Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Madness of Crows: Part Five

ANNIE STARED AT THE THREE nightmares on the veranda. Having found their way out of the dark, they hadn't quite got it right -- their skin was like alabaster, their eyes the silver of ghostlight. Shadows clung to their eyelashes, their fingers, threaded from their lips. They must be young, Annie thought, for their kind.
    The Empress of Ravens drew closer. "I'm Nadine. The tall one is Krysto. The other's Johnny. Those aren't our real names, of course."
    As Annie drew back into the house, the soles of her Converses squeaking against hardwood, she whispered, "I know what you are."
    "She's got the sight." The tall twin was attempting to sneak himself over the threshold -- a hand, a booted toe. "We should blind her."
    "Go away." Annie, who didn't wear iron or silver, realized they couldn't get over the threshold. They had to follow the rules which kept them in their shapes. "Or I'll tell Absalom you were here."
    The name worked. They retreated.
    "We'll see you around." Nadine, shimmering, turned and sauntered away. "Annie Weaver."
    The Magpie Knights smiled and ambled from the veranda. Silvery dust swept from their moth-pale hair.
    When Annie had been twelve, one of their kind, the crom cu, the crooked dog, had murdered her sister. But they weren't all bad, the Fatas, the children of nothing and night.
   She knew a few.

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