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The town is, was, and will be. It has been there since before anyone can remember, or records show. The town had survived the ravages of untold ages and weathered storms the like of which none could recall. And of all its queer inhabitants, none were stranger or more reclusive than the withered old man who lived on the highest hill in the town. He had lived there, in a creaky old house with a broken-down porch and broken windows, for longer than anyone alive could remember. Nobody knew how old he was, or even where he came from. Whether he had been born there, or lived somewhere else once, none could say. Indeed, little was known of him beyond the peculiar fact that he always payed for his supplies using gold coins of very ancient currencies.

But regardless of the residents, the town would always be the same. The same old, decrepit houses stood where they always had, leaning on either side of the cold, murky river that carried silt from the sea onto the shores where small children occasionally played before being called in by their mothers. The same ancient oaks, silently watching over the town throughout the years. The same river, winding endlessly through the silently creaking town.

Yes, the town remained the same, no matter how much time passed. Even when a huge storm passed over, tearing apart the forest, the town stood unscathed in the turbulence. Even that month it rained almost every day, and the river swelled and overflowed onto the banks, the town went on. And on the fateful day, when the river washed up that ancient talisman onto the shore next to the church, and a young boy took it to the preacher, who took it home and made a secret altar on which to worship it, the town kept going, ignoring those events with that silent stoicism it always had.

And months later, in the dark of night there was a sharp crack. A sharp crack that hung in the air unnaturally long. It was followed by rustlings and creaking as, from the fiery underworld, great winged monsters swarmed out from the crust and, spreading huge, leathery, webbed wings, took flight through the air. Their massive, round, gelatinous forms ponderously rose into the air as the veined wings beat heavily against the air, sending currents of air rustling through the grass, and blasts of hot, fetid air arose from the pig-like snouts of the unholy eldritch creatures. Glowing eyes filled the sky in uncountable numbers as the devil-things flew off in a single, unified motion, heading towards the town that never changes.

In the dark of the night, where the only noise is that of creaking doors blowing hauntingly in the wind, the town slumbers darkly, its peculiar residents dozing fitfully, tormented by nightmares of dark, winged unnamed things coming down from the sky and up from the earth to consume the town with flames and death. Suddenly all awake as a scream splits the air, followed by a sickening crunching noise. The town is suddenly flooded with movement and wakefulness as people pour out of their houses to discover the cause. What they saw chilled their very souls, as they witnessed the town preacher being torn apart and devoured by those dark, devilish things from their dreams. As the last quarter was choked down by the snouted monsters, they turned those red-rimmed eyes upon the hapless residents, now frozen with fear.

With a grunting, snuffling noise, the hideous monsters charged en masse and grabbed each a member of the village before flying away in the night and returning to that hellish crack from whence they first appeared. A pair of gigantic hands reached up from below and pulled the crack shut behind them, leaving no trace to the world that it ever once existed.

Back in the village, things were much the same. Doors creaked hauntingly in the wind, and the river flows silently on. The town slumbered silently as it always had, and to the casual eye, there was nothing amiss. Someone walking by wouldn't think anything of the silence that now hung in the air like a thick, heavy blanket. The only sounds were the creaking of ancient timbers, the flowing of the river, and the steady rocking of the old man's chair, sitting on the dilapidated porch as he kept a lonely vigil over his world. And the town was, is, and shall be, forevermore.

End

 

Bio: I am a freelance writer who lives in Wales, UK and works for the Abergavenny Chronicle and who has had works of fiction and essays published in "The Conservative", "The Monmouthian" and "ClarkesWorld Magazine".

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