Nothing moved; but something waited.
The longest night would soon begin.
The hollow tree was consumed by shadows as the last light of day bled into the western horizon.
The black and burned interior seemed to breathe with a rustling, shifting carapace.
Like some silent movie, flickering forms unwound from within the trunk and filled the air with their juddering, twitching flight;
Things of nightmare and terror.
Clawed flaps of skin and bone, hunting their prey across the haunted sky;
Chittering demons of the underworld;
Were-birds of the coming darkness, for those who glimpsed their Nosferatu shapes against the moon.