The two birds came with the dusk.
Big and black, the colour of night. Bringing with them the chill of mid-winter and the scent of freshly fallen snow.
They flew in a straight north-west line, heavy wings disturbing the air with a breathy whup whup of sound. They stopped just once to feed: on the Slovakian Austrian border. Here they swooped down and gorged on a half-rotted carcass, picking the bones clean.
While they fed the ground temperature plummeted. People shivered, stared in disbelief at the unexpected flurry of snow. By the time the birds reached their destination they'd been on the wing for almost twenty-four hours.
For a while they followed the course of the A249, mirroring the dual carriageway as it wound its way towards and then over The Swale, the grey ribbon of water that separated the small Isle of Sheppey from mainland Kent.
Then they cut across country. Losing height as they flew over boggy marshland; scattering the sheep that grazed there, startling lesser birds from their nests. As they sighted the lone house on the cliff edge they put down their legs, sharp talons extended.
The ravens landed on the roof with the barest whisper of sound.