by Scott Langrel © 2002

It had rained for days, weeks.

The thing neither wanted nor needed the rain, because rain was death, water was death. And death was that which was to be spread amongst others, not brought onto oneself. Death was glory. Fulfillment. The ultimate end to and reason for living.

Death was good.

Rain was bad.

The thing had already killed all the people in the house. It had started just as the rain had, on the very same day. But the rain was still there. There were no more people. Four of them, they had gone one by one, because as the rain had continued, it had tried to extend its enjoyment, to make it last.

But the rain had outlasted the people.

Now the thing waited, hunched in a corner, its black, brittle body bent over as if in prayer. And in its own way, it was praying. Praying for the rain to end.

There were other houses, other people.

More death.

Slowly, grudgingly, it gave in to sleep. It dreamt of what it could do, and it dreamt of what it would do. When the rain stopped.

It was Thursday, but that meant nothing. The rain had stopped, and that meant everything.

It waited for darkness to fall, jubilant. During the day, the sun had dried the ground, diminished the number of puddles. The night sky was filled with nothing but millions of scintillating stars. It was safe now.

It left the house the same way it had entered, by the basement window. It had been left ajar, as surely others would be. People were careless. It knew people, knew that they could not even begin to comprehend the existence of a creature such as itself. People knew what the light showed them, and they did not trust any dark suspicions they might have.

People were easy,

It scurried across the lawn of the house it had just left, smelling for water because water was death. And not the good kind of death.

At the house next door, windows were lighted. People were inside. The thing felt its excitement growing to a fever pitch. It headed for the house.

It had made it halfway across the yard when the sprinklers came on.

It screamed, a sound which humans could not sense, nor, if they had, identify. The water hitting its brittle skin had the same effect as if it had been hitting a sculpture made of ashes.

The thing simply dissolved.

Near the corner of the house, hunched over the water spigot, was another thing. Almost exactly like the first, only slightly different. If it had been capable, it would have shrieked with laughter, for now these people belonged to it alone.

It did not want to share.

Turning its attention back to the house, it found an open window on the second floor. It began to climb the brick wall. From inside the house came muffled laughter.

People were easy.

And death was so good.

x x x

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