They are watching as the boy walks on through. The queen and the feathered nightmare; the mother and the ghost of the undertaker bird.
He stalked Julia long ago, and later died from wounds inflicted by her indifference. She had held the knife, even as he plunged it into his own wrists, and scored it upwards, gasping through the vodka haze at the sheer terror and pain of it. He did not die until the throbbing agony had reached a point at which death was welcomed as relief as much as for revenge. Poor Julia, she never even knew him. Such is the madness of the love of a carrion bird!
Death was a bonus. He realised that, here, he had access to dreams he could only have dreamed of. When he was alive and mad, he only wished to be the ghost-bird-made-flesh; to rip her face for turning it from him all those times: in the street, and the coffee shop and the parks as he followed her round the city.
He found his way to Adam’s dream, and found the crack of insecurity and longing that was the boy’s weakness: the vulnerability that allowed Julia to love him, and that made his troubled need open to the skies.
From then, the troubled nights that had been habit for Adam since childhood (muffled birth and baby screams; separation and greedy longing) became so much worse. The vulture ripped through the troubled, muffled home in his mind, and there was blood, and pain and, worse, a total lack of comprehension at the sudden fuckup of feather, claw and clamour that his nights had become.
No wonder he held Julia, tight, no wonder he needed her more. He never knew that, in a screwy sort of way, it was her fault that he was having the nightmares in the first place.