A Story by Libby Carsons

This is actually a novel I'm working on. I don't want to post the whole story, but I will post the first chapter to see what people think.


Chapter 1

I once watched a pig shovel grey sand.

Her chubby, little fingers clumsily slapped sand onto the fickle castle that sagged downward. She was so focused: clear blue eyes staring at her masterpiece, so oblivious to her surroundings. So oblivious to the pig mask strapped to her face.

The round snout sat abundantly below the slits of her eyes. There were only two almond-shaped cut outs to let her see. The plastic skin that acted like cold flesh was colored salmon and hung lifelessly with wrinkles of non-existent age. She was hardly old enough to unlock a door by herself.

Her parents watched obediantly yet pridefully at their child building what they saw as a Roman monument. Little did they know that just like history, the waves would leave it in ruins. Majority of the parents’ figures were shrouded in the hovering umbrella, but the occasional face turn exposed their white faces. Plastic, of course.

The castle wasn’t even finished when they came up from behind. Crow-like faces crept up like shadows on the family. None of them stood a chance. The only thing louder than the crashing waves that day was the sound of bullets breaking through plastic and slicing the underlying flesh. The pig baby crumbled into her sand monument, her mask cracking in two pieces.

There was only one thing I was wrong about that day. It wasn’t the tide that brought the castle to ruins, it was the pig, herself.



We call them Crows mainly because of their mask shapes. The government issued face pieces partly define their notorious nickname. The other half was from their tendency to bring death wherever they went, hence, the Crow. To others, they are known as the officials of the Region. Soldiers. Police. Sheriff. There is little difference among those words today.

They say that if you shoot a bullet through a crow’s eyes, you can take away its ability to bring death. Can you hear death? Smell it? Taste or touch it? Probably. But most likely its easiest to see it. Aiming for the heart is useless since some say there isn’t one. And injuring the wings only takes away its mobility. The eyes are the target.

            That’s why one morning I decided to go try for myself. I latched onto my father’s pistol and trudged through the mud trial that led to the woods far behind my house. There was a large field before the forest and I took position right beneath the lining of the trees. I always found it harder to aim with the white, plastic mask hovering over my face like a clumsy and unnessecery viel, but I’m safer with it than without it. Everyone is. Or so He says; the Regionkeeper.

            I waited fourteen minutes before I finally saw a crow. It was perched in a browning maple tree, slightly gazing outwards towards the yellow meadow. My father’s gun was already in my hand as I readied my aim. The click of the safety switched off. The smell of sweet sap of the trees. The sound of a bullet cracking through the sky. And finally, the slight slump of the sound of a bird’s body hit the ground.

            My mother always said not to touch a dead bird. As she used to wash her hands in the kitchen sink, she reminded me of the disease and illnesses they could carry. It was the last thought on my mind as I grabbed the dead crow on the ground. Its body felt boney and fragile just like the starving people in the town.

            I put the gun back into my jacket and lifted the mask from my face for a better look at my work. The bullet went straight through both of the bird’s eyes. One stone, two birds. One bullet, two eyes.

            “Don’t move an inch,” a voice said behind me. There was a metallic click. I froze.

            “Turn around, slowly.” I did as I was told.

            I faced the Crow with surprised eyes and the color ran from my cheeks. I felt exposed for some reason. Being caught out before hours was just as bad as getting caught after hours. There was a curfew, definitely. Starting from eight at night and running until five in the morning. It was only four fifty. Only then did I realize that my mask was off. Abandoned on the ground.

            “What do we have here?” The Crow asked, slowly circling around me. He was a tall man. His cold blue eyes stared through the opening of his mask. Where his nose was supposed to be was a protruded beak-like shape. The only part exposed were his thin lips. Around his shoulders, there was a machine gun strapped on a holder.

“What is your name, dear?” His voice was filled with excitement and interest.

“Violet,” I replied. I was still clutching onto the dead bird but hoped that the officer hadn’t seen it yet.

“Oh, my favorite color,” he smiled. “And tell me Violet, what have you got there?” He motioned to my hidden hand.

“It’s nothing,” I lied and looked away.

“You’re not a very good liar, Violet.”

I knew I wasn’t a good liar. My mom used to tell me that when I had gotten home late every night, or showed up home with stolen carrots, or even when I said I was sorry.

“Listen here,” the Crow grabbed my chin. “The only reason your not on your way to prison for not wearing  your mask right now, is because you have a pretty face. So you better cooperate with me because I am doing you a favor.”

I stared at him with angry eyes as I tried fighting the uncomfortable sensation I felt under my skin. Reluctantly, I showed him what was in my hand. “Its just a dead bird,” I said, rubbing my jaw from his tight grip.

“It’s a dead crow,” he corrected me and examined it in his hands. He raised an eyebrow when he saw the bullet wound.

“Give it here,” he held out his other hand.

I knew the jig was up. I placed the small pistol in his outstretched hand and expected the worst. Father would never forgive me. Frankie, my little sister, would grow tired of lying for me. All the cards were on the table.

