Cantankerous corvids 

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Six crows sit on a handrail in front of a multi-level house, separated by a swampy, marshy area with many other birds in the background.
A murder most foul, and a murder of fowl. Sarangib via Pixabay

A story of suspicions, passionate violence, and the inescapable consequences 

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It was the dead of night when a shadow-like figure emerged from behind a bush on Sawyer Boulevard. The shadow quietly screed towards the town’s cemetery, and scurried behind the McCormack’s house.  

The shadow-like figure then proceeded into the cemetery where he was met by Doug McCormack himself. Doug was known in the town as being an odd figure who made most people feel rather uncomfortable with his awkward, harsh conversations and less-than-welcoming demeanor. It was also believed around town that Mr. McCormack was responsible for the mysterious deaths of animals and, more specifically, the deaths of his children and wife, though no evidence could prove his involvement in those crimes.  

As the shadow approached Mr. McCormack, it revealed a 10-inch-long blade and began stabbing him. The shadow then began to drag the now dead Mr. McCormack from the cemetery and towards the McCallister home, which sat on the corner of Sawyer Boulevard. As the shadow figure dragged Mr. McCormack, another dark figure emerged from the McCallister home. It was Peggy McCallister, who yelled at the shadow, saying “Rory McCallister, what are you doing?”  

Her response was met with Rory – her brother, and the shadow-like figure – motioning for Peggy to quiet down. The pair met at the backyard fence where Rory explained that he needed to get Mr. McCormack’s body in the trunk of the family car before the family left for their annual camping trip the next morning. After gently lifting Mr. McCormack into the trunk of the car where the spare tire normally fits, Rory filled Peggy in with every detail he could remember. To be brief, Rory believed like much of the community that Doug McCormack had been responsible for the death of his girlfriend and Doug’s oldest daughter, Maggie.  

The next morning, the McCallisters got ready for their annual camping trip to Big Moose Lake in upstate New York. Big Moose Lake is known for being haunted, something that the McCallisters knew quite well and that Rory was counting on. The haunted speculation surrounding the lake involved the murder of a pregnant Grace Brown in July of 1906; it is believed she is still haunting the campsite.  

The drive to Big Moose Lake usually takes the McCallisters all day, as they have to drive across the whole state to get there. The drive to the campsite was relatively uneventful as they stopped for a few snacks, and nobody asked questions about the slightly off smell coming from under the luggage and tent. Neither Peggy nor Rory discussed or mentioned the dead body as their parents sat in the driver and passenger seats.  

Mr. McCallister slammed on the breaks suddenly, causing Rory and Peggy to jolt in their seats. “What was that?” said Peggy. “I don’t know!” exclaimed Mr. McCallister. Mr. McCallister then got out of the car where he was met with a horrid sight.  

“Oh, my goodness, I’ve hit a crow!” exclaimed Mr. McCallister. “A crow! Are you serious?” said Rory and Peggy at the same time. The McCallisters carried on after the whole family helped to move the crow to the side of the road. The demeanor in the car remained nervous and quiet, with everyone trying their best to ignore the spiderweb cracks in the front windshield where they had hit the crow. The McCallisters always felt uneasy going to Big Moose Lake, but they viewed the haunted aspect of the campsite to be riveting and it made for interesting family discussions.  

It was completely dark when the McCallisters drove into the campsite at Big Moose Lake with only the car headlights as a form of light. Mr. McCallister drove up to the stand where a gentleman dressed in a ripped white t-shirt and pants stood, looking rather paranoid to say the least. “We have a tent reservation. Should be under ‘McCallister.’” Mr. McCallister said cautiously to the man.  

“Beware of the birds. Those who kill should beware. Beware! Beware! Here is your pass. Enjoy!” said the paranoid gentlemen.  

“That was extremely bizarre!” said Mr. McCallister as he drove towards their campsite. Rory and Peggy looked at each other with fear as their father drove towards the campsite. What the McCallisters didn’t realize is that an infestation of corvids had invaded the Big Moose campsite, with prime targets being murderers and the dead bodies they would bring to hide on the grounds.  

The McCallisters then started to set up their tent at their campsite. The process was relatively normal with no disturbances until they heard a sharp “Ca-CAW! Ca-CAW!” All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a group of 50 corvids begin to attack the McCallisters. To avoid the corvid attack, Peggy jumped into a nearby bush, Rory leaped into the nearby lake, and Mrs. McCallister jumped into the tent.  

Mr. McCallister jumped into the trunk of the family car. All of a sudden, the corvids diverted their attention to the family car where Mr. McCallister was – unbeknownst to him – laying on top of Doug McCormack’s body. As the corvids began to the swarm the vehicle, Mr. McCallister began to notice an interesting stench coming from inside the car, from right underneath him. He began to examine his car, trying to find the source of the unpleasant smell. Mr. McCallister then opened the compartment for the spare tire and discovered the unimaginable laying there underneath him. 

“AH!” screamed Mr. McCallister, who ran out of the vehicle despite being charged by the corvids. “Why is there a dead body in the car?!” wailed Mr. McCallister while he charged towards the lake, trying to find somewhere to run where the crows couldn’t follow.  

Rory and Peggy looked at each other, knowing all too well that their secret was out.  

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