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They Come

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"... it looked like it had been petrified"

There's no doubt about it: We fear rain. We wear our trenchcoats, and our umbrellas, and all that, to avoid getting hit by some lousy droplets of water.

But what is it that makes us fear it? It's not something we learn, it's something deep, that resonates within us.

An unexplainable repulsion towards getting ourselves wet during a downpour. It is not a learnt fear. It's instinctive.

Instinct. A small word for such a huge idea.

I've lived in the countryside for 4 months now, and am now back in the city.

The neighbors used to tell me to nail the windows shut for about 2 or 3 weeks right after I started living there, but it was the beginning of the summer, and with all the heat of the sun, I wasn't gonna do something as stupid as that. At least, I thought it was stupid.

You know that smell, the one that rises just before the rain starts falling on you? In the city, people will always say it's the smell of watered earth. Of the dirt getting wet. Of bacteria, and plants receiving the rain. But the people have never been in the country, they haven't the faintest idea. You see, the cities, the huge metropolis has not always been there. Mankind has been living in nature far more than it has been living in the cities. That is why we still have the instinct to fear the rain.

It is not the smell of earth, dirt, bacteria, plants... it's their smell. They come out in the rain, and they seek to mate.

But they cannot hold their own, for they must retreat hastily, as soon as the rains give in, and the water stops.

I didn't nail my windows shut, and as soon as the rain came, I started hearing it. Have you ever heard the tiny, almost unnoticeable hum or high pitch that TVs make when they are turned on? Have you ever felt a pressure on your chest when a low pitched beat is heard? Those are the things that filled the air. That smell, and those moans; high and low thumping moans.

It's the smell they follow. I came home a bit wet, for the rain started on my way home. I started hearing those noises, some time after I entered my house. Then the scratching on my door began. I went to check it through the window, and what I saw was horrible. What at first looked like a giant worm was in fact a humanoid thing, with its lower body being one long leg or tail. Its small, atrophied arms were strong enough to allow them to crawl, slither. And its face, it looked like it had been petrified, the only thing that looked like it was in use was its nose. It moved. And as soon as I got close to the window, its face shifted towards me. The window was slightly open, and now I know it turned because it could smell me.

It moved towards the window, but it wasn't strong enough to pull itself up inside, and I had enough time to close the window. Soon enough, it turned, trying to sense the smell. My odor. And after a while, more came. From the hills came an entire legion of those things. 300, 400, maybe.

Thoughts of monkeys running up, towards high rocks, and climbing trees came to my mind. These are the things we've feared since the dawn of time.

After a while, the macabre sight became something I couldn't stand. The noise was so much I couldn't sleep, and the things were so ugly and disgusting, yet I could not stop watching.

Soon, I saw the old stray dog that always wandered around. It was a dirty dog, it must have been 15 years old. Too old to run, too old to live. They grabbed hold of his paws, one, two, three, five... The dog started howling, and tried to bite one, then the other. Soon, they overpowered the poor animal, and then... It happened. From their chests came out a sting. One, two, three, five, they all started stinging the poor beast. After that, they all turned to see towards the East. Then they started crawling, as fast as they could, towards the plains. They disappeared as fast as they came.

The dog lay motionless. It seemed like parts of him breathed. At intervals, parts of his body pulsated. Then, suddenly, the dog jumped to his fours, and looked renewed. It started running like it was a young pup. Then it went running towards the plains, and disappeared from my sight.

When morning broke, I took nails and wood planks and nailed my windows shut. Not even one hole was left. I even checked for other holes in the walls, the door. God, I was starting to get paranoid.

I left the house to get some groceries from the neighbors. They had their own farm, and had a lot of things for sale, but we're talking farms here. The distance I had to travel was about a mile or two to their house. When I got there, black menacing clouds were near. The neighbors were cold and quick, they gave me eggs, milk, some honey, and meat, but told me if I wanted to live, I should stay for the night. I remembered the last night, but I still hadn't made the connection of rain and monsters, so I declined the offer and hurried back, while the farmer, behind me, yelled I should stay if I valued my life.

The rain started midway towards my house. I was wet within the first 10 seconds of rain, it was a real downpour.

I felt the smell of "rain" once more. And then I heard the sounds, once again. The high pitched noise, the low thumping.

I wet my pants when I saw the first of those things crawling towards me. Its nose, like a black eye, moving towards me.

I dropped what I was carrying, and ran for my life. Even though they crawled, they were pretty fast. I was beginning to lose my breath, when suddenly, once again, the image of monkeys climbing trees came to me. I remembered: it could not lift itself through my window! I realized I had a small hope for surviving this, but I had some hope.

While I was running, I turned to see left and right, all I needed was something above the ground. Something that they couldn't climb up to. The farmer's barn! I could see he left his old wood ladder on the side of it. All I had to do was set it up, climb it, and then raise it so they could not follow. It was heavier than I thought, but I was truly terrified of what would happen if I didn't raise it. When I had put it in place, one of those things, faster than those of its kind, tried to stab me with his sting. I could see it like I was in slow motion. I grabbed the sting with both hands, while the thing kept trying to nail me with it. An egg came out of it, while I tried to keep it away from me. I pushed the thing to the side, and the egg fell to the ground. It started to move and pulsate, but then, it stopped. The exterior turned to stone.

As soon as that happened, I heard the clamor of those things, stronger and more penetrating than ever. I saw that the one thing which tried to stab me was now writhing, like it was in pain. I didn't hesitate for one minute, I felt rage within me, so I started to kick it. Then I stomped its head in. I ran up the ladder and then I raised it towards me, up on the barn's roof.

I don't know how I managed to, but I fell asleep. The next morning, I was woken by the farmer's wife, yelling at me. She kept asking why I was there.

I put the ladder, went down, and found a little stone ball... and the skeleton of a dog, with its skull bashed in.

Why had I never seen those things until now? Why did this happen only in a place like this?

It all came to me. The "egg", the rain, the smell of wet people... what about those flashes in my mind? Those memories of a time, long gone?

The people around here, the environment around here, it's all very much like the one it was some thousands of years ago. The only thing around here that's changed are the houses. It's the only "new" thing. And those memories of the past came to me because this thing... it's a primal fear. We have been running from the rain and water for so long, even when we were unevolved chimps, we ran from it... and ran from the ground as well.

I left that place as quickly as I could. I only spent one more night in those plains. I heard those screams and thumps. This time, they came for my house, and my aroma alone. I had killed one of their eggs. I knew it was because of this, how else could one explain all that ruckus that happened when the infected dog dropped the egg?

They beat on the door, they slammed their bodies against it, they kept moaning and scratching, hitting and weeping, smelling my fear. However, the rain stopped quickly, and they ran away.

I am writing this now, because I'm scared of them. I came back to the city, but maybe I should have let them take me.

Instead, I've brought this plague with me, back to the city. They are on the other side of my door, and it's raining outside. It has been for a long time.

Because even now, even though we don't know about them...

Deep inside, we still fear them.

Oh God, the rain won't stop. It's been 3 days, and I'm beginning to lose it.

They claw the door, and I don't know how much more it will resist.

They are taking it down. They smell my fea-

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