A raven sits among the leaves of a black gum tree, watching green-skinned women argue viciously over the scraps of their latest victim, an unfortunate boggard. Head tilting this way and that, he makes a soft querulous noise. The edges of the marsh are turning to shifting green-tinted fog. A tearing noise rends the air. Clinging to his branch, the raven is the only bird to stick to his perch as a great wind whips the trees into a frenzy, ripping leaves and twigs into the tempest. He hears the women’s screams, oddly melodious, but he cannot see them.
Suddenly, with a sound reminiscent of a blade being returned to its sheath, the wind storm ceases. The marsh that had been there moments ago has disappeared; in its place, the swampy landscape looks as it did before the bloom intruded, rippling green waves—like a water glass just set down—the only indication that there has been a disturbance. Except, of course, that the bog is silent, as though every living thing in it has disappeared.
The raven watches a few moments more and then takes flight, scanning for new oddities in the landscape.