It had begun in a vast, flat landscape, a monochrome of dark and light under a leaden sky. This is where it was made: where the hunger had sparked into life by a beaten track because someone had bled and died. The next life was taken by force, and then the next and then the next until the entity began to have shape and form, like a pearl formed from grit.
Locals, human and animal alike, began to avoid the spot and so it languished for a time; the life it had stolen beginning to leach back from whence it came. But the entity was not beaten so easily. If the prey would not come to it, it would go to the prey.
And so the hunt began.
In time it reached the city and stalked the streets taking the old, the sick, the unwary. But even this was not enough and its wants became more capricious and cruel. It failed to notice the spirits that followed it: a silent army of sad revenants that grew with each passing day.
This was a night much like any other and it cruised the High Street for a likely victim. A young man with wild, curly hair wearing only a long leather coat with no top underneath emerged from Mary King’s Close. He looked furtively about him a couple of times and then stared directly at the entity. Most people did not have the eyes to see, not until it was too late.
The young man smiled and beckoned, pointing behind him into the murk of Mary King’s Close. Emboldened by the rush of the hunt, it did as it was bid. A door slammed shut and someone laughed, a thin, gurgling sound.
Still unconcerned the entity sought out the life force of the young man finding nothing but the taste of grave, a faint odour of corruption. There was nothing of life here.
“We’ve come for you,” said a watery voice as though talking through only partially formed vocal chords. “We’ve come for the lives you stole.”
“Yes,” another voice wheezed and the entity recognised the owner was trying to laugh,
“You could say we want our lives back.”