Heather's human eyelids fluttered open just before dawn. Her fragile bony body lay curled in the corner of an empty room, old wallpaper peeling in loose ribbons along the walls. The soft purple glow of predawn light filtered in through the cracked glass of the adjacent window. Heather sat up, feeling sore for the first time in her life. She was alone.
The nymph bolted into a standing position, accidentally waking Mouse and Hiss in the process. The two creatures writhed in protest but eventually became alert as well. All three had sensed something was not right.
On light feet, Heather peered into the other rooms. Three other bodies lay spread eagle across the floor that was covered in dots of blood and ash. Heather watched for a moment as the three men snored through their dreams. Sitting along the opposite window, Okohke watched as the stars began to slowly lose their light. That made four out of the five men accounted for.
Heather approached Okohke. "Where's Saleem?" she asked in a gentle voice.
Without turning, Okohke replied with a sigh, "he's gone off to a place I cannot touch."
Unsure of what the crow-man meant, Heather simply nodded. "When will he be back? Will he ever be back?"
"That is a question I continue to ask myself," Okohke responded vaguely. Heather was not satisfied.
"Why did he leave?" she persisted.
"I think the person to ask for that question is Engle." The crow-man turned his head then and glanced at Engle's limp body. "Take watch, alright? I need some rest too."
Heather was then left staring out the window, contemplating over the mystery of Saleem's sudden disappearance.