Pitch dark

Odin whispers on the phone to his wife, and lulz.
She asks him where he is.
He tells her the name of the street. I’m taking a back route to the store to get a sandwich to split with the crows, he says.
He tells her he is avoiding them until he has food because their disappointed faces make him feel bad. He is perceiving emotional pressure from wild crows, Corvus corax, even while realizing they are likely incapable of exerting it intentionally. (Note: Huginn looks more like a Corvus dauuricus.)
He knows this is all homemade. But she is laughing too much to listen closely.
You have the gift of thinking like animals, she says.
I was thinking, he said, awesome how they fly right up now and stare at me until I give them a sandwich. I was thinking, look how I have trained them to eat!
When, in fact, etc etc, he says. Less a gift of thinking like animals, he said, more like a vulnerability to being pushed around by them. Look where our cats have trained me to let them snooze.
Odin tries to select a sandwich and write a text message to his daughter simultaneously but finds it really disorienting.
Sandwich selection requires too much concentration. The crows didn’t like the salami. They like the turkey breast, but not the arugula it contains. The curry chicken gives Odin food poisoning half the time (literally). He is not in the mood for ham, so salmon is about all that is left, if one is boycotting tuna (is that still a thing?), suspicious of bologna, and whatever whatever that last kind.
So salmon it is. And a turkey breast / curry wrap, to see how the crows react to that.
And some honey roasted peanuts, just because.
The crows accompany Odin the last block to their bench.
They like the salmon. They eat the filling and bury the bread under leaves.
Muninn flies his piece of the wrap fifteen meters away to eat it in peace, Huginn flies his to the roof of a nearby Skoda and eats it there, carefully.
Then he comes back, Huginn.
What say the hanged? Odin asks.
The little boy rides his trike around the abandoned, haunted lodge. Playing with his toys before bed: PITCH DARK PITCH DARK PITCH DARK.
He writes it on a door in lipstick.
Why does his mom wear lipstick in an abandoned hotel? Who is she longing to impress, her insane husband or the external evil that has invaded him?
She closes the door and glances in the mirror.
(Only, mirror-reversed too.)
Russian for what McNuggets are made of.
Like a chupacabra.
Like an insane asylum in a cement mixer in a paint mixer, those shakey robot things your dad used to have paint mixed in at the paint store when you were little.
Like a Republican congressman tapping his foot in the men’s room in a Mormon airport.
Morse code for: They have discovered my true identity, Control, pick me up. Retrieve me. Fetch me back to home planet. But Control is busy announcing alien dominion over their Earthen subjects, calling for subjugation via train station loudspeakers in two hundred Earth languages: ‘Bow down before our superior alien might!’ But no one understands train station announcements, and this is no exception, so the alien takeover fails.
Like that.

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