It comes in the storms, following the thunder down from the mountain. The world empties out during a rainstorm and it comes to hunt when it knows it won’t be seen. If you walk alone in the rain, beware a dark shape moving in the trees.
You’ll only see it at the edge of your vision. It will look like a man, but something will seem… off. It’s a little too skinny. A little too tall. Its elbows and knees aren’t quite jointed in the right place, like someone had seen a drawing of a man once and tried to make one. It stays on the periphery; sensed, felt, but never clearly seen. Not unless it has chosen you as its prey.
You’ll smell it before you see it. A sickly sweet smell; dead flowers, rotting in the sun. You’ll hear it breathing. An oddly musical, whistling rhythm, blowing warm air on the back of your neck. You’ll feel the firm, ice-cold grip of long slender fingers.
And then you’ll be gone.
No one talks about the disappearances, but everyone who grows up around here knows about them. It takes people, and they’re never found. No one knows what it does with them, or why, we just know not to walk alone in the rain.
It comes in the storms.