Written by Lilith
“They came through the rain”, the saying went, but in truth it was no ordinary rain that heralded their arrival. The clouds would roll in, the heavens would open, and the downpour would not stop for weeks on end. The villagers kept to their homes, packing sandbags around their doorsteps for when the banks of the river inevitably burst, and nobody dared trying to travel in or out of Kettlebridge. The shrine, a circular stone building in the centre of town, became a safe haven for those whose homes were damaged by the ongoing storms, the old priestesses offering soup and blankets to those in need. And then at last, when the people could take no more of the onslaught from the sky, when fires guttered in their hearths and they could no longer remember what warmth felt like… Then the creatures came.
They looked human. An old man, stooped and withered, skeletal fingers wrapped tight around the silver top of his walking stick; a young woman barely any more than a child, crouching in the mud; and a boy with wide grey eyes who smiled at everything. All the villagers knew what they looked like. They’d seen the creatures from afar, peering through gaps in shutters or flimsy curtains, watching as they walked into the centre of town… but nobody who got close to them ever told the tale.