Tuesday 12:01 am. Somewhere in a swampy bog near New Orleans:
The full moon hung lazily in the night sky over the swamp,
as the gator slowly and silently made its way toward the noise
it had heard moments before. There sitting on a half submerged
log in the moonlight sat a bird, a large black crow.
"Caw.... Caw...." it cried, appearently unaware
of the the approaching reptile.
As the gator neared, it sensed something, something strange,
something that frightened it. There was an eruption of bubbles
and the splashing of water off to its right. The crow hobbled
around on the log and its black eyes stared at the gator.
Then the crow cried again.
The gator turned and swam off as fast as it's powerful tail
could propel it. The crow turned to the bubbling waters and
watched as a muddy hand broke the surface followed by the
rest of the naked young girl.
She splashed around frantically but finally made it to shallow
water. There the girl crawled on her hands and knees, toward
what little land there was in the swamp. She stopped and gagged
as her lungs began to force out the rancid water that had
settled in them. She sat there and drew her naked body into
a ball as the night air began to chill her.
"Caw... Caw..." the crow cried as it landed on
a low branch near her. She looked up, strands of mud caked
black hair hanging in front of her face, she saw the bird
and understood why she was brought back. She understood.
The girl stood, looked around and then started to run through
the swamp with the crow following close behind.
"Ah com'on, cherie," Remy LeBeau teased the weary
Rogue, "De Mardi Gras has jus' begun." Remy, better
known as the X-Man Gambit, had convinced Rogue to come with
him to Mardi Gras. New Orleans may not have been the smartest
place for Gambit to be, but it was Mardi Gras and Remy wanted
to party in style.
"Remy, Ah'm tired. Ya'll been at it since yesterday,"
Rogue said as she half sat and half fell on the park bench.
All around them, people were dressed in costumes, dancing,
drinking, and having the time of their lives. Music from the
parade echoed through the streets. "Ah just wanna go
back t' the hotel and go t' sleep."
"But cherie..." he started to say something, but
the angry gaze Rogue gave him, told him to shut up, or else.
"... Umm, okay Rogue, you go on back and get some rest,
Gambit goin' stay out fo' a while."
"Suit ya'self, Swamp Rat." She said as she looked
around and then rose into the air. "Don't go getting
ya'self into too much trouble," she added before she
disappeared into the night sky.
Remy looked around at the crowd, and remembered his thieving
days before he joined the X-Men. The pickings at Mardi Gras
were always fine and easy. Neh, I don' do dat nomore! I
be an X-Man now! he thought to himself as he began to
walk through the crowd.
Then he saw her.
She was dressed all in black, her long black hair pulled
back into a ponytail. Her face was a pale white -- the exact
opposite of her lips, which were covered with black lipstick
which ran half way up her cheek forming a wicked smile. Her
eyes were surrounded by black mascara with a line going up
and down the center of each eye lid. Her long leather trenchcoat
brushed the ground slightly as she moved. Something about
this woman intrigued Gambit. She walked by, not noticing him.
That's when he noticed the shotgun that was stashed under
her right arm. After letting her move along a short distance,
Gambit began to follow her. He watched as she stopped a moment
and looked up, and then turned down an alley.
Moments later Gambit stepped into the alley, a single dim
light illuminated the far end of the alley, revealing a tall
wooden fence. The girl was gone. Cautiously, Remy walked foward
into the alley, instinctively dropping a playing card from
his sleev into his hand. He reached the fence and turned around
to face the enterance to the alley.
"Nothin'." he whispered to himself and started
to walk away.
"CAW!!" the crow cried with a fluttering of it
wings, causing Gambit to spun around, the card charged and
arm pulled back to throw it.
"Merde!!" Remy gasped as he looked at the large
crow sitting on the fence. "Stupid, bird... Good way
t' get yo'self killed," he half laughed.
He turned back toward the entrance and was met with a flat
plam to the face and then a spinning kick to the stomach that
sent the cajun crashing into the fence. Before he could move
the girl was on top of him, the shiny steel blade of a machete
pressed to his neck.
"I have no business with ya. So stop following me, for
your own sake," the girl growled in an icy cold voice.
With that, she steped back and sheathed the knife. She turned
and walked out of the alley as the crow flew to her and landed
on her shoulder.
Gambit sat there and watched.
How'd I not sense her dere? He rose to his feet and
rubbed his face, still staring at the empty alleyway she had
"Oww.." he muttered as he stepped back out of the
alley. She was gone again.
His name was Thomas but his friends, the few that he had,
called him Swipe.
Swipe stood there outside the bar and looked in at the party
that was going on inside.
This'll be easy, he thought to himself as he stood
there looking through the window. He concentrated and then
faded from view. The door to the bar opened, seemingly by
themselves, but nobody noticed. Inside, as the soundsystem
was cranking out music by Nine Inch Nails, Swipe made his
way through the bar lifting a wallet here, a purse there and
then pulled them into his field, where they too vanished.
This ain't even fun. These folks are too drunk to even
Then he felt somebody looking at him. Turning, he saw a woman
in black with a white face looking straight at him, her eyes
boring into his soul.
She...she's staring straight at me, like she can see me.
