The Death Song of Ghost and Crow

📅 Published on May 31, 2021

“The Death Song of Ghost and Crow”

Written by Drew Blood
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 13 minutes

Rating: 9.67/10. From 3 votes.
Please wait...

“Crow!” Eli called out to his companion in a hushed tone. He could see nothing beyond the faint ring of light their campfire was casting among the dense forest of pines. Eli’s friend,  Dead Crow, a Cheyenne Indian did not answer. He wasn’t terribly worried for Dead Crow up till now knowing his friend, who was also a Dog Soldier – that elite warrior society – could more than take care of himself. Still, Eli would like to know for certain. Eli then made the call of a whippoorwill. No answering call came back.

“Dead Crow…..can you hear me?” Nothing. Now Eli began to be fearful for his friend’s life. Eli and Dead Crow were business partners as well as friends. The two young men were fur trappers and had been for the past two years now ever since they met in the winter of 1823 under harrowing circumstances.

Suddenly, rushing feet from somewhere in the darkness. Eli dearly hoped it was Dead Crow. The Cheyenne had charged into the dark woods only minutes ago, his bow across his back, stone war axe in one hand and a fierce Lance in the other. The two men were very much under attack.

Now the sound of running feet from left to right among the dense pines. Eli was focusing on this trying to locate Dead Crow so as not to shoot in his friend’s direction if it came to that. Then he was startled by a voice directly behind him! “EEELIIII!”

So unexpected was this, that Eli started and jumped while swinging his big 50-caliber Hawking rifle in the direction of the voice. Nothing. Nothing but the dark woods with the closer trees slightly glowing with light from the dying fire.

“Crow!” Eli called out loud. “Okóhké!” He tried using Cheyenne. Still nothing. It was then that something in the back of Eli’s mind hit him like a locomotive. That voice had called him Eli. The problem with that was the only people in the whole world who called him Eli were over 1,300 miles away in St. Louis. Everyone out here near the Rockies, trappers and Indians alike knew him by the name given to him by the Northern Cheyenne, Méstaéhotóáé, or Ghost Bull. Eli acquired that honorable name for two reasons. One was his size. He stood over 6’4” and was strong beyond comprehension and because of his ability to move as quiet as mist. No easy feat for a man of his size. Eli had, on a number of occasions struck fear into the hearts of his enemies by sneaking right up into the middle of an enemy camp at night, cutting the leader’s throat and sneaking back out again without detection. In doing so, Eli became something of a legend. He was both feared and respected by his enemies. To the Indian, bravery was everything and most tribes sorely hated a coward. How you carried yourself into battle and how well you stood in the face of danger meant very much to most tribes but the importance of how well a man died was on a whole different level. Many tribes would sing songs about the bravery one showed while dying, even if that person was an enemy. To break or to cry out and scream while being tortured would get the victim nothing but scorn. After the person died who was looked upon as a coward, the Indians would sometimes take out the eyes so they couldn’t see in the afterlife. Men who raped and were captured would wish they were never born as the women of the tribe would stake the man to the ground and slowly torture him. It nearly always involved cutting off his manhood so he could not be a man in the afterlife.

“Ghost Bull!” Now that came from another direction and this time Eli knew it was his friend. He spun to face the sounds of running which were now charging straight for the camp. “Ghost Bull!”, Came the voice of Dead Crow again. “It follows!” Eli dropped quickly to one knee, reached down to loosen his big knife in its sheath, and brought his rifle up to his shoulder. He was the very picture of concentrated determination. Briefly he wished he had time to stoke the fire but the increasing sound of Dead Crow running at full speed quickly knocked that thought from his mind. Eli could tell by the sounds that Dead Crow was running at full speed and even while in the midst of the most terrifying ordeal of his life he allowed himself a moment to admire Dead Crow’s unnatural ability to run at full speed through this dense forest on such a dark and moonless night.

