It looked even longer, and darker, than before. Crows swarmed the desolate corridor, cawing and hopping excitedly among the rusting dumpsters and scattered garbage. I didn’t need to speak their language to know their cause for celebration.
A distant thunder shook the blacktop at my feet. It seemed I was to be graced with one last rainstorm. A final shower to douse whatever fire I had left.
The crows seemed unperturbed by the chance for rain. They only loomed over me, calming in unison, as I took my first steps. I could feel them, their eyes on me. They bore holes in my weakening body with famished stares and poisoned it with a venomous silence. A haunting quietude that could push a man to scream if only to break it for a moment’s peace.
In fact, that’s exactly what I did. As I walked, I looked back at them on their perches, screaming with what little breath I had left. I turned to the birds on their fire escapes and window ledges, shouting at them to leave me. I’d swing an arm and lurch at them, when I could. Not one of them flinched, like they’d anticipated it.