by Tom H. Brooks 3

…An ashy gray morning…a small village in eastern Europe, Romania perhaps.  Cooking fire smoke rises in distinctive spirals from the chimneys of ramshackle medieval houses.  The streets are desolate, forbidding, empty..save for one sad, shuffling figure dressed in dirty gray rags.  He lurches down a dirty cobbled alley.  Large black crows line the rooftops on each side of the lane, muttering amongst themselves, cryptically.  The old man on the street is weak and starving- dying, as it were.  He is at death’s door as he takes a harsh gasp, hacks a bone-rattling cough and stumbles again and falls, crashing to the street in a heap of filth and chicken bones and rubbish.  The largest crow is already wheeling in lazy circles overhead..
the final curtain call
He lands with a graceful flap of his giant black wings and with glittering ebony eyes.
“Eat, or be eaten,” says he, with a squawk, and with that, he swiftly pecks out the eyeball of the lifeless corpse and swallows it whole…

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