FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
RATING/PAIRING: Wait for it.
DISCLAIMERS: Definitely violates copyright, but not commercial dominion.
CATEGORY: Mood piece, vignette, ongoing?
DATE POSTED: April 10, 2005
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Just a little experiment. Lets see how she travels. Precedes Bad Grammar.
FEEDBACK: Go ahead. Make my day.
See the dark towers rising into the sky - the architecture clawing upwards to the sky as if each edifice were attempting to break out of the darkness and find some small measure of heaven. One or two succeed. But for the rest... It is so hard. The city does not give up her children to the skies so easily. As high as this concrete jungle grows, her roots run deep, just like a real jungle. The roots run deep - deeper than the structure above ground - into hell. No one lives here but is touched by darkness in some way. Even the innocent here are not truly innocent, they all understand the darkness. Even the city's champions are predators of the darkness.
Can you feel it? The darkness is all around you. It is alive. Quick, look. There. Behind a cornice, a shadow moves. No. Here, atop the buttress, something stands. Behind you, a shadow stalks. Faster than you can feel your fear, the darkness moves. Don't you see? You shouldn't be out here. You never know when it's out to get you.
The darkness is the jungle. It waits. It grows. Left to itself darkness creeps - through the city - into places it shouldn't be. Where it's not wanted. The darkness needs to be tended, like a fire, like a hedge. It needs to be banked, trimmed, beat back, clipped. Without a guardian, the darkness is a wilful child, running recklessly through the streets. It has no conscience, no morals, and no discretion. Without a master, the darkness is an animal - like a pet gone feral it tears all that stands in its way - a dangerous animal. For too long, this city has stood without a guardian of the dark.
Tonight, the darkness stalks. It has waited for this moment. It is impatient. It is filled with hunger and restlessness. It feels the darkness on the other side of the walls, and it calls. Dark tendrils lap around, corners wrap around, the dark parts. The dark is darkness' friend. It smells its prey - their scent carried up on stirrings of the sultry air - and licks its lips.
Tonight, the darkness hunts.
The dark hunter cocks a head, to hear a voice carried on some ethereal wind. Then, as if heeding that voice, it attacks. Fangs bared, claws unsheathed, full feral strength unleashed, it leaps as gracefully as a panther. The poor men below - they had no chance. For so long, the darkness had shielded them; but tonight, it has turned on them. Suddenly, the dark corridors of the building in which they hide, turn into deadly traps. The snaking hallways, meant to confuse pursuers and attackers, turn against their inhabitants. Their screams shatter the night as sharply as the staccato stuttering of guns. Guns do not stop it, fear heightened ears do not perceive it, but something is after them tonight. One by one they fall. Every gun gone silent is a fallen one of them. Every door crashing, every thud, like a sack hitting the ground - is one of them. With the crackling of radios, and the cocking of safeties, they close ranks, making a stand. The darkness may stalk them, but they too are hunters, they will flush it out. Leather heels clack down concrete stairways. In the garage, engines rumble as boxes and suitcases are quickly moved. A volley of fired shots. A high scream. A body, flying out of the third floor window. Third floor window - "Move! Move! Get the stuff out of here." - they have a chance.
Tyres squeal. Fast as the wind, faster, the men have made their way out. The blood rushes in their ears like the tide. Like the tide they race out along the darkened streets escaping the killing. The buildings and blocks flash by in the occasional illumination of the street lamps.
But look there, behind a cornice a shadow moves. No. Here, atop the buttress, something flickers. Behind you, a shadow stalks.
The young man driving the van breathes a sigh of relief. He knows, how closely the darkness has brushed by him. It could have been him tonight. As his blood slows, he slows down huge vehicle. No need to draw unnecessary attention to himself. Moving his gun off his lap, he fumbles around his left breast pocket for a cigarette to calm his nerves. His eyes move off the road for a flickering second. And in the throw of his headlamps, the darkness coalesces magically. The frantic clutching on his right shoulder makes him look up. His body wants to swerve away, but voice in him that wants to live says, `Straight through, if you want to live.' He presses his foot down on the accelerator. He doesn't care what this thing is. He is scared, and he doesn't like feeling scared. Things that frighten him are meant to be broken, and he is good at breaking things. As the van lurches forward, the figure in front of him moves. `Got you now, son of a bitch!' he thinks. But he is mistaken. He may have a gun and he may be a hunter - but not tonight. He lifts his gun and gets off a shot. As the windshield shatters into an opaque web, he sees his bullet fly into the darkness running at him. A brief hesitation, but still the figure keeps coming. Impossible, he can't have missed. In the headlights, close enough that he can look into the eyes of darkness, he sees the eyes of his hunter - the jungle stares back at him. In that second he knows that what stalks him tonight isn't human. Before he can blink, his windshield shatters and darkness pours all over him - the Huntress has him.
Faster than you can feel your fear, the darkness moves. Don't you see? You shouldn't be out here. You never know when it's out to get you.
In the morning, the newsprint bleeds its own darkness, staining fingertips with the ink from the headline marching across the page. She hums over her breakfast and wonders if it's such a bad idea to have the butler iron the paper before she reads it. At least the news is reassuring this morning. There is a certain frantic optimism in the reporter's account. A hope, almost. Maybe, things will be okay. Maybe this little experiment will work.
As she drinks her black coffee, a cloud of dark gloominess shuffles into view. Even in the wash of daylight, darkness hangs like a cloud over the sullen teenager. She knows where this is going.
"I don't feel well."
"You're not missing school."
"No, you can't miss school again." Good god. No matter what the news, some things don't change.
"But I hurt all over."
"Shouldn't have indulged yourself last night. You play, you pay."
"I don't need a god damned lecture."
"I'll write you a note for gym class."
"Fine. I'll go get dressed then." As she watches the girl stiffly shuffle away, she cannot help herself. "Helena, I don't if know if I made it clear last night. You did good work. Just watch out for yourself. Okay?"
The girl compresses her smile in pursed lips, but not well enough to hide her pride. "Okay. Thanks."
"You can go out again tomorrow when you feel better."
There is no missing the slight spring that statement puts in the girl's steps.
'That girl,' thinks Barbara, as she wheels to the sink with her empty plate. 'Not enough sense to dodge a bullet but ego enough to want a pat on the head.'
See the glowing towers rising up to the sky. See them burn in heaven's light as their windows incandesce in the hot kiss of the sun. The roots of darkness may reach all the way to hell. But even in hell, there is fire - there is light. Can you feel the light? It is all around you.
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