Article: 261274 of talk.bizarre
From: Andrew Solberg <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Such a Dream I Had
Date: 1 Dec 1995 01:09:47 -0500
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Status: RO

The City is ruined, but we have won.  We have beaten the Crawlers.

We are holed up - myself and the remnants of my military unit - in a
strange old monument of a building.  It stands atop a low hill and is
very defensible, having many columns and windows and doorways from which
to fire.  We have only a few particle weapons remaining, and are otherwise
reduced to bolt-action rifles, but still we have held off the Crawlers 
until daylight.

The Crawlers hunker down all around the building, mewling under their
cowls and awaiting the certain death that sunlight will bring to them.
Already the sky is brightening in the east, and wisps of smoke rise 
from the Crawlers as they huddle behind the wrecks of automobiles and
try to avoid the daylight.  They appear human in form, but they are
hunched over almost double, and they hide their faces under thick hoods.
Their eyes can be seen -- burning pinpricks of hatred.  They are strong
and vicious, and gunfire only slows them down.  In the open we would
be shredded in moments, but we are secure for now in our shelter, and
in a few minutes the daylight will catch the Crawlers miles from their
subterranean lairs.  When the sun touches a Crawler, their skin boils
away and they dissolve into a nauseating cloud of smoke and terror.

We have won! we rejoice and share cigarettes.  Every so often a 
desperate Crawler flings itself from its temporary shelter and scrambles
up the hill with its inhuman speed and dexterity.  Each time, the 
combination of the growing sunlight and accurate gunfire stops, and then
reverses, the horror's uphill progress.  It retreats, snarling with
pain and frustration, to await its eventual immolation.

At the mouth of the driveway leading to the parking lot of our building,
the Crawler Shaman leaps up on top of a derelict automobile.  It howls
with pain - immediately curls of smoke waft from around the folds of 
its cowl - and it shakes its forked stave of power at the sky.  Then it
begins to howl.  The boys laugh at the shaman; it has clearly gone
crazy.  Look, the sun has already begun to rise.  The orange disc is
halfway up the horizon.  My fellow troopers cackle at the dervish,
whirling and smoking on top of an old Buick.  I'm not so sure that this
is funny at all.

The shaman ceases its gesticulations and begins a low, ordered chanting.
The smoke is now boiling up from the Crawler's garments in thick billows,
but the creature does not seem to notice.  Periodically it punctuates
its incantation with skyward thrusts of its two-tined stave.  It shuffles
slowly on the roof of the car, scorching the paint job with its burning

In a flash, the Shaman leaps ten feet in the air and lands with a great
shout --


-- and points its stave at the sun.  It shouts again --


-- and thrusts at the sun.  It is in full flame now, but it does not care,   
because again it is shouting --


-- and gesturing, and then:

I feel it.  It is a subsonic vibration, like the feeling accompanying the
dragging of a manhole cover across the ground.  The burning demonic
figure screams --


-- and jabs at the sun once more, and then I see: the sun is slipping
back below the horizon.  


It is sliding down.  Each thrust makes the sun drop lower.  With each
drop comes that horrible SLIDING feeling, the grinding feel of something
unnatural twisting the universe into a horrible shape.  


Pieces of the shaman, flaming, are falling off its body.  Its shouting
is reduced to a harsh, grating whisper.  But its job is done.


The sun is gone.  The sky is dark once more; the stars are coming out.
The shaman gives one more rattling gasp:


and disappears in a cloud of nothing.

There is a moment of silence.  Only a minute has passed since the shaman
began its magic.  A cigarette butt drops from the mouth of my closest
fellow trooper.  I feel myself reel as I realize that we have not won,
after all.

When I regain my senses, the Crawlers are howling their eerie howl that
precedes their feasts of blood.  I can dimly see their low, awful forms
snaking their way up the lawn towards us.

My rifle will not kill them, but it can kill me quite easily.

I wake up.

This post is COPYRIGHT 1995, Andrew Solberg.  All rights reserved.
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Andrew Solberg is HWRNMNBSOL:, Math Dept., Rice U.