The Crow:
An Angel's Retribution

A Fan fiction by . . . . . .

It's interesting how one minute your life is exactly where you want it, you have the bull by it's horns so to speak, and the next minute . . .nothing. That's what happened to me. My name is Angel McGrath and I'm a Crow. No, I'm not one of those little black birds you see on the side of a highway picking at dead squirrels. I'm...well, it's complicated...let me start at the beginning.

three years ago. . .

I ran away from home when I was 16, taking money I had saved to buy a one-way ticket to America from my homeland of Britain. Thinking life would be better for me there, I started out into a small city known as Hell. The name fit perfectly. Almost too perfectly. It always rained and people took on the aspect of starved sharks there. You let your guard down once, you're done for.

My first week there, I was mugged, kicked out of a homeless shelter because someone else brought in drugs and hid them in my stuff and I almost died from exposure. That's when Maggie and her son Carter found me. Maggie. The mom I should have had instead of that crack-addict prostitute I got stuck with. . . Anyway...off topic.

Maggie and her son Carter were the only people in Hell that had hearts left. That's why Maggie took me in and let me live in the one-room apartment above the bar she owned. She even let me work there. Maggie's bar was one of the only bars in town that didn't sell sex too. I started liking this town. Carter too. He and I became very close then something happened. One day Carter disappeared. No one knew where he went. After searching for months the police found a hat of his, stained with his blood, a bullet wound in the back. It confirmed Maggie's worst suspicions. Carter was dead. The guessed he was probably a victim of a cult/gang that ruled Hell. The Satan's Spawn, they called themselves. If they give you an offer to join, you either do so or die.

When I turned 18, a year after Carter's disappearance, another tragedy entered my life. One that made me what I am now.

Maggie and I were doing our usual clean up routine, me at the bar restocking things, Maggie sweeping the floor and putting up tables, when four guys about my age came in. They were all dressed in black and had the Satan Spawn marking tattooed on their neck. (It was a pentagram with blood dripping from the points in the star, the outer part of it marked with black fire.)

"Sorry," Maggie said. She didn't see the tattoo. "We're closed. You gentlemen will have to come back tomorrow." The four guys stayed right were they were. Let me tell you about these four guys really quick. One of them looked like the Anti-Christ. He wore a black leather duster, black pants, black boots, black leather choker with spikes coming from it. He was obviously the leader. Another one had a professional camera that he kept on pointing around the room taking pictures. A third looked like he spent his entire life in a gym and the last one had a black and red snake in his hands.

"We have business here, Maggie. Last minute stuff to ensure the safety of one of our friends. It won't take long."

"Safety of one of your friends? I didn't know the Satan's Spawn cared for other peoples safety." I said. Maggie's eyes widened slightly. Trying to be subtle, I inched my hand over to the shelf under the bar, trying to get a hold of the gun underneath. If I got my hand on it and they started anything, I could easily take care of them. I was a natural dead shot. Unfortunately, snake-boy saw what I was doing and threw the snake at me. It latched onto my shoulder and I could feel poison pumping into my veins. Hopefully it was a slow kind...that way I had a chance. Or I could at the very lease give Maggie one. I grabbed the gun anyway, pulled the snake off of my shoulder and shot it, blowing it to pieces. That's when my world ended. The four guys started in on us, grabbing things and throwing them at us. Maggie turned to run upstairs but was tripped by one of the guys. She was old and couldn't recover quickly so two of them proceeded to kick her and stomp on her while the other
two (snake boy and the guy with the camera) started in on me.

"You killed my snake, bitch!" he shouted, pulling out a knife. I pointed the gun at him, my vision starting to blur already. I pulled the trigger and heard a laugh. I had missed. I tried again and this time received a cry of pain. "My hand! She shot my hand!" The guy with the camera hit me in the stomach with it and I went down. My vision cleared long enough for me to see Maggie being shot in the brain before I was stabbed in the back of the neck. As I lay dying from poison and lack of blood, the four guys trashed Maggie's bar. A black crow sat in the window, watching the whole thing. It was bigger than most I've ever seen and it's presence bothered the leader because the last thing I heard was someone being told to shoot it. My world faded as the crow fell from the window, the smell of gun smoke in my nose and the sound of a gunshot sounding hollow in my ears.

