We are the unwanted children of the very first bonfires. Man learned to strike two stones together near a heap of dry leaves and twigs to keep the darkness away at night. They huddled near the warmth of the yellow flames, keeping a furtive eye on the flickering shadows. Their children, always the most imaginative and easily frightened of their kind, fed us with their fear and nervous curiosity. We grew stronger over millennia of cold nights. We watched the fledgling race grow into villages, towns, cities and nations. They invented candles, torches, matchsticks and lightbulbs. Their lights cast many shadows; our numbers grew, feeding off the irrational fear of every member of the growing population. We were grateful. The other animals don’t feel fear the same way. We flocked to civilization and competed for sustenance.
Then, they turned on us. Shamans and priests cast us out. They weaponized symbols and rituals to hurt us. They burnt away the shadows, chasing after us with wild shouts, pitchforks and blazing torches. Why?
Fear is a byproduct of the human mind, much like carbon dioxide is that of the respiratory system. Would you ruthlessly chop down trees because they have evolved to use your waste products to their benefit? We don’t feed man’s fear; we feed on it.
Over thousands of years of abuse and toxic hatred, our features have contorted. My own visage is pitted with scars and lumps. We clung to the human race, hiding under beds, in closets, behind bookcases and in basements. Like the victim of an abusive relationship, we just couldn’t leave. We consumed their fear and let their bigotry consume us.
The history of our kind is a story of dependence and unwarranted abuse. Tonight, we strike back. Tonight, horror will drown out all your emotions. Tonight, we will feast on the purest of fears; the fear of your children.