Summary: What if the crow perched on Shelly's grave instead of Eric's? It is Shelly to be called from the dead…

Disclaimer: I don't own The Crow.

A smoky, polluted, cloudy sky overlooked a nameless city. Dark red spirals of smoke rose from huge fires set here and there. If Dante had been alive in the twentieth century, he could have seen in this city a modern version of his Inferno.

In the corner between two of the hundreds gloomy streets, a small crowd formed over the corpse of a young man, lying in a puddle of blood. His abdomen had a huge wound caused by a large knife, and in his back three bullets had broken spine and muscles. His eyes and mouth were open in an eternal grimace of horror. He had been thrown from a large, circular window of the loft he shared with his soon-to-be wife.

The loft, which once was very cozy, now was a mess of blood, broken objects and pieces of glass; cops, paramedics and photographers were examining everything. Near a mannequin holding a simple, but cute, wedding dress, Officer Albrecht, mid-forties, short and a little heavy-set, with a funny but clever look, was reading a wedding invitation and talking to a colleague.

"Shelly Webster and Eric Draven. Wedding was tomorrow night."

"Who the fuck gets married on Halloween anyhow?", the other cop said.

"Nobody", was the sad answer.

In the street below the loft, a stretcher was wheeled fast towards an ambulance. On it, there was a young woman, still alive. The bruises and blood on her face couldn't hide the beauty of her features. A teenage girl approached the woman on the stretcher.


But Albrecht gently pushed her back. "Stand back, kid."

The woman was panting in pain, but the blade that had sliced her throat didn't touch her vocal chords.

"Where's Eric?", she managed to say with a cracked voice. Albrecht bent over her. "Tell him to take care of Sarah…", she begged him.

Albrecht felt his heart tighten. "I will. Just… Lie back". Shelly Webster was quickly carried away.

Albrecht turned to the teenage girl. She was blonde, short hair tied up, dressed in casual clothes. The holes in her black stockings and the number of necklaces and chains dangling from her neck gave her a punk touch. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

"You Sarah?", he asked her.

"Yeah. You lied to her about Eric. And now you're gonna lie to me about Shelly. She's gonna die, isn't she?"

"Now, come on, she's gonna be fine, okay?", he said, with the most unsure tone in his voice.

Shelly Webster fought against death for thirty hours, but death won the battle. Her bloody, contused, bruised, wounded and outraged body was buried near another body, Eric Draven's. Just as like they were husband and wife. But their wedding was never celebrated, as long as some wicked god had banished love and happiness from that city. But could love set things right, at least partially? If Love came to an agreement with Hate, they could make up a third, more powerful force, Revenge.

One year later

Sarah entered the small graveyard where her two best, and only, friends were buried. The two tombstones had replaced the marriage altar. Sarah placed flowers on each tomb, the bright colors sharply contrasting with the gloom of the misty graveyard, almost as the symbol of a clownish illusion of life in a world of death.

Suddenly, Sarah heard a croak; and then she saw the black figure of a crow landing on Shelly's tomb. Sarah looked at the crow with curiosity. To her, this strange bird was an interesting creature: it may not have been a cheerful birdie, with its jet black feathers, rather ungraceful figure and scratchy voice; yet she liked it, just as we unconsciously like the irregular, nonconforming charm of the sublime.

"What are you, the night watchman?", she jokingly asked the crow.

The volatile just cawed again as an answer. The rain started to fall, so Sarah skated away, failing to notice the crow peck Shelly's tombstone.

Nobody could have imagined that it was knocking on the door that divided the living from the dead.