Oblivion roiled. Its spiralling power whipped and twisted, propelled by winds unknown. Coils reached out and brushed the edge. The amphitheatre groaned, tilting slightly. The shadows had long since fled, even they could not stand its gnawing on their souls. Yet toward the heart of nothing something moved. The crow soared from the tunnel, lunging toward the stage. It landed beside a shattered door and pecked at the wood. A tiny glimmer of light fell from a crack. The crow snapped it up immediately. One beady eye lifted to a towering figure who had not been there a moment ago.
“Thought you'd be down here,” it croaked.
The figure gathered its robe about it. Sequins shined in Oblivion's black light like stars of rust. Its angular mask bowed, the curved beak extending almost to its waist.
“I find myself in need of a favour. But one simple request,” parroted the crow.
The birdman spoke “To absorb without losing. To portray but not overshadow. To play and then to fade,”
The crow ruffled its feathers. “Yeah, yeah. It was pretty good, if you like not making sense,”
One jewelled eye looked down. “I find myself in need of a favour. But one simple request,”
The crow's beak opened then shut.
The birdman turned away. “Perhaps you are busy,” It glided away, toward the tunnel entrance.
The crow hopped after, wings aflutter. “Hey now, I didn't say that. I'm already in to me neck with the bosses. They're gonna throw a fit when they hear you let a live one down here,”
“No more alive than they themselves,”
The crow caught up the birdman, careful never to touch the robe. “Yes well, that's a point of view. Now what ya need?”
It stopped, jerking to a strange halt. The head twisted until the mask faced behind, looking right at the stumbling crow. “You are a carrion crow,”
“Can we fast forward to the job?” the crow interjected.
The mask tilted to one side, perhaps put out. “I have need of an eye,”
The crow leapt into the air, flapping the few feet to land on a step before the birdman. Its mask turned to follow. “My speciality. What you want it for?” the crow asked. It did not expect a straight answer. It was not disappointed.
“What is the difference between comedy and tragedy?”
The crow pondered a moment. “Like, funny haha?”
The birdman spoke only to itself. “Something to do with the ending,”