Shhh!  We don’t use that word here.  They can hear if you say their name, even if you whisper.  Careless whispers, my ma used to say.  Careless whispers make you dead, she said.

People don’t know the truth ‘bout them.  People think they’re just stories.  They think they’re good, and nice, and beautiful.  But they’re not, I tell you.  They’re dark, and cruel, and evil.  They’d kill you as soon as look at you.  They kill for sport.  You ever seen a cat that caught a mouse?  Cat don’t kill him straight off.  Plays with him first; acts like it’s not int’rested, mouse thinks he’s got away, just so’s kitty cat can grab him by the tail.  Poor mouse dies of fright ‘fore the cat can eat him.

Don’t look at me like I’m crazy.  I’ve seen ‘em, I have.  When I was little.  Saw ‘em dancing in the full moon, out in the field.  Next morning pa’s hounds were dead and the cows were dry.  They drink the milk, straight from the teat, pa said.  The dogs were strangled.

Nothing scares them.  Iron hurts them, but sacred iron, iron that’s been blessed at the forge and worn by a livin’ thing.  That’s why they’re comin’ back.  No-one forges iron anymore these days.  There’s nothin’ can hurt them anymore.  An’ people keep calling them, telling stories to their children, drawing pictures of them.  People have forgot.  I don’t hold with picture books in my house.  And no children, either.

Stop lookin’ at me like that.  I told you, I ain’t crazy.  And watch your mouth while you’re here.  Careless whispers make you dead.

kokkieh

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