“Look at all them owls in that tree,” said Lowell. His jowls wobbled as he wiped sweat from his face with an already soaked and disgusting orange sleeve.
Harvey wrinkled his nose. The putrid scent blowing down the hill wasn’t much worse than Lowell’s odor. If he didn’t still need the despicable little man, Harvey would have strangled him on sight.
“They’re vultures,” said Harvey. “Owls ain’t up in daytime and don’t flock like that.”
“Well they stink. I don’t wanna go this way.”
“It’s this or rot in prison.”
Lowell continued to whine. “You said you had a way out, a secret way.”
“I do,” said Harvey, as he trudged to the top of the ridge and gazed at the vultures.
Lowell joined him a moment later, gasping from the exertion, eyes closed. It was a full two minutes before Lowell opened his eyes and saw the partially decomposed bodies strewn under the tree. Their telltale orange jumpsuits marked them as prisoners. His meaty hands grasped Harvey’s arm.
“Those are guys who supposedly escaped.” Lowell’s voice rose in pitch. “They’re dead! We’re gonna die!”
“No, Lowell,” said Harvey. “WE ain’t gonna die.”
Dozens of beady black eyes watched as Harvey cut Lowell’s throat and pushed him against the tree. Blood coated the bark, which began to glow.
“Hurting little girls ain’t good, Lowell. Judge went too easy for what you did to my sister.”
Harvey watch Lowell’s eyes widen as the birds descended then stepped through the portal.