The chaos was palpable, even though most of the players had departed the stage.
A few large shiny black feathers were a clue to the original sitter. On close inspection, several of them had tiny teeth marks. On even closer inspection, a whisker or two might be found near the feathers.
A lone jawbone hinted that their may have been some props on the table. The rest of the skull, however, was no longer center stage. Feeling that something may be watching, you look away from the empty table and spot the skull off to the side, clearly wishing it has its jawbone from the way it stares wistfully at the table.
There may be a player or two lurking, waiting for a new victim to pounce upon. A rustling noise leads the eye to the top of a tall wardrobe, where a somewhat bedraggled raven sits above its door, feathers in disarray. It is no longer a patient bird, having endured at least one kitten’s attention.
The remaining kitten struts proudly back and forth in front of the wardrobe, then bounds over once it notices that it has an audience.
Being on a mission did not have to mean I was too short of time to admire this year’s fashions. Especially when the case took us through the core of the district and all the shop windows were freshly decorated.
It stood there on a mannequin, one that lacked details like head, hands, or feet. It was also an unnatural pale blue color. Often, that odd color would throw off the clothes. This time it mostly held the eye long enough for the figure to resonate. Perhaps the black fabric had a hint of the blue cast on it?
The window also held a ballgown or two, probably in blues as that was the fashionable color. But they were secondary. The only thing that mattered was the tuxedo. It called out to me on some base level, perhaps through the use of some subtle magic to reinforce the call, or perhaps just because I suddenly wanted to own that tuxedo.
Regardless, the jacket only needed a touch of tailoring for comfort, almost as if they had sized it to catch my eye then conceal my weapon. Or perhaps some old trickster knew I could be captivated.
Slowly the Eye came into focus, on one of many bowers made of twigs that we had examined so far today.
We were in luck this time.
Finally, we had one that was occupied. Sunlight filtered in through the lightly leafed canopy, dappling the shiny black feathers with dots of light.
Light that was not quite right. The eclipse was only partial there, and the gaps in the leaves were forming many pinhole cameras projecting the sliver of the sun’s disk onto any surface that would stand still. The effect was that some edges were blurred, and some were extremely sharp.
The bird saw none of this, of course. Or if it did, it wasn’t paying attention to celestial events.
As the Eye came into focus, the bird’s attention did turn to stare directly into the Eye’s point of view. Almost as if the bird could do the impossible, and see the effect of the Eye presence in its bower. An Eye that was hundreds of miles away.
Ravens, are smarter than most realize. This Raven certainly knew something was up. Perhaps it had noticed the eclipse and was on the lookout for additional weirdness. Or perhaps it was just guessing.