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Friday, August 15

McKinley Boulevard: Part 4 – Moths to a Flame

By the time they got to the lower level, the sparking outside had become a cacophony of buzzes. Blue light flickered constantly through the boarded up windows, as if there were a fireworks display outside.

Hammer made his way over to the window facing the street. “What the hell is going on out there?”

Through the window he could see a twitching, smoldering mass beneath the zapper. It looked as if it were a pile of insects, so many that they were piling up in droves.

Hammer turned back to Archive. “Moths,” he said.

Suddenly the zapping stopped. Where ambient light made it through the window, now nothing was visible.

“That’s weird,” said Kristian.

Hammer turned back to the boarded up window. It was completely covered by something, darkening all windows on that side of the house as if it had been blanketed by a sheet.

A stray month crawled between the cracks and flitted into the room in an erratic spiral. It made its way past Hammer, landing on the floor in the center of what was once a drawing room. It crawled into the debris littering the ground.

Then another moth flitted out. A few more followed.

“Get away from the window—“ began Archive.

With a crash, the boards exploded inward as thousands of moths poured into the room in a raging torrent. Hammer grabbed Kristian and covered him with his body, diving to the ground.

The moths swirled in a choking cloud. They formed a huge, grinning, toad-like face in the center of the room.

Archive reached into his shirt and pulled out an amulet. It was in the shape of a pentagram, with a burning eye in its center. “IA! The power of the Elder Gods compels you!”

The toad-like cloud of moths shifted from rage to fear. They dissipated, spiraling in a long line into the debris on the floor.

Hammer stood up, dusting himself off.

“We’d better get out of here.” Archive looked to Kristian. “Are you all right?”

The boy’s eyes were wide, his mouth agape. For a second Hammer feared he was in shock.



posted by Michael Tresca at 9:15 AM

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