Why does this stuff happen to me?
My childhood is littered with weird shit, and I don't even have a weird life.
This one happened in a field with my best friend at the time, who was deeply religious--well, as religious as hee parents made her, until she started going nuts behind their backs. We went into the field behind our houses, which our dads didn't want us to do because reasons--scoundrels poised to murder us, I guess. But we were perfectly safe in the suburban expanse of trees and bushes that formed a big space between homes. The homes had gates. The gates were never open. We wondered about our neighbors but never crossed the line into trespassing. So instead of committing misdemeanors, we roamed the field like explorers on a journey into a strange land.
On this particular afternoon, we wandered a little farther than usual. Toward the end of the field, we heard noises coming from one of the houses. The noise was shrill and panicked; it sounded like a desperate cry for help but not with words. Just mangled, animal utterances cutting through the air.
We carefully moved closer to the sound. It got louder. And then louder.
And then it was close as could be. It was coming from one of the backyards, right near the fence.
I stopped suddenly. Because I saw something moving just behind the fence, on the ground.
My friend saw it too.
The movement accompanied the shrieks, which by then were unbearably desperate.
We crept forward.
And saw a cage in the grass half-concealed by a bush.
Inside the cage was a crow. It was thrashing and screaming.
I was horrified. My friend stared, confused and curious.
We crept still closer. It beat against the cage; helpless, angry, and terrified.
But then another noise broke through, except this was a voice and it came from literally everywhere.
The voice was elderly and clearly female.
It sliced the air and overpowered the poor bird's cries, but the words it used were just as frightening: "You bitches! Get the fuck out of here! I'll kill you, bitches!"
We ran as fast as we could, away from the bird and whoever--whatever--was screaming at us.
We never found out and we never went back. But I have known ever since that something else was there, and it wasn't to be challenged.

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