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Part II

 [Before you start reading, please read Part I]

Kira had had enough of the snow. It was so white that it would blind her. But she had to admit, it was beautiful. Now only if the cold wasn't biting into her skin, she would have been happier. She would have been happier had they told her about the second leg of the shoot too.
But some people have weird ways of working, so be it. She had to walk for about forty minutes before she reached her cottage. Looks like I lost my way! thought Kira.

Once inside, she messed the carpet with red blots all over. Wasn't the snow supposed to soak up everything? The weird gets weirder, she thought. A cup of hot chocolate would do the trick really! 

While fixing herself a cup, she saw the raven perched at her kitchen window. Could it be the same one? No. Don't be silly, Kira thought. All black birds look the same! She tried to shoo it away but it did not budge. Whatever, it could wait for eternity if it wished. She wasn't going to entertain it. She fell back into the couch and sipped her hot chocolate. She must have dozed off when she suddenly awoke with some tapping noise.

When she looked up, that raven... it was pecking into her glass window! She rolled a newspaper and tried to shoo it away, but in vain. It was persistent and wouldn't go! She tried calling her client, but her phone was dead! Kira had a rising sense of panic grip her! But when she returned to the window the raven was gone! The glass remained untouched. 

Could I have been having a nightmare in the afternoon? Thought Kira. Maybe she was tired and had enough of gore for one day. She would wash the negatives and start working right away. It was the best tonic...her work!

It was almost midnight when she emerged from the little work room they had provided her. She had wanted to watch TV but had no strength now. Around 5 am Kira, opened her eyes to a strange sound and a nasty headache. What the hell was going on? Was the climate to blame?

She wore her dressing gown and came down the stairs. As she fixed herself another hot chocolate, the same tapping sound from yesterday got louder and louder. She went into the living room and was horrified to see the raven again. It stopped and stared right back at her. But as she got closer it flew away. Get back to work Kira, her mind kept telling her. She entered the study and started going through the prints. The first batch looked awesome, they were exactly what she had in mind.

Now the second...how could this be possible? It was all blurred! But her lenses were clean and she never went wrong with the pics. The more she went through them, the more blank they appeared as if they were just. She was furious and as she looked up, the raven was at the window, again peering hard at her. She felt as though it was mocking her. She felt sweat seeping out of her skin as she stared at the bird. She was so angry that she rolled the newspaper to shoo the bird away yet again!

But as she held the paper, it turned red with blood! Kira screamed in fright and let go of the paper. And she looked at her hands...they were covered in blood. It wasn't sweating but blood kept seeping out of her skin. She was standing in a pool of blood. She looked like a pale doll in a puddle of red. 
Slowly she collapsed where the paper had fallen.

With a little life left in her, she read the American photographer's news on the front page,
"Kira Fox disappears in a park in Surrey. Body found mutilated in a cottage in the middle of the park!"
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