Second Boyhood

Perhaps it was the fact that he was old, or that his back ached dully at this time of year; maybe it was because the flame of his humanity was – if not quite extinguished – certainly guttering in a cold, hard, world-weary wind, but when Marcus saw a murder of crows converge on some beautiful, grey, mist-eyed shape in the middle of his frost-bitten field, he just stood there at the window, sipped at his lukewarm tea and thought let the bastards feed.

The crows piled in, tore themselves a strip of smoky, insubstantial flesh, and wheeled off into a sky the colour of blood-encrusted bandages. As it unwound, the creature in the field made the sound of a haunted wind blowing through telephone wires, and Marcus wondered if it was the last of its kind.

Then he wondered if it was too early for a smoke, and tottered off to cadge a rizla off of The Colonel.

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