The Woman Who Breathes Death (Part One)

The crows were relentless with their constant calls at night. It seemed like no matter how deep into the forest I traveled the crows followed. One would start cawing every so often and then a murder of them would slowly join in as my journey continued—it was a natural symphony among the dark forest. I quickly adjusted to the sound.

Surprisingly enough, the crows even followed me on my next journey through the forest, this time traveling by hired carriage. The powerful sound coming from hooves trotting across gravel and dirt was no match for the crows’ calling. I pulled aside the curtain to my window and looked out into the forest, watching the crows travel with me from a distance. Whenever they flew a bit further ahead of the carriage the crows would rest on the outstretched branches until they made eye contact with me. In some kind of way, I rather enjoyed the avian company.

“It seems like the bird are extra lively tonight, eh?”

The voice of the carriage driver broke my focus. I changed my attention from my window and looked at the small window that connected the back of the carriage to the front. I pulled a small string on the side, opening the curtain.

“They do seem rather anxious tonight,” I replied. “They must be sensing something nasty going on nearby.”

“Stories tell of crows cawin’ when death be near, when the reaper himself walks among the livin’.”

I felt myself gaining an interest in continuing the conversation with the driver. I was curious as to what the driver looked like, but the darkness within the carriage mimicked the forest: barren and desolate with little light. I, however, had a talent to fix this.

I closed my eyes for a moment and opened them as wide as possible for another. A gentle warmth rested behind my right eye, soothing and pleasant to feel. That warmth gave me newfound sight within that eye. My left eye witnessed nature, its lack of light and the true dark that the human eye could perceive. My right eye saw everything in clarity—a faint red tinted covered everything, but I was able to see the divisions of similar colors with ease and could distinguish light from the dark with ease. I could see the dark mahogany coloring of the carriage and the blue curtains that covered every window. And straight ahead I could see the graying color of the driver’s amber hair.

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