(In order to better motivate myself to work on a novella that I started last year, I plan to occasionally post little excerpts, sketches, and ideas here. These may or may not wind up as part of the final work, if in fact, a final work ever is produced.)
Strutting along the antenna, twenty stories above the crashing sea, the crow was a moving painting, colored vividly by the light of the setting sun. Ruffled feathers, glittering eye, he was an agitated study in deep charcoal, cobalt blues, and oil-slick opalescence.
On many a day, this crow might be found here, admiring himself, studying his fine reflection in the glass of the control system dials. Or he might be frolicking in the stiff updraft of the winds rushing over the seawall, or croaking out territorial challenges, or flirting, soaring low over the rookeries, or talking history with the murder, recounting the histories of the surrounding places (histories that generally revolved around the memories of particularly fine scavenging). But not today.
The others were keeping distant. Earlier, they had fluttered away upon his approach. The crow paced, turned to peck at the itch of a mite. The morning, so recent, was a muddled confusion. Now images, fragmentary and alien, flashed into his thoughts. He contemplated briefly a sudden, unbroken dive down to the sea-rocks, shattering amidst the ruins of this waning day.
Words formed. Words that were unfamiliar, but their meaning was clear.
The crow didn’t dive. He didn’t look at his reflection in the machinery of the pumping station. He knew what he would see. He’d seen the glint of metal on the back of crows’ heads before.
He knew that he had been split apart from the murder forever.