Something was off.
The night was clear, the moon bright and full in the sky. Things were as smelly and dank as ever, the usual critters scampering about in garbage and filth. It was only an odd feeling, a strange apprehension of sorts that had Crow unusually tense. She had only managed to eliminate a small handful of demons, all still in the early stages of fusing. The only way for such beings to leave the lower realm was to posses one of the humans, feeding violently upon their soul, and eventually burst out of the host body, grotesque and looking to wreak havoc. Crow killed them before they could. The human was lost in the process, but it was a small sacrifice for the suffering prevented. Besides, it was her one and only purpose.
The rank smell of demon hit her nose like a blow, giving her cloaked eyes cause to glance around nervously, seeking out the origin of the stench. She instantly focused on a middle-aged woman walking down the street below her, wheeling a bright blue stroller with her eyes glued to the pavement.
Crow spread her wings slightly, gliding to the ground, and folded them quickly, striding from shadow to shadow in pursuit of the woman, a gloved hand inching toward one of the twin blades strapped onto her back. She heard the quiet gurgling of an infant, followed by loud, pitiful cries echoing from the stroller and into the streets. The woman stopped, turned the stroller to face her, and engrossed herself in pacifying her child, the attempts only bringing on louder sobs. Crow took advantage of her prey’s distraction and, taking the few steps it took to reach the human, let the sword dance from its sheath and into her hands. All it took was a single blow and the mortal collapsed, blood slickening her pink woollen sweater even as she gasped for breath, a thin hand reaching desperately towards the now-silent child.
Life left her quickly, her final moment spent in producing a crystal tear that slid from her eyes, down her cold face, and onto the unforgiving sidewalk. Crow neared the stroller with a heavy heart, noting the splatters of red on the otherwise innocent blue fabric, staining the teddy bears printed onto it. She pushed back the rain hood and stared.
Two pale blue eyes stared back, set in a soft, round face that was sprinkled with dried blood. The baby put a tiny finger two his fuzzy brown hat and, to Crow’s surprise, reached it out towards her.
She felt herself touch his head, putting him to sleep, before watching as his mother was blown into the wind, nothing but ashes. A hand roughly brushed away the water gathering in her eyes, freezing as her earlier sense of premonition returned, full-force.
Crow had little time to think before the ground opened up beneath her, an unseen force dragging her into the abyss, and the light was shut from her sight.