The scream of the boy had woken her, as it had numerous times before. With the events of the day, she had come to expect them this night.
“Hey yo, Mac. Take it easy, boy.”
Gyra shuffled into his bedroom, close to sleepwalking.
The boy’s raven-black hair contrasted sharply with his pale, frightened face. Close to twelve, he was too old for his teddybear and too young for the Call of Duty game she had confiscated the other day.
“What spooked you tonight?”
She sat down on a corner of his bed, her hands pushing away a mass of tousled hair.
“It was a bird, Gy, a big, black, ugly bird.”
“What was it doing?”
Mac frowned. With Gyra in the room, his nightmares were usually soon forgotten. The bird seemed to linger on his mind.
“It was, well I guess it was looking at me. It had an ugly set of eyes, Gy. Like in those horror movies.”
Mac warmed to the subject.
“You know, where the birds come to pick your eyes out? And look at you, all knowing like?”
He sat up straight, looking at her with eyes that had lost their sleeping quality.
“Aren’t they ill omens, Gy? You know, like telling you something bad will happen? You think something bad will happen?”
He mused on the thought, wondering if he could tweet this as soon as Gyra had left.
Gyra deemed it time to intervene on this morose line of thought.
“Not all ravens are birds of ill omen, Mac. You let your imagination run away with you.”
“You think it’s a raven? How do you know?”
He leant forward, striking out ‘bird’ to replace it with ‘raven’ in the tweet that took shape in his head.
Me and my fool mouth, Gyra thought and tried to recover the situation.
“Big, black, ugly bird? That can only be a raven.”
Serves you right, mister reborn!
“Anyway, for some, ravens even mean good luck. In England, they are said to protect the Tower and the Crown of England. Should they go, all of England will fall.”
“Gosh! So my dream means good luck then?”
Gyra stifled a yawn. “It could very well be.”
Mac was silently working on yet another version of his midnight tweet. He yawned. This one better be the final one.
“You think you can get back to sleep now, Macky?”
He yawned again.
“Don’t call me that.” His next sentence was lost in yet another yaw cracking yawn.
“All right then. Shall I leave on the light in the hallway?”
They had returned to a well-known ritual. His hand stretched to his mobile phone but somewhere along the line, it lost its purpose and he settled back in his pillow, eyes already closing.
Gyra left the bedroom door ajar and walked downstairs. Her sleep was gone. If ravens meant luck, her day should be bulging with it. Why didn’t she feel lucky, at all?