“So you decided to play a little game of Shoot the Crow, did you?” The officer said after a slight pause of examining the gun.

I looked away and didn’t reply.

“Because I can do you one better,” he handed me back the pistol. I looked at him, surprised. The gun was already in my hands as he stepped back a little.

“I’m a Crow. Shoot me,” he said and I knew this was just another one of his games. I just didn’t want to play. The pistol felt heavy in my hand.

“Shoot me, Violet,” he repeated. I didn’t move.

He lifted his own gun off his shoulders and pointed it straight at me.

“You better shoot me like you shot this bird right here, or someone else will start shooting,” he shouted this time.

My face turned pale and my right hand slowly raised the gun towards the officer. The gun trembled a little and it was difficult to aim. I clicked off the safety and held my breath.

Of course I didn’t pull the trigger. The metallic weapon dropped from my hand. “I can’t.”

“You can’t what? Shoot a Crow? What about this one?” He shoved the dead bird in my face. “What made it so easy for you to shoot this one?”

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“Next time you start something, make sure you can finish it, little girl. Pick fights you can win.” He threw the bird on the ground.

“Pick up your mask and put it on,” he ordered. “Your not as pretty when you cry.”


* * * * *


            He knocked three times on the door before someone answered it.

            “Violet?” My father’s voice rang out. His white plastic face gleamed in the rising sun’s rays. The Crow shoved me inside the door.

“Good morning sir,” the Crow said.

“Good morning, officer.”

“Your daughter Violet has been a naughty girl.”

My father swallowed hard.

“Where do I even begin? Lets start with the violation of section XIV of the Covert Code: Unmasked in public. Section XII: Underage firearm usage. Section XV: The breaking of curfew. Need I go on?”

My father put a hand to the forehead of his mask and slowly shook his head. “I am so sorry officer, this is the last time it will happen, I promise,” he said sternly and gave me a hard look.

“You better make sure of it,” the officer said. “Your daughter and I had a certain chat and I hope she will put it into consideration.”

His eyes were smiling and I shuddered.

 “Thank you so much officer, good day,” he nodded again. The officer tipped his head and his crow mask disappeared as he walked away.

We both removed our plastic coverings.

“What were you thinking, Violet?” My father said calmly. There was a certain fury in his tone that frightened me. He was always doing that: the calm before the storm.

“You won’t understand,” I quietly said.

“Oh, I won’t understand?” He raised his voice. The storm was imminant. “Explain to me why I won’t understand. I dare you.” The whole conversation acted like a musical crescendo.

I shook my head.

“Explain to me why you stole my pistol. Why you broke curfew. Why? What for? What were you trying to accomplish, Violet?”

I shook my head again.

“Don’t you dare say you don’t know. You know the reason, or else why would you have done it!”

I was getting angry too. “I’m not quite sure I understand either, Father!” I shouted. The music halts as it reaches its climax.

He rubbed his tired brown eyes. “Is this because of your mother?”

“This has nothing to do with mother!” I said angrily. Outside, clouds had started forming and there was a slight drizzle coming down on the dirty windows.

It was my week to clean the windows, for three weeks now, but I had managed to come up with an excuse every time. Now the dirt had crept up the window panels of the old house. I mindlessly picked at it while my father bore his stare at me.

“I’m just worried about you, that’s all,” my father said. “Frankie worries too,” he said after a pause.

The rain had picked up. “Listen, Violet,” he began. “Your not the only one who misses her. But she’s not coming back.”

“I’m not a child, father. I’m eighteen years old, I know she’s not coming back. You don’t have to keep reminding me.”

“You also don’t have to keep making a wreck of yourself,” he said. “Just follow the rules. Keep your head down.”

“And what kind of life would that be? I can’t be that person who follows rules just because they’re rules.”

 “If you don’t, there won’t be a life left to live. You do not pick fights that you cannot win.” My father warned.

            I shuddered again at the Crow’s words. “I’m tired, father. I’m going back to bed.” Before I left, I placed the pistol on the wooden dining table. 

© 2012 Libby Carsons

Author's Note

Libby Carsons
I haven't decided if I am posting the other chapters or not, but either way, I would love feedback as always. Thanks

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you definitly should if you haven't already, i know i'm really late reading this but it's good!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Libby Carsons

10 Years Ago

don't worry about being late, thank you for the review!
The first chapter seems good, I would love to read your other chapters as well, the storyline seems interesting, and fresh...good job

Posted 10 Years Ago

Libby Carsons

10 Years Ago

thank you for the review, i will consider posting more chapters!
I like what you have here so far. The idea of a place where wearing masks is required is a fascinating idea. I'd love to see where the story turned from this point.

Nice ink!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Libby Carsons

10 Years Ago

thank you so much! I really appreciate your feedback!!

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3 Reviews
Added on December 2, 2012
Last Updated on December 2, 2012
Tags: masks, crows, government


Libby Carsons
Libby Carsons

Brooklyn, NY

I'm a student studying in New York, studying interior design and trying to find the meaning of passion. On what it really means to feel it, to be affected by it. Wondering if writing is my passion. I.. more..