It wasn’t until just before dawn that the frost started to melt. The mist was still thick in places, and the birds had yet to awaken. All was quiet in the nippy air, and no one could be seen for miles and miles.
He sat still on the top of a little hillock, thinking of nothing in particular, watching the color slowly seep back into the world. Twilight still had its hold for the moment and would for a little longer it seemed.
His breath swirled in little clouds of fog as he watched the first ones appear around him, little tiny balls of green-blue light floating in the meadow that surround the hill.
He stood abruptly and set a fast pace down the hill, ignoring the dew that settled on his pant legs. Within seconds, he was brushing past the first few lights as an ever increasing number appeared in the field. The tingling feeling of their touch sent shivers down his spine.
They began to converge on him, and he looked about worriedly. He picked up his pace, now physically pushing them out of his way, leaving them trailing behind him like streamers.
His anxiousness rose a notch as he heard a deep rumbling sound. His mouth felt dry, making it difficult to swallow. He needed to be going faster, and the lights were slowing him down.
It wasn’t always like this. There was a point when he was still young and naive where he felt drawn to the lights, instead of the paralyzing fear he held now. There was no doubt that they exuded a mysterious atmosphere, one that almost begged curiosity from anyone.
In fact, it was his own curiosity that started it all on that spring morning many years ago. You may remember the event, but what you may not know is what transpired before hand; that downward tumble into disaster.
The tale that I am to tell is not a long one, nor is it particularly pleasant, but it is one that must be told. It is the story of the were-lights.
There is an age-old problem, one that plays as major a role in this story as in any. Not everything that appears beautiful is good, and curiosity killed several things.
For as long as he could remember, the were-lights appeared just before dawn, twinkling in the twilight, and he wanted to know why. In the beginning, the search for the reason got him nowhere. He ended up just stomping in circles through the marsh grass.
This went on for months before he finally gave up the method and settled down on his little hill to stare at them. Slowly, he began to notice a pattern. The first light always appeared in the same spot, and throughout the duration of their stay, would never move, unlike the others which wandered haphazardly. Whenever he checked that particular spot, however, nothing ever turned up.
That day he stood there for a long time, unsure of what to do. He was stumped. Then, he heard a sound. Slowly, he tipped his head back and stared up. He understood.
It was something that you would only be able to see from the spot he was standing. Floating semi-transparent in the air above him was a massive clock tower. He heard the sound again. Dong. Dong. A chilling sound that froze his soul and resounded throughout his body.
At the end of the last chime, the were-lights surrounded him suddenly in a swirling mass. He thrashed around desperately to get free, but could not. He felt like he was drowning. They swept him up into the dark interior of the clock tower.
When he finally came to, he sat alone in the dark. Or so he thought. A scraping sound alerted him of its presence. With all his senses now on fire and prickles running up and down his skin, he dared not to move. He could hear it now, the soft drawing in of air and the slow rush of it out again.
Something massive was breathing. He felt something warm and sticky drip on him, and once again he tipped his head back. Glowing eyes as big as dinner plates penetrated the darkness, staring at him. He froze, paralyzed in fear.
All of a sudden, the thing moved, sending its humongous claws crashing into him. It batted him into the air and sent him flying into the wall.
The air rushed out of his lungs, and his was on fire from the impact. He struggled to get up, his need for survival in full gear. His breath returned, and he noticed he could see a little better, enough to see the monster’s downward swing towards him.
In a desperate leap that pushed him up against the wall once more, he barely manage to dodge the deadly claws. He heard a click as his hand brushed against a knob, and the wall gave out behind him. He was suddenly in free fall.
He landed softly in the grass below, breathless but alive. He was back on his little hillock staring up at the clock tower. A massive hole now glared from its side. He sat up and watched as the first of the were-lights appeared.
Now, we are where we began.
With dawn slowly approaching, he rushed down the hill, the wisps swirling around him slowing him down. He heard the deep rumbling sound again. The monster was coming for him.
He ran as hard as he could, desperately trying to escape as he felt the thudding beat of it coming closer, and then it was upon him, slamming him to the ground.
He watched as his life flashed before his eyes and saw the were-lights dancing serenely in background. And then, he was one of them, floating gently in the air with no thought of his own, his mind filled with the monsters massive presence.
That day, a monster was released into the world. Anything it ate would turn into a lost soul, a little blue-green light that appeared just before dawn, a were-light that helped lure in prey.
So, beware of just before dawn, where all is quiet and the color seeps back into the world a little too slowly, where were-lights appear dancing beautifully in the air, luring in the curious. Twilight is a time for beasts.