Richard: A little something in preparation for later this month.
From the depths of a dream or way below, where pinprick eyes and sawtooth teeth proliferated, the dark one came. Nobody heard it. Nobody saw it. Everybody felt it.
They claimed it an earthquake, a freak of nature, a thus far unknown fault in the earth’s crust that had stirred for the first time in millennia. It was none of those things.
The old lady knew. She who hid behind net curtains and fifteen coats of lead paint knew a lot of things the others didn’t. That’s why the creature went for her first.
It snuck up through the sewers into her yard, slipped like a midnight shadow through her cat flap, stole upstairs. It gnashed its teeth and spiked its claws, sliced wallpaper, pinioned the carpet with razor talons but all so quietly. Hushed it was. Like the dead it came.
The creature saw her lying there under sheets of mildewed velvet, damp and musty like a bog. It slashed. It bit. It tore. It missed.
She rose like a whirlwind and smiled at the beast, a scimitar grin of devilish teeth. She twirled her fingers like an eager child; the beast fell back, but the door had closed.
“There are fouler things than you, my pretty,” she cackled. “I am Nocturne. Yum, yum, yum.”
There were no more strange occurrences, no more violent shudders. The fault must have fixed, ground resettled. That’s what they said, anyway.
Only the old lady sat behind her nets knew better. Only the old lady that nobody had seen but all knew was there knew the truth. She’d have taken it to the grave, too, if she hadn’t already.