Eli blinked… Then there was Dead Crow. Time seemed to slow down for Eli. Suddenly he could see everything in detail. Dead Crow running right for the camp, his face determined but fearful. His friend’s moccasin feet hitting the ground one in front of the other, kicking up leaves. He noticed three brutal gashes across his friend’s shoulder and chest which had sliced through his buckskins. Blood flowing like streams, spreading across the man’s upper torso. Closer now and Eli could see droplets of blood on his face and then…the thing that was behind his friend. Eli shouted without knowing it “Jesus Christ Almighty!” It was huge. No, not huge. It was tall but appeared to be starving. Even in the dim glow of the fire, Eli could clearly see the thing’s rib cage. Its skin was pale and torn in places. But… What kind of a mask is- “Now brother!” Dead Crow shouted and then dove to the ground. Eli let out his breath and fired. The 50 caliber lead ball punched the thing’s mask right between the eyes shattering it in a spray of blood and bone, one side of its antlers breaking off as well. Then slowly the tall beast fell. Its legs carried on a little longer as its back went down. It hit the ground, dark blood, almost black began spewing from where its face should have been. It convulsed for a short time, its huge clawed hands opening and closing until it finally stopped moving

Heavy breathing. Both men were frozen where they were. They stayed that way for a moment but then the warrior began chuckling. Quiet at first then louder. Eli could only watch. Finally, Dead Crow stopped and said, “Good shot!” Then they both began laughing. Eli moved over to his friend and quickly began checking his wounds. Eli discovered they bled quite a bit but were not that serious. He cleaned and dressed them along with the spectacular gash on the side of Dead Crow’s scalp. He went back to the fire. The two men had been stalked for the past three days by the creature and now they laughed to try and relieve the stress. They had been pushed to their limits both physically and emotionally. Dead Crow got up from the ground and said, “Come brother, let us finally cook some of that buffalo.” Eli smiled. He didn’t realize how hungry he was. Before he could sit down to eat though, Eli walked over to the dead creature. It was as unsettling dead as it was alive. With a start, Eli realized the thing had not been wearing a mask. “What in hell?” Dead Crow saw Eli and said, “Ghost Bull, come and rest. You must get food in your stomach. There’s no need to look at it anymore.” Eli swallowed, turned away from it, and went back to the fire. While Eli stoked the fire and brewed up some coffee, Crow cut two big steaks from the haunch of Buffalo, spit them on sharpened stakes, then laid them over the fire to cook. After the two young men had filled their bellies with coffee, pan-fried biscuits and buffalo steak they both felt like new men. While laying back near the fire Eli asked the question that had been on his mind. “Brother,” Eli hesitated but went on, “What was that thing called? Where did it come from?” The Cheyenne didn’t like the idea of saying the forest demon’s name out loud so he leaned in close to Eli and whispered, “it is called…” Dead crow hesitated and let out a shaky breath, “Yee Naaldlooshii.”

Then the warrior sat back up quickly and darted glances everywhere. It unsettled Eli to see this man, one of the bravest he’d ever known, become so absolutely terrified.

“What did it want brother?” Crow didn’t answer Eli right away but only stared into the fire for a few moments. Eli began to think that his friend wasn’t going to answer the question and began to lay back on his bed roll. Then Crow began to speak. “When I was a little boy in my grandfather’s village there were tales of such beings who dwelt among the darkest parts of the forest. To most of us it was only a tale to frighten the children. But to some of the  elders it was taken much more seriously. The stories captured my imagination more than it did my friends. So one night I asked my father to tell me the truth. He did not want to at first but I was a stubborn child and continued asking every chance I got. My father was one of the hunters of our village and was gone often. So I would ask him whenever he would return from the hunt which was not that often. Finally one night at the fire he had grown tired enough to finally tell me just to shut me up I’m thinking.” Dead Crow chuckled quietly at the recollection. His eyes suddenly grew sad. Eli watched his friend with growing concern. Crow continued, “My father told me that Yee Naaldlooshii was very real and to never underestimate the tales that are spoken from the tongues of the elders, for they are wise and know much. My father told me only fools push aside such tales and consider them to be nonsense. And it is such fools who become prey to the forest demons.” Crow paused a moment to push a burning log further into the coals with a stick. The fire popped loudly throwing sparks into the air while both men sat quiet and watched as they floated up into the air and into the limbs of the pine forest like spirits until they disappeared. Crow looked back down and continued, “so I asked my father if he had ever seen one of the forest demons. He became very serious and looked sternly at me. It made me take pause and hesitate for I had never seen such a look in my father’s eyes. I could only sit there and watch my father while the fire made shadows dance and play across his face and on the walls of our lodge. Then he leaned close, so close our noses were almost touching and he whispered one word to me…yes, he said. Then he told me that I must never say its name above a whisper,  especially in the woods. If I ever encountered one of the forest demons that I must never speak to it even if it speaks to me first. And my father told me that I must never for any reason go to its beckon call. Even if it sounds like one of my loved ones calling for me. He made me promise him that I would follow all these things and remember them. So I did.” Crow looked away from the flames to look at his friend. “This night you have seen that what my father said was the truth.”

