The crow flew over the field, taking in the full moon as it emerged from behind the clouds. It let out a caw as it neared the outskirts of a small town. There it would find its sustenance. The food that would replenish the strength it had lost so long ago.
A screech from overhead was accompanied by the sound of wings larger than his own and he sped up, circling and rising to confront this new nuisance.
A buzzard-hawk was flying directly at him, talons outstretched, aiming for the kill.
The crow dodged and flew at the larger bird in warning, only to be buffeted by the hawk as it came at him again.
I am not going to be someone’s food, the crow thought. He flew downward until he was almost at ground level. Then he shook as if in pain until a dark-haired man with shocking blue eyes stood where he had been. He reached out and in a swift motion, grabbed the hawk by its neck. He was about to twist its head off when it, too transformed, another man standing before him. The man stared at him with eyes that seemed both brown and blue, his medium brown hair reminding him of the hawk the man had been.
“Well, well,” said the man who had been a crow. “What have we got here? What’s your name, fella?”
“Desdinova,” the other man told him. “Formerly Imaginos. In avian form I’m called Buzzardo. And may I know the name of the man I am speaking to? You don’t feel like one of Les Invisibles.”
“Les Invisibles,” the other man pondered. “Nope, never heard of them.”
“Then you’re not with the Blue Oyster Cult,” Desdinova reasoned.
“The alien consciousness,” Desdinova explained.
“Nope, but I’d love to meet ‘em,” the man extended his hand. “Flagg. Randall Flagg.”
Desdinova reached out to shake the man’s hand, suddenly finding himself drawn into a tight embrace.
Flagg leaned in for the kiss, eager to taste the lips of another like himself. Male. Female. Such things meant nothing to him, unless he was out for breeding. He’d tried that once, with disastrous results. Lust for the sake of lust, that was all he cared about insofar as such things were concerned.
What in the name of the Blue Oyster Cult does this bastard think he’s doing?!
Desdinova transformed again into Buzzardo and pecked at Flagg’s face, forcing the other man to release him before he flew skyward once again.
Taking his crow form once more, Flagg rose to meet the one who had so callously rejected him.
I didn’t say you could fly off! Flagg sent a thought out, somehow knowing Desdinova could hear it.
I didn’t say you could kiss me, Came the angry reply in Flagg’s mind.
I order you to land at once, my love, Flagg said, gently.
You order me? The voice of Desdinova was hard and cold. No one orders me except Blue Oyster Cult. Only the servants of Les Invisibles are my masters. Not an insignificant little chicken like you.
Flagg was outraged. He spread his wings and dove at Buzzardo getting in an unexpected nip at the other bird’s neck before the larger bird threw him off in a spin and dove at him.
Buzzardo grabbed Flagg in his talons, flying over a lake and swooping down to dunk the crow under the water for a long while before finally depositing the dark bird on the shore and flying upward a short distance and turning back into Desdinova
Flagg reverted to human form and sat on the shore, his clothes and body soaking wet.
“Well,” he smiled. “I guess I’ll have to get naked now. I’m drenched.”
“Go ahead,” Desdinova shrugged. “It’s so cold out right now, you’re likely to be just as well-endowed in your human form as you are as a bird.”
“You suffer the same fate, my darling,” Flagg told him.
“One, I am not your darling,” Desdinova growled. “And two, I know what fate I suffer. I heard your thoughts earlier. Even the ones you didn’t mean for me to hear. Where you failed, I succeeded. I have children in this world. Twins, if you must know. You cannot say the same.”
“Cold,” Flagg smiled. “Colder than a glacier. We are alike, my love. You are the one I have sought all my existence. You are the cold that will quench my fire.”
“I have a world to remake,” Desdinova said. “And the first step is taking you out of it. Be warned, you have no place in my heart. Nor will you ever. She holds that forever in her hands.”
“She!” Flagg laughed. “She whom I am sure is long since dead! She who has already served her purpose and has given you children. Of what use is her rotting corpse? Move on, my friend. Move on and let me embrace you!”
“I shall move on,” Desdinova vowed. “I shall destroy you and your shadow and the world will be all the better. And then I shall move on.”
Flagg suddenly pinned Desdinova down, leaning in once more. But Desdinova pushed him off and pinned Flagg instead.
“Try it once more,” Desdinova warned, “and you will lose both eyes and more. You will not take me that way, Randall Flagg.”