Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Hawk left the brightly-lit convenience store to find the fog thicker than ever. He shuffled his wing and tail feathers to one side to tuck the magazine into his back pocket, and then opened the can he'd bought, taking a sip as he walked.

Numair glanced at his watch as he approached another orangish light source in the fog. Something buzzed near his face just then, causing him to look up.

He was almost to a subway entrance, where stairs descended into the sidewalk outside an unlit building, beneath a sign reading 'WOODELF ST STATION.' Standing silently near the entrance, leaning up against the wall with his arms crossed, was a figure. His face was obscured by the combination of a hoodie and baseball cap.

There was more buzzing around Numair's head, but he ignored it and straightened up, taking a deep breath. As he passed the man, he could feel himself being noticed. The man straightened up as well, gaze following Numair as he approached the stairs--and then stopped.

At his feet, he saw a black pool of water. The edges of it shone, coming just up to the toe of his boot. He couldn't see a bottom, but there was something pale swimming silently in it. The pale thing was long and snakelike, its head invisible somewhere below the surface.

Numair looked up.

A larger figure had emerged from the entrance to the subway and was now standing with one hand-like foot at the top step, partly blocking the stairs. The light from the station sign limned the figure, outlining a bulky, almost human shape, but with a bushy tail and a furry head with pointed ears. The eyes were two beady close-set pinpricks, reflecting brightly orange.

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