Eli nodded gravely to his friend. “What you have said is true, Crow.” But Eli was a very perceptive man and the great sadness in Dead Crow’s eyes did not escape him. Eli turned once again to his friend and asked, “Crow my brother, why do I see sadness in your eyes? Does it bode ill for you and I?” Crow smiled at Ghost and shook his head. “I could never get anything past you could I brother?” Eli smiled back and shook his head no. “This isn’t over is it?” Crow looked Ghost in his eyes. The sadness was still there. “No my friend this is not over… for Ghost Bull and Dead Crow will not see tomorrow’s sun.”

Half an hour later Dead Crow looked at Ghost Bull and quietly said, “We must prepare.” Eli nodded gravely. He had accepted his fate. He had come to terms with the very probable outcome of sudden death years ago during his first winter spent completely alone and isolated in his dugout cabin. The Cheyenne warrior nodded back with pride to his friend. Crow knew Eli to be a man amongst men even though Eli did not feel that way, mostly because of his humble nature. Dead Crow had seen Eli fearlessly wade into battle too many times to believe him to be anything but a great warrior. Big medicine. Now, however, he only smiled and shook his head. Eli’s humility was just another of the reasons that endeared him to his friend.

Eli watched Crow now as his friend reached into a soft leather pouch and brought out what looked like a reddish powder. Eli knew it was ocher. A dried reddish clay that had been crushed to a fine powder. As he watched, Crow reached toward the fire and slid a curved piece of birchbark out of the coals that held a greasy oil rendered down from the Buffalo fat. He began mixing the ocher into the liquid fat until it had the consistency of a thick paste. With the rest of the melted fat crow crushed a piece of charcoal from the fire into it and also mixed it into a paste. He took the bark with the red and black paint and sat down in front of Eli. He looked at his friend and held his gaze for a moment before speaking. “Brother,” he said as he dipped his index and middle finger into the red paint. Eli’s heart began to beat very fast. He knew that Crow was doing him a great honor by applying warpaint. This was something that had not happened to Eli even though he had fought by the side of the Cheyenne many times in the past two years. He felt a deep pride swell up in his heart as well as gratitude to his dear friend. “Brother,” he said once again, and began dragging his two fingers down Eli’s forehead just above his right eye. “I put here the sign of thunder. For you will be fast and you will be powerful in the battle against our enemy. Eli now had a red lightning bolt down his four head above his right eye. Crow then took some black paint and covered the palm of his hand with it, then pressed it across Eli’s face. When Crow removed his hand there was a black handprint across most of the left side of Eli’s face from his left eye down to his chin. Crow said, “I place this black hand for I know you’re a great warrior. I have seen you in battle and I know you to be fearless. I mark you for all Cheyenne to see. I mark you for your enemies to behold, who are also my enemies. And none shall oppose it, for I am Okóhké. Dog Soldier of the Cheyenne. Eli felt an intense pride like he had never known. He sat rigid watching crow as he spoke. Crow placed the paint down and began looking back up at Eli saying, “It is an honor to have fought at your s-” and then broke off. Just over Eli’s shoulder, Crow caught sight of a quick flash of eye shine just outside the ring of light, but quickly recovered himself and finished, “to have fought at your side, Ghost Bull.”

“What is it?” Eli asked in a whisper. Crow shook his head, “it is nothing,” he said. Eli picked up the paint to show his respect to Crow and dipped his own finger into the red paint. Before he looked up, Crow darted his eyes around and realized there were at least two Forrest demons just beyond the trees behind Eli. He took a deep breath and stayed calm while Eli painted the same symbols on Crow’s face. As Eli was applying the last of the paint he too caught sight of eyes shine beyond the trees in the dark of the woods. He had also paused momentarily and said to Dead Crow in and a faint whisper,” there is one just outside the trees behind you brother.” Dead crow nodded and then whispered, “I have seen two behind you as well.” Eli said, “So, we are facing at least three of ‘em.” Dead Crow nodded gravely but the two men kept their composure. The two men stood and began preparing and looking over their weapons. When they were satisfied Dead Crow walked back to Eli and said, “We have little time but I must do something first. Will you join me in my song to the one above… join me in my death song?” Eli looked sharply at his friend. looked Dead Crow in his eye and said shakily, “It would be my greatest honor, brother.” Dead Crow gave a little smile and motioned for Eli to join him at the fire. It was at that moment the forest demons made their presence known as harsh screeches and cries floated in from the darkness from what seemed to the two men to be all sides. When Eli looked over at Crow, he took heart as the warrior showed no signs of fear.

