Follow Dr. Felicity Hart from “The Crow’s Curse” as she strikes out on her own and comes face to face with a terrible reality.
The Crow’s Wrath
Her nerves were getting the best of her. She closed her eyes, trying to steel herself. This was the first time without her mentor, and while, she had felt ready, she suddenly wasn’t sure. Her hands fidgeted with the handle of her bag as she stood at the foot of the porch steps. She was making a fool of herself just standing there.
She took a step up onto the stair when the door opened. Her head shot up and she met the eyes of a young man.
“Can I help you with something?” he asked.
She straightened, trying to push all her confidence into her voice. She shoved some golden locks behind her ear. “I was summoned.” She strode up the rest of the steps.
“You’re the doctor, then?” he looked her up and down, and she was suddenly conscious of her outfit; boots, pants a tri-cornered hat and a long blue coat. She wished she was wearing her beaked mask, which was poking her in the ribs under her arm. “You’re very young for a doctor,” he finally said.
She smiled jerkily. “I assure you I know what I’m doing. I’m Dr. Felicity Hart.”
He nodded. “I’m Dexton Spalding. I’ll show you to the parlor.” He ushered her inside an elegant sitting room where an older gentleman read a newspaper on the couch. A middle-aged woman sat opposite him, peering at her embroidery. They looked up as Felicity and Dexton entered.
“Dexton, who is this?”
Dexton walked her to the sofa and offered her a seat. “This is Dr. Felicity Hart, Father.”
“Ah,” the man said putting down his newspaper. “Welcome, Felicity.”
She sat down. “What seems to be the problem?”
The man and the woman glanced at each other. Dexton had moved away, his back towards them.
Felicity looked between them. She moved to the edge of her seat. “I can’t help if I don’t know what’s wrong.”
She marched down the hill, the early afternoon sun warm against her skin. In the distance, she could make out the barn, all its doors and windows closed.
The servants were growing sick, so we quarantined them in our barn. Mr. Spalding’s voice echoed in her mind as she reached the bottom of the hill.
We were trying to protect ourselves, his wife had said. We weren’t sure what the disease was…not at first. Felicity had just stared at them, keeping her face in check. It’s embarrassing.
It would blacken our reputation. The older man had added.
Felicity reached the barn. The world turned a shade of purple as she pulled on her mask and looked out through tinted glass. She pulled off her coat and drew her pistol. She pressed her ear against the wooden wall and could make out shuffling sounds.
She cocked her pistol and opened the barn door. The smell hit her like a punch to the gut, causing her eyes to water even through the mask. The shuffling moved in her direction, and she saw the rotted flesh and bloated bodies stumble into the light. They barely noticed her. She quickly placed the barrel against one of the creature’s foreheads.
“May you find peace,” she said and pulled the trigger.
By the time the job was done, she was covered in blood with twelve corpses strewn about the floor. She placed them in a pile and, with her flint, ignited the fire and watched as everything burned.
Night had fallen by the time she made her way back up the hill. Anger was boiling beneath the surface of her skin. All those people dead, and no one seemed to give a damn. She marched through the back door into the house and was met by Dexton and his father.
“Is it done?”
“Yes, it’s done,” she snapped.
She wanted him to feel bad for what he had done, but all he did was sigh. “Thank you for your services.” He held out a small bag of coins.
She snatched it from his hand. “They could have been saved. Next time, get help sooner.” She stalked out of the house contaminated with a selfishness more dangerous than any plague.