It wanted to know why the man cared so much about it.
The man was old. He had faded hair, wrinkled skin, and an emotionless face. He was hunched over a machine turning in circles just outside the forest. The contraption made a racket. It buzzed like a sick bug. It had some sort of blade beneath its wide, metallic belly. It ground up the grass and threw it in every direction. Dust mixed with it. It hadn’t rained for days. The sun had an edge to it. Soon the song would sound from the north and he wouldn’t need to hide in the forest anymore. The devils would return to earth. They’d rise out of the shadows like dead promises.
Did any of the humans know?
The monsters hadn’t been perfect, but they had been purposeful. For years they had appeared randomly to test the human’s behaviors. They’d scare them. Attack them. Sometimes even kill them. It was all to test for their awakening on an April evening just a few years away. The humans wouldn’t know what hell had awakened. They’d be decimated beyond recognition. They’d spent years and years killing each other, ravaging the planet, and debating whether the universe was indifferent or conscious of their existence.
The monster didn’t have the time for such lofty meditations.
Instead, it memorized human behavior, even the repetitive ones of this elderly male driving in circles through the grass. A few times the monster had gotten too close to the man’s house when he was still awake at night and he’d been spotted. Luckily, his body was mixed with a perfectly shifting darkness. He had appendages, but the shadows made up most of his constitution. He had massive curved claws, which dangled down to the ground when he stood still. They were gold and would reflect every bit of light throughout the neighborhood. Streetlights would always glow off them. It liked the streetlights for some reason. It might keep them alive after the city was dead.
It didn’t know why, but it had grown fond of their presence.
There was only so much time until the humans would fall down the pecking order. How would they respond after his obscene talons carved them to pieces and recreated them in his own image? How would they do? It wanted to ask others of its kind these questions, but he was almost always alone. The other monsters were all in hiding, waiting for the song to play. He was lucky to be able to wander around this much before they were unleashed. It wasn’t an accident. Some were chosen as scouts. He felt honored.
He watched the humans trim their trees, drive across their roads, shovel their snow, play in the sun, stay out late in the night, and sneak around the park across the street. They were either constantly busy, or always staying still inside their quiet houses. Some parts of the year you would barely see them, like when the snow piled up so high he couldn’t even leave the forest’s edge. Other times like now, when the summer was in full bloom, they’d be everywhere. A few might even see him and report his presence to other humans. It didn’t matter. Nobody ever came looking for him. He was a myth, legend, and fable. He was a howl in the wind, the shadow on the door, an ache in the floor. He hated being a piece of fiction. He had to be patient. He had to wait.
He’d be real soon enough.
If you enjoyed this story, it is just a fragment of a larger apocalyptic universe. You can read the first 10 days of the Greenland Diaries for free by clicking click HERE.
If you want to purchase any paperback editions of my books through my store with free shipping and other great deals click HERE.
Or for Kindle you can click HERE.
Thank you for reading. Have an excellent day!