Its eyes were open. The fine, but frayed velvet trim of the owl's wings struck a contrast between its grey feathers and the pavement. With no visible sign of breathing the crowd around it murmured in despondent tones. Unhappy adults, curious or the crowd blocking the walkway, quickly hurried their children away upon seeing the death.
The black orbs stared into the darkening night. Their only color a reflected orange hue from the sunset fighting one last time against the deepening navy sky. Sunk into the heart shaped face of the bird, the small creatures eyes and body looked uncharacteristically flat; as if the cause of it's death had been a collision with the large glass windows nearby. Unsure, the crowd whispered amongst each other, trying to determine what to do and who to call.
With little wisdom, some walked away from the scene, expecting others to handle it. A few reached out towards the animal before being scolded. Dispassionate individuals took photos, their mute faces portraying mild interest, their light illuminating the disgusted looks of the compassionate.
Finally, an employee of the building stepped out to investigate the growing circle of concern. Taking stock of the situation, they quickly moved inside to inform management and contact an authority. With a scowl, they shushed and waved away the crowd, setting up a caution sign and fencing off the area with stanchions. Taking a glance at the dead and decaying bird, they shifted and frowned. A trip inside righted their expression: the clerk carried a tablecloth out and draped it over the makeshift shelter. Both bird and human stood waiting for the authorities, their pose dignified with respect.