Victim Four was late for work. She ran out the door, bending down to pick up the newspaper from the sidewalk on her way to her car. Then she was on the ground as Kestrel swung a length a piece of pipe against the back of her head. She felt like she was floating when Kestrel knelt and pierced her neck with a knife, holding a vial up to the wound to collect the blood. Then it was dark.
Kestrel collected the blood and turned to stride back towards her car parked down the block. Four down, she thought. This is so easy. The police would be expecting lots of blood from the media’s favorite serial killer. Not this time.
Kestrel heard a whoosh of wings. She had time to throw her arms over her head before two Great Horned Owls and a Peregrine Falcon attacked, swooping down from the sky, screaming, talons spread. Three sets of talons scraped her scalp before the birds wheeled away, turned, and came back for another run. Kestrel ran, too. Towards her car. She fumbled the keys as the birds attacked again. Drops of blood spattered on the sidewalk. Kestrel threw herself into the car and slammed the door shut. She didn’t see her own blood on the sidewalk as she drove away.