- Vol. 02
- Chapter 02
The EncroachersOn the wind there. Smell it?
I’ve watched as they scratched their way towards us. Day by day they draw closer. The twists and turns belie their true direction. They are coming straight at us.
As long as memory they have stayed in the distance, far below where the valley dips and falls from view. And we’ve been happy to live this way. Apart. At a safe distance.
For so long they were simply voices. Unseen things whose sounds were carried in the air during sunlit hours. Their strange calls, sharp and biting, but with a purpose, with a meaning, that much was always clear.
And now the smell of them. This is how close they have come. Their milky sweetness clings to the air like a mist. An innocent scent that could fool a gentler soul.
But I am no fool.
I have slipped into town at night and watched as they huddled together under the lamplight’s warm glow.
They fear the night, what lies beyond the safety of that huddle. And when they see their own eyes reflected back at them in the window’s glass they can’t be sure if the candle’s flicker is something more. A yellow eye that leaves them shivering.
They sense me there, beyond the glass as I pass by. They know me. But in ways that are only half true.
Growl. Snarl. Prowl. Kill.
And their response always the same. Destroy.
So sniff the air. Understand that scent for what it truly is.
For every step closer take three steps back.
Climb higher. Move deeper.
Because they are coming.
On the wind there. Smell it?