Nevermore Picture

In the classic poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, a grief-stricken man is tormented by the possibly-demonic, titular bird. In this, I have replaced this bird with a definitely-demonic, gypsy-like, rather misanthropic young woman who goes by the name The Raven. Little story accompanying the drawing:

Edward Toole awoke to the sound of a knock at his chamber door. Disgruntled, he got to his slippered feet, his book of mythology falling to the ground, and checked to see who had come to call at such an ungodly hour of the night. Poking his head out into the hallway, he found it to be deserted. Shaking his head and sitting back down in his armchair, Edward was immediately startled by rapping upon the window. Rather perturbed, he checked the window as well, and nobody was there either. However, from somewhere in the room behind him, he heard wicked, cackling laughter and, afraid of what he might find, slowly turned about.

She was terrifying. Her death-white skin was stretched over her bones, with minimal flesh inbetween. Her eyes seemed too large for such a shrunken face. Her nose was a thin blade. Her lips curled menacingly over vaguely pointed teeth. The dress she wore, silk in shades of black and gray, was much too large, fastened with a charcoal-colored sash, and torn badly in the sleeves and the skirt. Upon one foot was a tall, strange, boot. The other foot was left bare. Around her neck hung a necklace and a piece of string upon which was tied a single black feather. A gray headscarf was tied around her jet black hair, which was tied with another piece of string and three more feathers. Upon her skeletal hands, she wore gray lace gloves with the fingers sloppily chopped off. To Edward's horror, the ears which protruded from the lank tresses peaked at perfect points. This was no ordinary woman.

"Edward," she said. Her voice was a gravelly croak.

Edward backed away, slowly, until his back bumped against the cold glass of the window. "Who are you? What are you?"

"I am called The Raven," she rasped, her eyes boring into him as she edged across the room towards him.

"You did not answer my second question. What are you? I can see that you are no woman."

"I am The Raven," she said with an evil sneer, now standing right before him.

Edward walked past her, towards a painting on the far wall. "I take it you are some creature of Hell, come to torture me further."

The Raven somehow stood in front of him again. "Whether I am or am not I shall not confirm." Apparently finding herself quite amusing, she threw her head back and shreiked with laughter. Her opened mouth betrayed her forked tongue and Edward's suspicion was confirmed.

"Well, you waste your time, demon. I have received all the misery a man can receive. There is nothing more to be done to hurt me." He gazed longingly into the face of Lenore, the girl he loved, who had died just the previous December. She looked so pure, so innocent, so very young and undeserving of the death which befell her.

When Edward looked at The Raven again, she looked rather angry, taking his declaration as a challenge. "Well," she said, poison in her tone, "I did not always take this form. It is only what I have become. Brace yourself for one last heartache." She shut her eyes, and when she opened them, they were no longer black as death but brown, soft, and warm. Edward would have known those eyes anywhere, from all the times he had looked into them, as she lived, as she lay dead, as she looked peacefully down from him, frozen in oils, upon his wall.

"Lenore!" Edward shouted, shaking The Raven by the shoulders, "What have you done to her?"

"Edward, do you not see that it truly is me?"

Edward leaped back. The voice he thought he'd never hear again was coming from the mouth of this hideous creature. But she was no longer a hideous creature. In mere moments, The Raven had transformed, plumping up to a lifelike state, color blossoming in her skin, her hair becoming golden ringlets, the face softening. "Oh, Edward," she whispered, holding a hand to his cheek. He placed his own hand over hers. "Edward, I am so very sorry. I do not want this. I do not!" But The Raven's croak was edging back into her voice, and Lenore lurched backward, bending over double, as if in agony. When next Edward blinked, The Raven stood before him again.

Edward's heart felt stabbed with a thousand knives. Oh, to lose Lenore once, then to see she'd become a beast such as this? He screamed at the woman, "How dare you be her? How dare you be Lenore?"

The Raven erupted in laughter that shook the whole room, caused a bust of Athena to fall from its alcove and shatter on the floor. Staring right into Edward's soul with eyes that burned with hellfire, she bellowed but one more word:

"NEVERMORE!"

~~~
Drawing in pencil on plain old printer paper.
Continue Reading: Places