When Greg had gotten grandad's property in the will, the realtor told him about the crows. "They'll be no problem, I assure you," he'd said. "They're not vocal."

"But crows are always vocal," he'd replied.

"Not these ones," the realtor had said. "Don't bother them, and they won't bother you."

He hadn't believed, but he signed anyway.

* * * * *

As large as the property was, the old mobile home that came with it was small, but that suited him fine. Like his grandad, he didn't need much living space.

The crows lived in the large-leafed trees on the hill out front. He couldn't see what kind of trees they were; when he'd walked out to look and got close, the crows chased him away. It was the only time they'd made any noise, and the noise hadn't been the usual cawing sound, but a hollow, echoing sound like a rock down metal pipes.

Once, a week into the move, a crow got attacked by a hawk. He'd watched as the hawk swooped on it. There'd been a crack, and part of the crow fell down onto the grass. Then the hawk immediately dropped the rest of it. The other crows rose up from the tree en masse and tore the hawk apart.

When he'd gone to check later, all he could find was a broken glass statue of a crow where the dead bird had dropped. Up in the trees, the remaining birds watched him with smoldering red eyes until he backed away.

Now at night, when he looks out the window, he can see the tree dotted with tiny red lights, all watching the house.

He doesn't sleep well, these days.