Chapter Two

House: my bedroom; stuffy and damp because of the boy

He dried off with an old towel, but his hair was still rather damp. So now Rowan was sitting in my desk chair, and I was on my bed. And he looked very out of place here, after me only seeing him at the park. And only picturing him at the park.

"Someone… killed them, Petra!" He said, panic in his voice.

"Well, of course they did! That's what I've been waiting for!" I exclaimed. "What else happened?"

"That's it. Nothing, it just… happened."
What a useless boy, not looking for anything afterwards, or even trying to catch the murderer. Isn't it common sense to try to catch a murderer? I think so.

"Didn't you look around?" I asked, insistent.

"No. I came here to tell you. We could go back," he suggested.

"Alright, let's go. And be at the park early tomorrow."

And so we set out, into the rain and grey clouds, to solve a murder.

West Wing of Center Park; looking around under the tree, raining torrentially; horrid out, actually

"Do you see anything?" I asked, crawling around in the mud. My mother was going to kill me when I got back.

"No, just feathers." Rowan was not crawling. How rude of him, letting me, the girl, crawl around in the mud while he stood there, trying to find clues so far up from the ground. He would never find anything useful that way.

"Well, get down here and look! You'll never find anything that way!" I huffed, my nails scrapping through the muck angrily. He dropped down beside me.

"What's this?" He asked, holding up an arrow. The fletching was black – crow feathers.

"Give me that!" I said, snatching it carefully out of his grasp. He frowned at it, his eyebrows knitting together. I studied it as well, bringing it close to my face.

"You think that's what killed them?" Rowan asked. I nearly laughed.

"No, I think the murderer threw rocks at them," I snorted.

"Just asking," he grumbled.

I grabbed a plastic bag and gently put the arrow inside. "Evidence," I explained. Looking up I could see other crows sitting in the trees around us watching and waiting. I had a feeling that they wouldn't be leaving this place any time soon. Too bad they were the only other witnesses besides Rowan. They can't even talk.

Town: various silly little shops, the library and outside Rowan's house; gloomy just starting to rain, no one is smiling, how lovely

I stepped into a store to get out of the rain that had started. It turned out to be a gardening center-type of place with trowels and spades hanging on the walls. It smelled like dirt and old leather gloves. Delicious.

"Why are we in here?" Rowan said, the bell chiming as he followed me through the door.

"You can stand in the rain if you'd like. No one is stopping you." I smiled, picking up a terra cotta pot and inspecting it. "Last time it was a knife, not an arrow."

"What?" He asked, confused. He followed me as I walked over to the shears section.

"When I was a kid. They killed the crows with a knife, not an arrow."

"Oh," He said. "What kind of knife?" I could see the light glinting off the shears reflecting in his eyes. Tiny white pinpoints like stars.

"How would I know? I was seven years old!" I chuckled at the memory of it all. Nothing had seemed wrong. Mother had said it was a murder of crows, and that was what I saw. Funny, really, how utterly calm I was at the time. Funny in a sick, horror-film type way.

"Just asking," He whispered. He was always just asking. Didn't he ever have anything to do but ask questions? Apparently not.

"Well, how big was it?" He tried again.

"I don't know! Didn't I just say that?" I threw my arms up and made my way to the front of the shop.

His "Just asking," was almost drowned out by the bell's chiming.

The next shop we ended up in was a bookstore. I scanned the shelves for anything familiar to look at. Rowan was right behind me.

"Why do you think they used an arrow this time?" He said, picking a book off the shelf.

"Why do you think they did?" I countered, absolutely sick of his questions.

"Because the knife was too messy." He looked up at me, meeting my eyes. He smiled a bit and put the book back. "And the knife took too much time."

I smiled back at him. "To the library," I ordered, and marched out the door. He wasn't as quick to follow me this time.

In the library I headed straight to the history section. Maybe there would be something there about crows. Some mysterious historical event in which crows were prominent. Rowan followed me.

"Excuse me," I said, walking over to a pudgy librarian. Didn't he stack books all day? How could he reach the high shelf being so short and squat? "Excuse me," I said again when he didn't turn around.

"Yes, ma'am?" He smiled, his eyes twinkling. Aren't I a bit young to be called ma'am?

"I'm looking for something on crows. An event, a ritual – anything." He stared at me blankly.

"Or knives and arrows," Rowan added.

"Come this way, sir," the librarian said, completely ignoring my request.

After showing us to the section that would have the most about weapons – just like Rowan asked him to – the librarian tottered off. But throughout our visit I kept seeing him peering around corners at us. No, at me. Like he recognized me from something.

We didn't find anything. Typical. If there was anything to find I would have gotten my hands on it seven years ago.

It was still raining when we left the library. My boots squelched in the slippery mud and Rowan walked beside me quietly.

"Where do you live, anyway? How did you know where I live?" I asked, only then registering that I had never said anything about my house to him. And yet he had shown up at my door.

"I live just down this street," he answered the first question without looking up. He left the other question unanswered. Did that mean he had always known where I live? How? Did he follow me home? Suddenly I found myself at a doorstep.

"What's this?" I asked skeptically. Rowan smirked knowingly. I still don't really know him at all. Even after all this… I suppose I never really did.

"Home," was all he offered. "See you tomorrow at the park, Petra." He went inside, leaving me out in the rain that had become a steady drizzle.

I wondered if he really knew what he had gotten in to.

Hello there, you have just finished Chapter Two of my latest work. Chapter three (as of right now, this very second) is not written. You may have noticed that this chapter was boring. Or maybe you didn't because you are one of those people (like myself) who sometimes scrolls down to read the end notes. Well, this chapter was started about three months ago and finished five days ago or something. That's why it is so weird. It's for... um, my... er... English teacher. Because he's also weird. He likes stories with purple rice. Unlike this one.