In Which No Crows Were Harmed
‘Corvus Dementicus, commonly mad crow, is normally a solitary possessed avian,’ intoned the Deacon while Pearl Barley, trainee exorcist took notes. ‘However if they do flock then we have a situation.’
‘A murder of mad crows has gathered in Middle Pollip. Ms Barley this one is for you.’
The Deacon’s evil little smile made Pearl wonder if it might be in need of exorcising.
As she stood by the bus stop her hair curled round her eyes. ‘Don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll help.’
That’ll be a first, thought Pearl. Ever since Martha Mellows’ spirit had taken residence in her follicles following an ambiguous seance, her hair had been virtually untameable.
The crows were clearly a public nuisance, turning summersaults and pecking out Cher songs on passing milk floats. As Pearl watched, a group of six broke away to guano-bomb a peripatetic vicar.
Pearl hesitated, but her hair wasn’t so fazed. French plaiting with speed and precision it sent two distraction buns to confuse the nearest crow while her crown self-afro’ed itself disrupting the flock’s gyroscope. The birds hesitated as fast-moving dreadlocks reeled them in.
Back at the Exordome, Pearl interviewed the lead crow. ‘I don’t know what came over me.’
Pearl nodded. ‘Corvids are prone to any Standard Possession. With Rooks it’s banshees, hence the racket. Jackdaws…’
The crow scowled. ‘Those bloody Jackdaws get us a bad name.’
‘It’s not their fault. Kleptospirits love them. Always after little shiny things.’
‘Poltergeists. That’s why you love a prank when possessed. We can help, you know.’
The crow leaned forward. ‘That would be great, only…’
‘You couldn’t give us another week, could you? It’s been such fun.’