The Living Warmth

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We give each other names we whisper in the darkness to keep the creeping shadows away. Our hands reach for the reassurance of closeness and the warmth of living bodies, the pressure of life.

Here there are only the noises of the night. The old house sighs, mutters and groans around us as it settles itself for another night. We feel its reassuring solidity enclosing us against those other noises of the night that shriek and cry as life tears life apart in the darkness.

There are creatures out there that once were human like us. Now they only seek the warmth of living to rip it from us. They no longer reach to embrace, but only reach to savage and to kill.

There were stories, myths and legends, about those who humanity lost to the darkness. We thought we were in an age that had left such superstitions behind. We never expected anything like this though.

Millennia ago, evolution slipped sideways and some harshness of the environment caused these creatures of the night to develop and thrive. The stories grew around them, so everyone living in such proximity to their lairs and habitats learnt about the dangers of full moons, of darkness and never stepping off the path.

The human sprawl, though, grew too strong for these creatures and they slunk back to the shadows, to the edges. Back to the places where they never forgot the stories and people still believed the old tales about never stepping off the path.

But all that changed too. Now the creatures return, spilling out from the darkness, emerging from the shadows. Filling the night with those cries and screams and leaving the bloody remains for the dawn to find. All while we lie here, chasing sleep and holding on to each other, if only for as long as the living warmth lasts.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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