The Crow sat on a fence post, watching the dead as they walked by. Glassy black eyes met soulless dead orbs as the shambling cadavers crawled and climbed over each other in an attempt to reach the Crow, the solid fence post keeping them from doing so. Why the Crow continued to sit and stare, well, that is a story unto itself.
This Crow saw the first of the dead fall, and the first of the dead to rise. Sitting on this very fence post, he witnessed a man fall down, clutching his chest and making pained grunts. Dozens rushed to his aid, while the Crow ruffled his feathers-he’d known death when he saw it. The man had passed quickly and risen even faster, grabbing one of his would be saviors by the leg and biting into her calf, before grappling a man to the ground and tearing out his throat.
That was what had been wrong with Man, the Crow thought. They weren’t predators anymore. With everything that they had, they no longer had the fight-or-flight response ticking in the back of their mind. And because they lacked this particular chime, fourteen people were bitten in less than two minutes, and all had turned in another ten. The streets had become awash with blood as the dead roamed about, lashing out at anything with a pulse. But still the Crow watched.
Now, the whole town of people had been turned, or was finely holed up somewhere safe to hide. And this left the crowd of the hungering dead alone with the Crow, who looked down at them dispassionately. A flicker of movement across the street caught the Crow’s keen eye; a boy, a young boy, was sneaking around the crowd with three others, his family. They all looked haggard, some had cuts on their bodies from unknown sources… all of them looked terrified.
This won’t do, thought the Crow. And so the Crow fluttered from its place high on the post, gathering the attention of the crowd of hungering dead, and flew over the family, landing on a car next to them.
These humans won’t learn unless we really beat this lesson into them this time, the Crow thought, thinking of the tales the other Crows told of the Black Death, when humanity had become complacent and overpopulated. We need to thin the herd every once in a while.
The Crow hopped from the roof of the car, squawking loudly as the dead rushed over, swarming over the screaming children, the parents doing their best to fend off the angry clawing and vicious biting. The Crow fluttered to a branch in a nearby tree, where it could watch the blood spatter and the muscles snap, and see the glimmer of life fade from the eyes of each and every one of the people that had tried to sneak by. The last to fall was the boy, who broke into a dead sprint to try and escape his pursuers. But he ran right into a mob as he rounded the corner, being pulled into the gelatinous mass of death with a flurry of rotting hands, ripping and tearing at his tender flesh until his very frame snapped beneath the strain.
Nobody outruns Death… the Crow thought, looking up into the clear blue sky. Not even me…