I finish feeding and leave their remains on the floor of the tunnel. I stand, looking across the pool, then return my gaze down the tunnel. The air from the thing’s maw is hot and sour, a mixture of smells from the exploded still, the boys’ corpses and the fetid water in the pool. The hunger, for a short time, is satisfied. I leave the place, the smells become overwhelming.
The shuddering leaves of the aspens allow light to glimmer down on me as I make my way home on a different path from the one I followed the boys to the tunnel. Birds sit on branches, shading themselves from the afternoon’s heat. Soon enough it will be fall and they will be flocking together to migrate to their winter homes. I think I will enlist with them and follow them to their warm paradise. The Darkness does not care where I take as my home; as long as I feed, its primal needs are fulfilled.
I step back onto the road leading back to the city. A breeze kicks up dust that muddies the droplets of blood on my clothes. I am lucky that my neighbors think me a working man that does odd jobs, as most times I have a disheveled appearance, which is a far cry from what my appearance should be. Ahead I see a man standing on the side of the road; I feel the hunger stir within me, ready for my next course.

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