He quickly walked to the other side of the room, but the woman's
stare followed. Now frightened and off-balance, Swipe accidentally
bumped into a woman in his path who squealed and then turned
around and slapped the man behind her.
"Keep yuir ... p...pawssss to yuir'elf..., buster!"
she drunkenly scolded the man, who was too plastered to care.
Swipe dashed toward the rear exit and rushed out into the
alley as he faded back into view. Then her head the footsteps
coming closer. Panic-stricken, he turned and ran down the
alley. He scampered over the fence, nearly crashing into the
trash cans on the other side as he stumbled to regain his
foot when he landed. He ran for what seemed like forever and
"Don't know.... who that bitch is, but I.... don't wanna
find out... how she ....saw me?" he said between gasps
Out of the darkness he heard a haunting giggle that quickly
turned into a spine-tingling laugh. Swipe spun around hysterically.
And then he saw her. She was perched, like a bird, on the
railing of the fire escape above him.
"Hiya.... Swipe," she said with a devilish
grin. Then she dropped from the fire escape, her trench coat
bellowing out around her. She landed in front of him and grabbed
him by the collar of his jacket, pulling his face close to
hers. "Remember me?" With that, she flung him through
the air, hurling him into a pile of garbage.
Swipe pulled himself up and looked around, but she was gone.
He stood dumbfounded, wondering what had just happened, when
a black boot smashed into the side of his face. The blow sent
him spinning to the ground, blood pouring from his mouth and
"Ah, Swipe ya hurt me -- Didn't I mean a thing to ya?"
she said as she swayed over to him and knelt down beside him.
"Arrrr." Swipe growled as he pulled the knife,
he kept in his jacket, out and slashed wildly at the mysterious
woman, who easily sidestepped his clumsy swings. "Who
the fuck are ya?!"
Getting to his feet he lunged at her, but she grabbed his
wrist and twisted her body. The knife fell from his hand as
Swipe felt his shoulder dislocate and heard the sickening
cracking of bones. He cried out in agony as she threw him
to the ground.
"One year ago, today!" she shouted.
"One year ago today, ya and your bastard friends murdered
a family out in the bayou!"
A look of fear covered Swipe's face as a cold sweat broke
out. "Ho...how'd ya kno..know that?" he said as
more pain shot through his body.
She lifted him into the air and slammed him into a wall,
pinning him there. He squirmed in pain and fought against
the urge to cry out in pain. "Look closely and think
hard," she said dangerously, her eyes narrowed to mere
slits as they stared into his.
Tears rolling down his cheeks, Swipe looked into the girl's
eyes -- and finally recognized her.
"No, No, No, ya dead, ya can't be here, ya dead!"
"Yeah, ya raped and killed me, Swipe!" she screamed.
In a calmer voice and with a smile, she added, "But I'm
back, and I'm going to be nice to ya."
"Ya not goin' kill me?"
"No... I'm not going to rape ya!" With that, she
pulled out the machete and brought it down, hard, driving
it deep in to his chest. Then she stepped back and watched
the boy slump to the ground as his life drained from him.
But before he died she reached out and touched his forehead.
He screamed as he felt the pain and terror that she had felt
when she was murdered. His screaming stopped and the sounds
of Mardi Gras began to fill the alley once again. High overhead,
the crow circled and watched, then gently landed on the girl's
Rogue had finally drifted off to sleep when she was awakened
by the sound of her room door opening. Looking up, she saw
Remy standing in the doorway.
"That you, Remy?" she asked in a weary voice as
the cajun stumbled into the half-darkened room.
'Yeah, cherie, it's me."
Rogue could tell something was wrong by the tone of his voice.
Reaching over, she turned on the lamp on the nighttable. Blinking
against the sudden bright light, she saw that Remy was holding
an ice pack to the left side of his face.
"What happened to ya, Remy?" she asked, her voice
heavy with sleep and southern drawl.
Remy explained the encounter with the mysterious woman in
the alley. Now fully awake, Rogue quickly dressed, and soon
the two X-Men were scouring the city. It didn't take long
for them to spot the flashing lights of a crowd of police
cars. Rogue landed with Gambit on the top of one of the buildings
that overlooked the alley. Down below they saw a body covered
with a white sheet, and several police officers looking around
for any clues that may have been left behind.
From their outpost, Remy and Rogue could see that the body
was lying in the center of something that had been drawn out
on the ground. In the flashing blue lights, it looked like
it may have been drawn in blood.
"Ya think this may'o been her work?" Rogue asked
"Un huh, it be hers, cherie. I bet on it." He replied
still staring at the crow-shaped image on the ground.
Continued in Chapter
Disclaimer: All Marvel characters
are copyrighted by Marvel Comics and are used without permission.
Disclaimer: The Crow and all Crow related material
is copyrighted by James O'barr and is used without permission.
Disclaimer: Nine Inch Nails, are copyrighted (or whatever)
by whichever record label they record under and are used without
But other than that this story is a product of my own warped
mind and thus is copyrighted by Allen Sumner, 1996
This is a non-profit piece of fan ficiton done solely for
Send comments\messages to: ASumner@Highland.Net
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