Nobody noticed at first. Limp, lifeless bodies dragged from their beds. Just one or two to begin with, and then a slow, steady, inexorable accumulation; it was always recorded the same way - death by natural causes – until it began to call on the rich and powerful, the famous and worthy. Then the head scratching really began. The scientific community were brought to full alert, and the cause actively sought, or, at least, that’s what we were led to believe.
What troubled everyone were the unnaturally sallow complexion, hollowed eyes, and visible, palpable, total exhaustion of the body, as if eaten from the inside. Every scrap of energy sucked up, spat out and now, wasted, discarded, spent.
Because it crept up on the world, it was hard to say just how long we had been at its mercy. Or what in fact it was: a disease perhaps, or a virus of some kind? Nobody really knew, many guessed, but as the death toll rose, clues began to emerge.
Now, all too aware of the impending danger, reports emerged of strange ‘Shadows’ flitting through the night skies, often in the darkest places and barely visible, detectable only by a sudden rush of wind and the sense of presence. From time to time soft bird-like chattering could be heard. At first, it was dismissed as such, but birdsong, at night?