Time flies when you're dead because the next thing I knew I was pushing myself out of the ground, screaming in pain, anger, sadness, insanity, confusion and frustration. I didn't feel glad to be back. I think that whatever brought me back forgot to return all of the good emotions the living seem to at least have a grain of. The crow from before sat on a wet, rotting log, watching me. I lay on the ground shaking from the massive amount of black emotions I was feeling. I didn't get a chance to sort through them all before the crow led me home. Back to the bar. Back to where it all happened. No sooner had I stepped inside then with a flash and a feeling like electricity passed through me it happened again. . I saw everything in distorted detail. I felt the snake attach to my shoulder; I felt the gunshot wounds, heard Maggie's desperate cries for help. It ended the same way, my world fading quickly with a stab wound to the neck. This time however, I was still here. That black
bird sat on a window nearby, watching me with extreme interest. I stood up and walked upstairs, wanting a mirror badly. Maggie once told me that if you find yourself trapped in what feels like a dream but your not sure, to find a mirror and look inside. You'll see yourself if it's real. I ran upstairs and almost started crying at what I saw. Myself. Standing there in my black crushed velvet tie up tank top, my black and maroon hair still up in its complicated twists and curls, some of which now hung in my face. My bright blue eyes set in my pale white face, my black low rise pants resting on my hips, my black boots still covered in dirt. A small knife sat on the dresser. I was determined to wake up or at least die again. I didn't want to be back. There was nothing left for me in this world. Carter was Dead. So was Maggie. Why wasn't I? I ran the knife through my throat and felt nothing. Not even pain. The crow nearby cawed and hopped up onto my bed, its noise almost like a
laugh. Drawing the knife out I looked in the mirror. Blood didn't even run from the wound. Instead, it closed up and healed over perfectly, much to my surprise.

"Welcome back, my child." A voice sounded in my head. I jumped and looked around, knife at ready. "You learn quickly I can see and don't need much direction either." The voice laughed and the crow cawed again. The voice belonged to it. That didn't surprise me. At this point nothing would.

"Why did you bring me back, bird? There's nothing for me here. No Carter, no Maggie . . . nothing!" I spat angrily, getting ready to throw the knife at the bird.

"You remembered what happened a year ago, right Angel? What those men did to what you hold closest to your heart?" I remembered and hoped I didn't have to go through it again.

"Satan's Spawn as Maggie and I were closing for the night," I blinked and thought of what the bird said. "A year ago? I've been dead that long?" That black creature sitting on the windowsill bobbed its head. I sighed and shook mine, maroon and black hair swirling around my face. "Son of a bitch!" I practically shouted. "I don't want to be here! Send me back!" I demanded even though I didn't remember where I had gone to after dying.

"People died because of them and you want to go back to whatever place you went to? Ungrateful."

"Well, why am I here?"

"For retribution. An Angels' Retribution my sweet child." Laughter filled my head as lightning cracked the sky. Thunder shook the ground as I looked out the window into Hell. Satan's Spawn graffiti tags were everywhere and the town looked more nightmarish than before. "Don't you want revenge, child? It'll be so easy for you to get it. You saw yourself you can't get hurt." I thought about it and grinned wickedly. I looked around my room and saw an old photo of Maggie and I. Someone had drawn black lines on my face. One line ran down each eye from the middle of my forehead almost to the corner of my mouth. The third and final line ran across my mouth, splitting my face into an evil grin. Feeling a sudden burst of inspiration, and because I wanted Kodak, the guy with the camera, to recognize me, I made a living copy of it on my face using some of Carters old Halloween make-up and one of my make-up applicators.

"Are you ready dear child?" I nodded, pulling on a black leather duster. "The night is yours. But remember, help the living . . . you die and won't be able to finish out your task."

"No need to worry about that, little bird." I sighed as I climbed out onto the fire escape. "I have no one left alive to help."

And so I was off, running after the black bird as it lead me to my First Stop. An old gym. Abandoned. Condemned. Uninhabitable. That didn't stop someone from going in and blasting loud music. The sounds of weights being lifted and dropped punctuated the music, making it sound even darker than it really was. I walked to the window and looked inside. One of the men from my murder was in there. There were also a ton of chains, jump ropes and weights lying on the floor and hanging from rafters.

This was going to be fun.