Marco stood between Ellie and the bus, his face placid but his massive frame tense.
“Ellie,” said Monica.
“Stay here if you want,” said Ellie, “but let me get the kids away. Please.”
Whispers passed through the crowd of citizens of Deaver City. Monica started to speak again but silenced suddenly.
A shadow fell, like a cloud passing in front of the sun. Ellie looked up and saw the murmuration. It was a black mass of every kind of bird. It twisted and undulated but it was clearly flocking toward the Ring.
“It’s too late,” said Ellie. And it was.