The Circle Opens
rating: +14+x

Night comes in early in Orinsville. The sun rises at seven AM exactly, every day, and by two PM has already begun its slow descent behind the mountains. Come four, it's fully dark. The only light comes from the moon, and even it is often obscured by the thick clouds. There are no stars. The citizens don't see anything unusual about this. To them, night is as mundane as wind or sun, and so is what comes with it.

As the city travels deeper into gloom, it begins to change. The streets distort and shift, rearranging themselves into tangled webs of asphalt and dirt. Buildings grow, shrink, twist, until they no longer resemble normal structures but the constructions of a massive child. The sky lowers itself until it brushes their tips. The trees dance and push together, forming a wall around the town. The few remaining lights go out. Still, this is normal, and the people don't bother to notice anymore.

Then They come. They're different each time, but a few things never change. There are always ten of them. They are always almost human. They never make a sound. And They always take one.

Sometimes it's a house's brick. Sometimes it's a bush, or a toy. Sometimes it's a person. But They always take one thing.

Even this doesn't bother the citizens anymore. They wake up and shrug, and wonder briefly what was taken. Then they go on with their lives. Night comes again. The cycle continues.

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