At a soccer tournament one weekend when we were about fourteen, the absence-of-parents had yet to become procedural. The troupe assembled for this particular weekend varied from winery owners, doctors and lawyers, to broods of small children, to dads that ran up and down the field's sideline as the ball traveled. One weekend one such father intently watching the occurring game sprinted the length of the field countless times as the ball journeyed, bouncing between the battling teams. Head turned sideways, he surveyed the game as he ran. I happened to glance over as he went dashing into a trashcan, which ensued in a rotating, tumbling image of white limbs and gray plastic. I doubled over on the field in laughter.
Anyway, back to the weekend in question. I and a handful of girls were kicking a soccer ball in the hotel hallway. Typically the hotel front desk clerk arranged so all the people involved in one team would room near each other. This, I have to imagine, was to benefit us as well as the hotel management and other guests. We were loud, raucous children with a knack for disorderly conduct. At the ripe old age of twenty-two that I now am, I know I wouldn't want to stay in a hotel near our delinquent fourteen-year-old selves. We tore through the hotel playing hide-and-seek. We forged small-sided soccer games in the hallways and the hotel grounds. We used our siblings as parental distractions. Eventually, we realized the parents collectively employed alcohol consumption as their distraction from their wild, free-roaming children.
Anyway, back once again to the weekend in question. We lazily kicked the soccer ball down the hallway, seeing how many times we could ricochet the ball between the walls and still get it to the teammate twenty feet away. Someone was able to achieve the highly-impressive count of six when another teammate came hurling towards us yelling maniacally with riotous blue eyes and disheveled hair. She came to an abrupt halt a few feet away. She stared at us. We stared back. Someone asked what the hell happened. She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly.
She proceeded to tell us that she had been standing outside the hotel waiting for her dad to park the car when suddenly she was accosted. The top of her head was clawed and her face beat with wind. She saw black feathers and could feel talons digging into her scalp. She screamed and galloped a few feet crazed-madwoman-status before she reached above her head, grabbed at the bird, and hurtled it into the side of the hotel. She told us she continued shrieking. She ran through the hotel doors screeching, into and through the lobby yelling, leapt up the stairs, screaming, ran through a few hallways, still yelling, and then stopped when she found us. We dissolved into hilarity. Once we could speak again without laughing we went on an expedition to find the site of the crow/raven/blackbird (we're still not sure which) molestation. There was no mark on the wall. We did find some feathers, however. Our bird-accosted teammate kept one as proof.