A cold wind blew through the plains. It was the only thing moving, aside from a lone figure in the desert sea. The woman walked with slow steps, stopping at the top of a hill to rest for a moment. She looked out over the landscape. Before her lay a barren wasteland, only sand and stone as far as the eye could see. Grey clouds loomed above, the threat of a coming storm. A storm might be welcome here, she thought; It might at least be a respite from the silence. All life had fled this place long ago, leaving nothing but dust and cold rock behind.
The woman let out a wordless call, a single high-pitched note. The wind took up the cry and carried its echoes far across the land. Out of the grey above dove a dark shape. The crow circled around the woman for a moment before settling on her shoulder. She stroked its feathers that shone like black onyx. The bird pushed its head to her cheek, cawing softly. A smile crept onto the woman's face.
”Long time no see, old friend.”