To escape the pouring rain a large crow settled on the windowsill and cocked its dark head as it watched the servant inside gathering up the last of the ornate hat boxes. Her face grew even more ruddy as she huffed and puffed, cursing under her breath her employer’s love of hats as she tried to get down the narrow, sharply-cornered stairs in one trip. Another servant came up and opened the window, startling the crow and causing it to knock a small, potted fern off of the windowsill. It crashed to the ground near the feet of a lovely girl with platinum hair, scattering dirt and severed leaves on her skirt. “Just leave it, Leanne! For goodness sakes, there will be plenty of other plants where we’re going! Come on!” Mrs. Kingsley admonished, waving her reluctant train of children into the large carriage with her fan. Their father was already waiting for them, reading a newspaper, and their mother followed the three inside. Their former neighbors were all watching from behind the bars of their windows, twittering among themselves about the move. So the Kingsleys thought they were too good to live in Roma, did they? They’d always been queerly conceited for middle-class merchants, and with their youngest so sickly too… Oh, they might say they were going for her, but everyone knew Mrs. Violet Kingsley was a snooty so-and-so who thought because her husband was a banker she was too good for everyone. Mrs. Habersham clicked her tongue as the last servant came running out of the house, carrying a final suitcase. She was followed by a bulky figure swaddled in several layers of coats and cloaks. “Don’t you let Eliza get wet!” Mrs. Kingsley called from inside of the carriage, and the servant carrying the hat boxes awkwardly tried to hold one over Eliza’s head as she rushed, red faced, into the carriage. “Mama, you don’t-- have to do that,” she muttered, wheezing softly and yanking her scarf up over her mouth and nose. Compared to her siblings she was rather yellow, both in skin and hair, and her hazel eyes were set in delicate, lilac-colored flesh. She was also wearing at least five more layers than the rest of them, but each time she tried to shrug the great, dark green coat off, her mother pushed it back on. “We’re all uprooting our lives for you, Eliza, you might be more grateful,” Mr. Kingsley said, and Eliza coughed. “I doubt it will help. Nothing helps,” she muttered, crossing her arms. The carriage started off with a lurch and overhead rain beat in time with the swaying of the wheels. Soon Eliza had fallen asleep against the window and dreamt of large, strange birds in silver thorn cages.