Article: 261274 of talk.bizarre From: Andrew Solberg <email@example.com> Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Such a Dream I Had Date: 1 Dec 1995 01:09:47 -0500 Organization: iTRiBE Mail to News Gateway Lines: 112 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: <email@example.com> X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23] X-Provider: iTRiBE, Inc <URL: http://www.itribe.net/> X-Gateway: Posted via the iTRiBE News<->Email gateway X-Disclaimer: iTRiBE, Inc. neither endorses nor assumes any responsibility for the contents of this posting. 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 feet. In a flash, the Shaman leaps ten feet in the air and lands with a great shout -- YAAAAA! -- and points its stave at the sun. It shouts again -- YAAAAA! -- and thrusts at the sun. It is in full flame now, but it does not care, because again it is shouting -- YAAAAA! -- 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 -- YAAAAA! -- and jabs at the sun once more, and then I see: the sun is slipping back below the horizon. YAAAAA! 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. YAAAAA! Pieces of the shaman, flaming, are falling off its body. Its shouting is reduced to a harsh, grating whisper. But its job is done. YAAAAA! The sun is gone. The sky is dark once more; the stars are coming out. The shaman gives one more rattling gasp: yaaaaaa......<*> 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. Standard usenet distribution is acceptable; other forms of reproduction or reprinting may be considered in violation of international copyright law. Andrew Solberg is HWRNMNBSOL: firstname.lastname@example.org, Math Dept., Rice U.