Suddenly, a red raven struck the back of Ladon’s head as if he had been hit by a stone. He felt no pain, but panic had him. He dropped to the ground to keep from running blindly and to survey the wound. He had no idea how badly he had been cut or where he was going. The red carrion raven was from Ravenswood he realized regaining his senses, but it seemed strangely the wrong shape. It had four misshaped wings, like a pixie’s wings, and its head was too big. There were few feathers on its head, its eyes covered with naked grey skin pocked with stubble. It had the vicious stabbing beak of an eagle, only again, it was too big. He had no time to wonder about size and genetics of the bird, after attacking him, it had flown directly into the gate committing suicide.
Ladon picked up the red raven with a slat from the gate. He at once noticed that it had two heads; a second malformed and incomplete head grew out of its neck. He stared at the raven, overwhelmed by a sense of deep wrongness, somehow this horrified him more than anything else he had seen today.
Ladon had felt dizzy after viewing Papineau’s charred remains. The feeling was getting progressively worse, especially when near the raven. He thought it was just the aftershock of the raven attack.
He turned to search through the ashes and found his legs crumpling, as if they did not belong to him. He went unconscious and awoke hours later with a raging fever; his body racked with tremors and beads of sweat ran off his forehead onto the ash.
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