As the terrifying sounds continued in the dark of the forest surrounded the two men they stood facing the fire with their backs to the darkness. Dead crow said to Eli we must make our peace with the one above, with the creator. Mateo.

They both snapped their heads over and watched as one of the creatures that into the ring of light and screamed at them. Before either man could react the creature jumped backwards back into the darkness once again. “They are hidden bolder”, Eli said to Crow. The warrior nodded and turned immediately back to the fire. while holding his hands out palms up, he began chanting something very quietly at first but then loud enough so that Eli could hear the words. Dead Crow would chant the verse quietly and then more forcefully as Eli joined him on the repetition. As the two friends moved through the verses and began chanting with more force and confidence the creatures outside of the ring of light grew louder and louder with their vocalization. Now it sounded like there were too many forest demons to count Eli thought. The angry creatures’ screeches and roars came from all directions and Eli concentrated all of his will into the death song to tune out the sounds. The two men joined voices one last time:

* “The sun sets at night and the stars shun the day,
But glory remains when the light fades away.
Begin, tormentors, your threats are in vain,
For the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

Remember the arrows he shot from his bow;
Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low;
Why so slow? do I shrink from my pain?
No! the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

I’ll go to the land where my father is gone;
His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son;
Death comes like a friend to relieve me from pain;
And thy son, O Alknomook, has scorn’d to complain!”

“My life, now over, a dead man you see
My heart long broken, this world I now flee.
The wings of my spirit must carry me high.
A tear on my cheek, I’m ready to die.”

When the men finished this last verse they looked back down as all the creatures that had surrounded them stepped into the light. There were so many. So so Many. Too many. Eli and Crow looked again at each and clasped each other on the shoulders one last time, both of the young men smiling. Neither man in that one moment in time caring that the forest demons had begun closing in on them. Dead Crow whispered, “My friend.” Eli whispered, “My brother.

Then the men instantly became warriors. Dead Crow readied his stone war axe in one hand and his deadly lance in the other as Ghost Bull drew his two tomahawks. They put their backs to each other and waited as the hellspawn moved in warily, their rasping breaths and garbled screeches growing louder.

And then Dead Crow let loose a war cry that would have rallied his long-dead ancestors. It was loud and powerful. It strengthened Eli’s spirit to the very core and inspired in him a battle cry of his own. Before their cries faded, the creatures pounced.

* * * * * *

In the Northern pines near the Rocky Mountains, next to a small unnamed river, two friends did battle against impossible odds. Dead Crow and Ghost Bull fought with all they had. They did not make it easy for the Forrest Demons. They fought bravely. Fearlessly. They fought more viciously against the ancient evil than any two mortals had any right to. In the end, against such numbers, they fell. But they fell together, and not before leaving their mark on this world. And not before chanting loudly, the death song of Ghost and Crow.

* Excerpt from: The DEATH SONG OF THE CHEROKEE INDIAN  Words by Anne Hunter (1742-1821), printed London, 1784.

Rating: 9.67/10. From 3 votes.
Please wait...


🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Drew Blood
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Drew Blood


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Drew Blood:

Bury Me in Smoke
Average Rating:
8.5

Bury Me in Smoke

Plastic Jesus
Average Rating:
9.5

Plastic Jesus

Related Stories:

No posts found.

You Might Also Enjoy:

The Cove
Average Rating:
6.67

The Cove

The Shadow out of Time
Average Rating:
10

The Shadow out of Time

Room 404: Not Found
Average Rating:
9.13

Room 404: Not Found

Sunken Tunnels of Light
Average Rating:
9.5

Sunken Tunnels of Light

Recommended Reading:

Too Spooky Tales: Book Three: Echos Of The Passed
The Age of Reckoning: Volume 1 (The World of Naeisus)
Midnight Men: The Supernatural Adventures of Earl and Dale
The Untold

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Skip to content