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Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see…
TRANSMIT - initiate the chthonic signal - RECEIVE - initiate the swarm intelligence - THEY WERE NOT ALTOGETHER CROWS, NOR MOLES, NOR BUZZARDS, NOR ANTS, NOR VAMPIRE BATS, NOR DECOMPOSED HUMAN BEINGS - illumine the Local Legends of New England - WITNESS - The Ak'ab.
Ignore the dangling ones, sweetling. The twitching silken cocoons. The muffled moans. Is that a smartphone, vibrating and glowing beneath the sticky strands? Their story is over.
We detect a hive mind. Like our own! More prehistoric. They rhythmically flop, cold and pale things out of the nightmares of deep time. They were brought on ships bearing the mark of a hideous sun. Entombed in black vaults beneath tainted soil, sleeping among the twisted roots of sinister monoliths, they woke to the whisper of a song.
The Wabanaki pass verbal mythos, tongue to ear, of scuttling things. They cast grotesque shapes in their passed down recollections -- pallid monstrosities in the deepest caves, emerging only in times of great hunger or with the proper call. Stories of giant, bloodsucking insects. Unreliable sightings. Any unsolved disappearance or vanished pet became part of the legend. Misbehave to your parents, and they will come for you -- torn of wing, misshapen of body, and chittering. They move through shadows faster than the light can reach them.
Initiate folklore dissection… Focusing aperture…
What is time to us? We stand outside. The blasphemous grubs arrived in New England during the Darkness Wars, brought by those renegade Mayans who turned to the Ones Who Sleep. They took the insectoid horrors from the jungles of Guatemala, where they were birthed from malignant dreaming. The Mayans called them ak'ab, called them "darkness".
The Mayans brought these crawling soldiers to fight against their enemies. The Wabanaki had no answer to the malevolent swarm and were on the verge of defeat. Then came the Vikings. Then came Excalibur. The Wabanaki and their new allies defeated their eldritch enemies, sending the Mayans and ak'ab scattering.
Can a bug know humiliation? Oh yes, sweetling. The ak'ab nuzzled one another underground, healing their wounds, coming out only when hunger forced them. Cloaked in the forgetfulness of years, they became the folklore of the people who had personally fought them. Then came the call. Then came the song. The ak'ab answered ravenously.
And where else in the world do the ak'ab hide? They can lie dormant underground, like hellish cicadas, for centuries. They can flit between shadows, more stealthy than their proportions should allow. Stay alert, sweetling. You will know they are near by a sensation, like buzzing June bugs trapped under your eyelids.