The sky was orange shading down to red clouds near the sun, and the canals looked like blood.
Or were blood. It was hard to say, some days.
Delano climbed up a fire escape to the roof of an apartment. He could hear the crows calling, and from his perch, he could see them circling a city block and occasionally coming to rest on the parapets of a roof. Montague had said that crows were an omen of death. They'd show up when someone was going to die, and take their souls away.
Or they were just there for the free meal.
Delano leaned against the parapet and lit a cigarette. He was a gangly figure in black with his coat spread around him like a blood stain.
Nii appeared after a while, possibly from the fire escape stairs, possibly from the roof access door. He leaned against the parapet as well and lit a cigarette. "Crows again."
"They're not your crows," Delano said. "They're just crows." A few birds skittered way from Nii to land on a more distant roof.
"They don't like me anymore," Nii said with a lopsided smile. He looked at his hands, and they were covered with blood. "Maybe they know -"
"It's because you're carrying someone who isn't all the way dead." Delano ground out his cigarette. "You can drop him, you know."
Nii stared. "Who . . . ."
Delano smiled. "I'm the Suicide King. I help the ones who are bleeding between dusk and dawn." He let himself fall, knowing that he'd be awake before he hit the ground.
And he did.