"Constantine knew something was wrong, even before he arrived at the house. From the lane, in the gathering gloom, he saw the muslin curtains fluttering over the windowsill of Helena’s bedroom. In the shadows around her window, the red geraniums in the window box appeared to be larger than he remembered, and were tumbling from the window deeper in colour than when he last saw them. He suddenly felt the chill of the air about him.
‘She should have closed the window by now,’ he worried. ‘She’ll catch her death.’
Constantine began to run, with Alcandor close behind him. He flung open the picket gate and strode across the kitchen garden, crushing thyme and marjoram beneath his boots as he came to Helena’s window, dropping his gun and hunting kit on the path. He saw that the geraniums hadn’t grown further out over the wall at all, but a large patch of something red had spilled over the window ledge and blended into the whitewashed wall behind, looking like a smudged mass of geranium petals.
Close behind him, Alcandor stopped in his tracks by the side of the kitchen garden, as his friend leaned his body through the window into the dim interior. He watched in frozen horror as Constantine dropped to his knees, tilting his head to the sky, his face contorted in an agony that Alcandor hoped he would never know himself. He knew he would never, ever forget the cry of bitter anguish from Constantine’s lips as it reverberated on and on for a seeming eternity, echoing eerily back and forth, against the forest-clad slopes of the blackened mountains."