Recollections, 1960: Bill Steyer


There was only ever one man who I regretted sending a raven to.

Bill Steyer was a man I had known his entire life. He had suffered his share, and when his wife died in 1907, I knew he was lonely and at risk as he lived closer to Gods’ Hollow than I liked. His home, which had once enjoyed the grace of his wife’s good taste, no longer reflected her elegance. It was dirty and bereft of light, but I could not condemn a man to suffer. As far as I know, and as far as I knew then, there were no crimes he had committed, of which I was aware.

I sent the raven Vidar to him, in the belief that the two would be good companions at best or housemates at worst.

I was mistaken in my belief.

On a Thursday evening of March, as I sat with my pipe and a copy of Caeser’s Gallic Wars, I was interrupted by a tapping on my door. When I answered it, the great, one-eyed raven that I had seen several years before was there. The serious mein of the bird chased all thoughts of Poe’s epic poem from my mind.

I bade the raven enter and he did so with magisterial grace. He took a perch upon the back of my chair and peered at me with his solitary eye.

“Vidar is displeased with Bill Steyer,” the raven informed me.

I felt as a schoolboy who has been called to task, and it was a strange and unnatural sensation for me. “What would he have me do?”

The raven preened beneath a wing, seemed to grin at me a moment later, and then responded, “Nothing. He has taken care of the issue himself.”

Despite the casual nature in which the statement was made, I took it upon myself to hasten to Bill Steyer’s home, and the one-eyed raven accompanied me.

I found Vidar, as well as several other ravens, feasting on the tender bits of Bill Steyer’s corpse. I glanced at the one-eyed raven, who answered the unasked question of ‘why.’

“Because he was rude, Duncan Blood.”

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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