Donna carelessly tossed the yellow dress on the chair by the open window. The room had felt so stuffy and stale when she first came in, but a soft breeze made it more livable now. It was nothing fancy, but maybe she could talk to the manager later and get a better suite.
Outside the window, parked in the bright sunshine was a brand new car. The large sedan was the newest model available with all the latest features and gadgets. She looked at it with a satisfied little smile.
The car was very nice, the dress she now held in her hand was from the newest line by the hottest French designer, her shoes were the latest trend in New York City. Nothing but the best would do.
Donna would not settle for anything less. Her husband, William, was in the shower while she got herself dressed for dinner. The brochure had boasted of fine dining in an elegant but relaxed atmosphere. She sure hoped so. So far the resort was a little bit of a let-down. Too much relaxed and not enough elegant to suit her tastes.
Glancing back out at the car she noticed something odd. A bright blue and black bird perched on the hood with something shiny in its mouth. It looked for all the world like a diamond necklace. The jewels glittered and glinted in the dying light.
Hearing the water still running in the shower, she stepped out onto the balcony to get a better look. It sure looked like diamonds. The bird let out a harsh caw and the glittering jewelry fell from its beak and slid down the hood of the car to land in the gravel.
Donna dashed out the door. No sense in letting such a pretty piece of jewelry lie in the dirt, she told herself.
Outside her room, she tried to calm her breathing and slow her step. She did not want to appear to be rushed or suspicious to the other guests. She calmly walked through the lobby and out to the sedan. She saw no one else around. “Good, no one else will take it then,” she thought smugly.
Just as she had seen from her balcony, something shiny lay just in front of the bumper. Her shoes crunched on the loose surface as she walked around to the front of the car.
Cautiously, Donna bent down and reached for the jewelry. It was further under the car than she first thought and she had to kneel on the pale gravel to reach it. Excitement made her breath come faster as she neared it. Now that she was closer, she was certain that this was made of diamonds. What wonderful luck.
She reached out to take it, no longer caring who was about, or who saw her kneeling in the dirt, all she cared about was the necklace.
Just as her fingers brushed the cool silver of the chain a sharp black beak lunged out from behind the tire and pecked her hand. Donna gave a startled gasp and jerked her hand back as the magpie came bobbing over to his prize and snapped it back up.
With a great shaking of his glossy feathers the large bird hopped further underneath the car, out of reach of the woman trying to steal his trinket. Another grating cry and it slid out into the parking lot and spread its wings.
Nursing her now bruised hand, Donna hurried to follow the creature. It hopped and made small half flying lunges as it headed away from the woman. She did not want to let the bird escape with such an expensive prize. She could already imagine it around her own throat, sparkling like the stars in the sky. How beautiful it would be.
The bird moved further away from her and she followed it again. Over and over the scene played out. Donna crept closer and the bird danced just out of reach. Soon Danna found herself by the edge of the forest. The cruel magpie fluttered up onto a low hanging branch and shook its feathers again.
Donna was now completely focused on the bird, she moved forward slowly. She never even noticed the change in her surroundings. She did not notice the summer green give way to winter bleak, or the warm breeze become a biting wind.
Closer and closer she came to the tree where the bird sat staring at her with beady little black eyes. She could have sworn there was an intelligence in them as the bird cocked its head and opened its mouth to croak out its horrible voice. The necklace tumbled from the open beak and right into her pale hands.
Donna couldn’t believe her good fortune. She had caught the necklace, right from the bird’s mouth! She was so excited with the triumph that it wasn’t until the second time the coughing noise came from behind her that she even realized she was not alone.
Turning slowly, she found herself looking right into the eyes of an impossible dog like creature. Two more came around behind her before she could react. It barked once.