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Day of Crow

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“I’ve always hated crows…” Finch said one day, siting in the park alongside Reese as they watched Bear frolic around with some other city dogs. The ex-op stared sideways toward the cripple, watching those pale blue eyes roam over a murder of crows near a trash bin.

“And why’s that?” Reese asked, a bit intrigued by the random reveal of information, his mind hungrily storing it away. Harold moved his leg a bit, sighing in pain before staring at Bear, he didn’t say anything for a long while, and John didn’t pry.

“… There always so…dark. Like they hint at the very meaning of death, there call itself can be freighting in the right moments. And Edgar Allan Poe did not help with their natural presence… beyond that, they feed off death. The scavengers of life that rots away, I find it… unnerving.” The billionaire nearly whispered, his voice carried by the dying cold of winter, spring time within grasp. Reese was a bit shocked by the way the older man had spoken of the feathered beasts. Steel eyes tracked the movement of a particularly interesting crow as it tore apart a hot dog a passerby had tossed into the bin. Watched as the beak opened widely to accommodate the chunk of meat as it swallowed it whole and cawed, the scratch of its voice reaching their ears.

Neither of them spoke after that, content to thrive off the warmth they made sitting this close, thighs brushing, just barely touching.

-:-

Screaming.

The sound of tires squealing away.

Gasping.

The fading ring of a gunshot.

Reese felt the cooling cement of the side walk press into his side, his vision blurring, leg aching. The hit had been fast, unexpected; the men had targeted them out skillfully, probably hired by their latest number. Or maybe not. His left leg had been grazed by a bullet, the crimson blood further darkening his slacks, the warmth was sticky. Luckily it only skimmed the flesh near his outer femur, he wouldn’t have wanted to break that bone, and nobody would.

Bear was franticly barking, bouncing around and running circles around the ex-op, fur on end as he did so, fangs bared and bloody themselves. Looks like one hit man wasn’t so lucky, as well as the one Reese had shot as the car speed off, the back window shot out. Lifting to his knees, John scanned the area, making sure no threats were left in the area. All the commotion had caused a crowd, screaming and all dialing 911, Reese felt the dread creeping up on him.

There was no little voice in his ear.

Pushing to his feet, Reese whipped his head from side to side, remembering that Harold was limping beside him as they crossed the side walk across from the park, going to take Bear for a walk. The car had raced by a red light, nearly running over some of the crowd as the bullets were fired. Reese had managed to jump to the side, instinct driving him to survive. He’d dropped his gun in the ruckus… and had lost track of Finch.

The larger group of people was fanned out near the street intersection, Reese felt his pulse quicken as he stepped over to them, wavering to the side, nearly toppling over. Bears barking fizzled into the background, the rapid chatter of society faded to a constant buzz, his heart hammered into the distance.

Blood splattered the worn ground below, old gum smashed into the pavement, small pebbles shinning with the crimson liquid. Pale skin dripped with cold, the creamy features looking blanch in comparison to the red. A pair of cracked frames was frozen in the ground, the glass fogging up as a bead of blood slide over the fractured piece of glass.

Gravel bite at his knees as the taller man collapsed to grasp his partner. The recluse was cold, unresponsive; eyes were still open, mouth slightly ajar. Freezing fingers felt for a pulse, raced over the edge of a dynamic suit, clutched at the very entity to survival.

Nothing.

The crowd had shushed; watching as the ex-op franticly tried to recesitate an already dead man, and watched as despair followed sorrow.  A flicker of movement caught Reese’s eye, fingers bloodied and twitching as he wiped his head around to watch as a single crow landed near his missing firearm.

Its feathers looked damp, glossy as it stepped onto the pedestal that was the butt of the glock. Its head swiveled back in a fluid movement as it studied the sight before it, cocking its head and absorbing the sight with its soulless black eyes. Even the crowd got quite as the eerie cry of a lone crow filtered through the setting sun.

And Reese couldn’t stop his screaming.

-:-

I’ve always hated crows…There always so…dark. Like they hint at the very meaning of death, there call itself can be freighting in the right moments. And Edgar Allan Poe did not help with their natural presence… beyond that, they feed off death. The scavengers of life that rots away, I find it… unnerving.