they should have known? Very intriguing and I love the end, the visiting black bird. with slowly flapping wings. Great!

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  2. Keith you are such a brilliant writer!
    Thank you so much for your kind comment, and come on back!

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  3. Very mysterious! I'm intrigued. Are you going to tell us who it was, and what the connection was between the stranger and the bird?

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  4. Great post, love your intrigue! Thanks for visiting my post - it's all true!

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  5. It has all the right elements of intrigue. And left us wanting more. Do we get it?

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  6. Yes, intrigue's the word. Good one.

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  7. as has been said here before,, the intrigue has captured my curiosity... is there more you can tell me????

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  8. ......But no one felt him push his way to the front.
    ......Nobody knew him, but everyone felt as if they should.

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  9. Great visual at the end with what I assume was a black crow watching over the funeral. Very intriguing story. Was the mysterious stranger in black the soul of the recently departed? Fascinating story.

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  10. Aha, the elements of mystery - and the bird representing the soul? You've followed the scriptwriter's premise - always leave them wanting more. :)

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  11. Keith, this is almost Poeish in writing. I love it. Burr I got chill bumps and that is despite the fact the air is chilly lol great write here hun

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  12. I loved the ending, not everything should be told, some must be left for the readers to imagine :)

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  13. Perfect! Especially for the Halloween season. I was a bit frightened! :) And yes...more please.

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  14. This reminds me of a folk story - no answers, just suspicions. With a shrug, as if no understanding could be forthcoming...I can see the story being told. Great writing!

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  15. I got the same impression that Herb Urban did...but I guess that is the beauty of this piece, the reader takes from it what they will. Very nice.

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  16. as keith mentioned above
    ..But no one felt him push his way to the front..Nobody knew him, but everyone felt as if they should..great story..renee

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  17. Thankyou so much for all your comments! I didn't realise it would have such an impact. Little Wing - we seem to be on the same wavelength!

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  18. Mysterious indeed . The not knowing part is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Hey Keith, I'm back,have missed your stories but am glad to be back from UK. You can imagine what it was like for me watching the World Cup In UK *sob*

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  20. Don't let her sobs fool you, Keith. She's quite tough!

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  21. I just gottit! The ending. An all-black, flying off. Well, well.
    (Sgd. Dickiebird.)

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  22. I feel like I've just read about a dark angel.

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  23. Well Keith this was very well written and thought out. I am sorry I did not post anything this week but what a great topic and you my dear did such a wonderful job with this intriguing mystery you wrote. I still think because it was never said but, I want to say that I think the dearly departed was a woman who was having an affair with the mystery man. I could be way off.

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  24. Love the fact that you can intepret this story anyway that you like!Well written--leaves you thinking.

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  25. Keith, you need to know that the littlewing comment isn't me.
    It is the work of the Cyber Stalker I have been dealing with.
    I am sorry.
    I am talking about the one signed renee.

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  26. wow!! I'm excited I didn't see this story till there was a part 2 written! ( I have no patience for waiting on the end of a good story or movie) Off to see part 2.
    Glad you visited me or I may not have found your creative stories :)

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