She, who called herself Kestrel, woke with a start. She had been dreaming about an owl. It was stalking her. Its yellow eyes had stared through her. It knew.
Padding down to the kitchen, she started on her daily list while she heated water for coffee. She always started her day with coffee, freshly brewed in a French press. She would move to tea in the afternoon.
She needed new candles. More honing oil for her knives. And bleach for cleaning up blood.
Her next victim was calling. It would be soon. Not yet. She would know when it was time.
An owl sat on a branch outside her kitchen window, staring at her through the glass. In the daytime. It hooted, pulling her from her thoughts. She shivered.
The sacrifice, which is how she thought of her, was sitting at her own kitchen table enjoying her morning coffee while scanning the newspaper headlines. She felt safe in her warm, cozy kitchen. She had no idea the killer was waiting, planning. It wouldn’t matter.
Kestrel shrugged off the shiver. It’s just an owl, she thought. A bird. It doesn’t know anything. She grabbed her list, her bag, and her keys on her way out the door.
The owl blinked and dissolved into mist. I am the owl spirit of the Kestrel’s first victim. I vowed justice, and I will get it. I felt the frisson of fear in the killer when she saw the owl. It was enough for now.