Xir eyes were fixed on the figure above xir, the outstretched hand, the welcoming smile. The shadow’s hot, heavy breath whuffed at the back of xir neck before, seemingly satisfied, it curled gently around xir. If xe had been anything but what xe was, xe’d have been shaking like a leaf; as it was xe was unnaturally still.

“Come with us,” the figure said. “We will protect you.”

The clash raged across the countryside, staining the sky black and carving fissures and scars into the earth beneath their feet as they howled and screamed, hurling eldritch power at one another like it was nothing, caring not for the mortals below. The twin creatures from beyond the heavens scored deep wounds and yet did not stop. 

One of the unlucky folk below could have sworn xe heard one of them howl, “It was my turn with the TV!”

Xe woke up to murky blackness. The streetlights outside had shut off, but it was deep into the night still. Xe thought it was odd, just then, as they could have sworn they saw something standing in the corner of xir room. The moment xir eyes adjusted, xe wished they didn’t. A low moan stretched across the room as the twitching shadow-humanoid in xir bedroom corner started approaching.

The birds followed xir like a storm of feathers, from magpies to falcons to blue jays and owls, the storm cloud of feathers and beaks and razor sharp talons was always there, even though no one else ever seemed to see it. Xe was the only one who seemed to see them, but xe left seed out for them every morning anyway, even if they turned out not to be birds at all.

The witchwoods swayed in the summer breeze, the songbirds trilling a dark song through the shaded glade. The air was heavy here, thick with forgotten magics. The Faerie grinned, revealing sharp teeth as xe crooned at the carefully woven reed cradle. The baby, swaddled thoroughly within thick blankets, blinked up at the Faerie and cooed happily, eyes alight with joy.

There’s a story to be told here, you know. You’re sure of it. That student there, with the heavy backpack and the very tired eyes, maybe it’s xir story, and it’ll be your job to suss it out.

Maybe. Not sure yet. Xe could just be tired.

See here’s the thing about people like you, you don’t get to have stories, only tell them. Watching and waiting until a hero passes you by (if you’re lucky) or maybe the worlds next monster (if you’re not).

The problem is picking out which is which, who’s who, what stories are worth telling.

(Not yours, apperently)

There’s an angel in the ditch that the school bus drives by. Xe stays there and sings to the passing by children, like xe’s trying to get them to jump out of the moving bus and come to xir.

Everyone knows by now to wear headphones, or to chatter loudly in conversation, to turn off their hearing aides when they pass by. You must not listen to the angel. You must not.

(they all know what happens if you do)