With the delicacy of a new mother rousing her infant, the woman pushed the canopy aside, just far enough to clear her head fully from the ditch. Fascinated, she watched the boys as they grappled themselves into a human knot of head and leg locks, pinning each other helplessly into a stalemate of limbs. She opened the canopy further, less carefully this time, and then placed her foot on a naturally-formed earthen stool which she used to launch herself to the ledge of the crater, lifting herself easily from the grave. She crept steadily towards the boys; her dark cloak and mud-caked hair and face made her appear as an encroaching black blot against the sun-filled landscape. The boys, still caught up in the scrap and whines of their own meaningless struggle, took no notice of the evil that was now less than twenty yards from them.
It wasn’t until the old woman’s blade-like thumbnail pierced the back of the leader’s head, just at the neckline, that the second boy knew what was happening. His scream lasted only a second or two, but it was loud enough to be heard by a third boy who was now sprinting in terror through the woods of the Back Country.