The One Hour Fellowship Writing Challenge

As the Crow Flies by Lothithil


Crow sat on his branch, shivering in the east wind. He was bored. There was nothing in this barren land to see, and nothing dead to eat for miles! 'It is too cold for an old carrion-crow, in the middle of winter and no insects to snack on...' he fluffed his plummage and grumbled to himself.

'It wasn't as if Sharku had to sit out here all alone and freeze, waiting for *caw!* -know-who to wander by.' Crow hated guard duty. At least in Orthanc he had the company of his peers, and the wealth of a great crowd of orcs spilling lovely gobbets of offal...

Crow sighed, shivering again, but this time in remembered bliss. He had once flown to Sharku's own balcony, and the burning one had placed a scrap of fresh flesh in his own beak. What kindness! What generosity! Only for that great wizard would Crow suffer this tedious duty, for the chance that he might, just maybe, be able to fly back with news, and taste that ecstacy again...

Movement toward the west... looks like ants at this distance. Crow shoved away thoughts of food that plagued him, and took to wing, soaring high above the hills where the holly trees still grew. As he glided closer, his sharp eyes could make out ten figures walking into the wind.

Crow became so excited he nearly fell from the sky. He wheeled and flew south with all his furious strength. What sweet meat would Sharku give him for this!

If he could have, he would have sang as he flew.