This is before they had to flee. It’s a desert, the dunes painted in shades of sepia. Right above her head hangs a sharp and terrible ring of light, too bright to look at directly. The horizon sky glows gold, fading upward into a dark, dark blue. Then a terrible metal scream fills the air. It’s the copper screen that they’ve hung in front of the sun. It needs to be adjusted every now and then, when the sun moves, or they will be burnt away. Thankfully the sun moves very little.
It began in the colonnades under the town. Someone saw a figure leaping from shadow to shadow. It looked human, but something like a crown of bone sprouted from its head. It whimpered and moaned like a hurt animal.
The others came not long after. As the invaders caught the villagers and tore into them, they made soothing, crooning noises that somehow drowned out the shrieks. They ate women and men from the inside, crunching on spines and gristle. When they were done, they dressed themselves in the skins. They settled in the houses, sitting down on chairs and beds, and stared into empty air.