[size=200]A[/size] massive shadow passes over you just as the Autumn Spirit’s apparition dissipates. A chill falls over you, but you think nothing of it for only a moment before you realize the cicadas have stopped humming and the tiny creatures have all stopped their scurrying and foraging in the October air. Then it hits you, a putrid scent of decay and fear just as a gargantuan Turkey Vulture lands right before you, the scent gagging and almost as unnerving as the sight of the thing. It opens its incredible beak, croaking out something between a laugh and a scream, just as blots of black slime bubbles and oozes from its maw and onto the grass at your feet, a hiss rising up as the liquid burns into the vegetation there.
“You might think you’re all so very clever, preparing yourselves to protect your little Peacekeepers, but beware, Autumn Spirit and insolent children of Louloudia, for I have many tricks hiding among the feathers of my wings.”
You try to step back, but a weight of fear and something else is holding you there just several inches in front of this loathsome creature. It leans forward, the sockets of its skull seething with smoke and something akin to flame. It seems to be staring at you… No… Not at you… Into you. It’s looking right through you, into your eyes, into your bones, into the hollows of your lungs, straight through the tendons of your heart. Your breath becomes even quicker and more shallow as it utters a few sanity-shattering words:
“I see all of you.”
It spreads its foul-smelling wings and lifts its giant body into the air with surprising grace, ascending into the overcast sky, seeming to soar higher and higher until it is but a speck against the clouds. The weight is lifted from your body, your consciousness, and your heart. Was this a warning of bad tidings and deceit?