The Gauntlet

sunrise01131008The day has a weird liminal feeling to it. Grey and quiet, except for a lawnmower, crows, traffic and pedestrians, like the soundtrack to a National Geographic documentary on urban corvids.

Odin tries his wife’s number but she doesn’t answer.

He walks down the street, past a line of crows. They just stand there watching him: the old black one with white feathers, three grey ones. More keep showing up.

Odin wonders has he overdone the crow thing.

He follows a little old woman with a tiny little dog on a leash. What is it with old people and little pets, he wonders. They can never, like, stay out all night drinking or anything. Sorry, I have to get back to the little dog! And they are the ones with all the time for adventures like that, and then they go tie themselves down.

He turns a corner and a sleek black crow swoops down from the other direction and follows him to the store, hopping from car to car.

Odin’s phone rings. It’s his wife.

The day has a weird feeling to it, says his wife.

Weird and grey and in-between, agrees Odin.

He tells her about the crow gauntlet because she always laughs at his crow stories.

He holds her up to his ear and talks to her all the way through the store.

I picked out a ham-and-cheese sub for the crows, he says.

Which ones?

All of them.

I’m getting cottage cheese now, he says.

He hangs up before paying the cashier.

He feeds all the crows he can find on his way back to the office. They eat the whole sandwich, except he eats the parts with pickles, as they don’t like pickles.

It’s like a day hidden between other days, he had said to his wife.

She agreed.

3 responses to “The Gauntlet

  1. Beautiful. Beautiful. Is that long enough for you, machine? Odin has a weird machine.

  2. mig

    Thank you, Scott.

    Yeah, sorry about the machine. Maybe I oughta do something about that. Soon as I get into a delving mood.

  3. mig

    OK min. comment length now15 char. from 25 (15 is min allowed)