All we really wanted was to be left alone…
For millennia, our kind have lived umbral existences beneath the sleeping-places of other beings. For many years did we slumber rather squishedly beneath the nesting furs of Neanderthals. Long thereafter did we squeeze ourselves into the cracks of the cavern floors of early Homo Sapiens. This went on for generations uncountable.
In all this time, all we wanted was to live our unlit lives in peace in the great Hibernation of our species, think our peculiar thoughts, and maybe, rarely, every little once in a while, grab a dangling limb to hear the scream…
All right. Perhaps you see the falsehood here. Our kind, though wise in the ways of hiding, are not always expert at the art of lies. When I say that we seldom wish to grasp the unsuspecting, I speak falsely. The truth is…
NEVER. Seriously, never. Sure, humans tell their young that we lurk in wait, and that’s not untrue, except we’re not exactly waiting for them to let their guard down. Mostly, we’re waiting for them to leave so we can catch a few more Zs.
Why in the name of Morpheus would we muck about with a bunch of homicidal hominids? It’s pretty impossible to get a century or two of sleep if some overbrained ape is busy trying to poke us and prod us and shine lights into our bloodshot eyes.
Let’s be real. Humanity is perfectly willing to leave your species alone, once there aren’t any of you left. They’re not the only vicious things out there; it’s hardly like the Creatures of the Night never prey on humanity. In our long years of (infrequently) not being asleep, we’ve noted that any thinking beings, supernatural or otherwise, will prey on any damn things they can consume, utilize, make into trophies, or grind up in order to make assorted potions and/or (in one particular case) bread. In general, Vampires thirst, Werewolves hunger, and Humans are curious.
If you don’t think that latter part is sinister, you’ve likely never been its target. It works rather like this: Nightbreed may say, “I wonder if that tastes good, and if anyone would miss it”. And thus they become hunters and haunters of shadowy places.
Humans START there, and then go on to, “…and if neither of those things works, I wonder what else I can do with this, if I just make a few adjustments, and perhaps hook up some electrodes…”
Because humans are ambitious and inspired. Few of them ever developed the abilities and strengths of those who are bound to eventide; they seldom have magic, or what the vulgar might call “supernatural powers”. It might have been better if they did; those of us with some form of unusual force inside of us have, at one point or another, realized how difficult power is to control. No, humans can’t tear a car in half, as Werewolves can, or fly, as Vampires can. They just ask a lot of questions. Remember, when we say “Curiosity killed the Cat, but satisfaction brought it back,” it was not the feline, but the Human, which made both of those things happen. Cats are a good example; humans tried some of their little experiments, attempting domestication of the aforementioned predators. If you’ve ever met one of the little monsters, you’ll realize: things went slightly amiss; but only slightly.
The rest of us are, in general, not so lucky.
We Beasts of the Underbed never wanted this. For long ago, our Prophets laid down the Words which guide us today:
long shall be the spans of our lives,
strange will be our journeys in the Land of Nod,
…but not right now.
Not quite yet.
Not for a little longer.
It’s terribly cozy in here.
And by this Prophecy we have thrived. Through ages now lost, we have followed the Law:
But now, our rest is broken. And we are, incessantly, irredeemably, unstoppably, unbelievably cranky.
So very well. Up we shall get, if truly we must. But we shall stay enshrouded in the lightless places, in the obsidian unseemings. We are, and shall always be, black holes, inky-opaque, hard to see, reflecting little light, sparkling not at all. If this be the time, then yes, we shall Get Up—but hear me. Perhaps we must Rise, but even if we do, no power on Earth, nor in Faerie, nor Heaven nor Hell, and indeed, naught that ever existed or shall ever, in the history of the Universe come to be, nary any part of Creation can change our darkling natures. Lo, we must Rise. But nothing, NOTHING shall make us shine.
Who will come to get me first? The Kindred? The Garou? The Technocrocy? Or a bunch of angry WOD fans?
Perhaps they’ll all come at once.
I’m Jeff Mach.