You are walking down the sidewalk. The night is pitch-dark interrupted only by those eggshell-tinged streetlights whose bulbs always hum and flicker intermittently. You pass by a vagrant. You do not know his name, but you know the one.

He once tried to persuade you that the teeth of a local grocer were trying to prevent the Second Coming. He also always has a brick in his backpack for goodness knows how long. He is muttering something to himself but ceases when you two cross under the same light. He acknowledges you and you give him a simple nod.

He goes his way, visible only under those ever-humming eggshell-tinged streetlights muttering things which only make sense to him.


They are not from these parts,

Beings neither our neighbors,

Nor even our cousins,

Things which have no name they call themselves,

How ever, the Antecessors, in the Days of the Dream, referred to them as the Li'laas,

Translating to "The Hourglasses of the Night".

They do not like to travel by sun, under star, or by moonlight,

Instead, preferring the artificial lights.

Though unceasingly humming through their eyes,

The Li'laas do not communicate by words or by sounds,

But by their eyes do they talk,

With rhythmic flickerings of their eggshell incandescent eyes,

Their hide is argent and orichalcum,

Yet, at the same time, cerulean, teal, and cyan,

A metallic sheen across a floral skin,

A perpetually waxy sweat with no clear cause,

An anatomy as perplexing as their culture and mannerisms,

Two square-based pyramids who,

While joined at the apex,

Never seem to touch one another.

A single sphere eye, devoid of distinction, extends itself from each face,

(Save the base)

Only retracting themselves, or daring touch face, during aetheric flights,

Weaving themselves beyond their face to study or to approach,

Always though within two meters of their origin,

Two minds, a single bipartite body,

Each of their thoughts clear to their partner,

Most learn quickly to compromise,

Others, to dominate,

And the failures who filibuster themselves into futility,

In the greyscale cubic cyclopean cities,

Which cluster across the crimson skyscape,

There are no clergy, no aristocracy, no elders,

All roost together as one.

Their planet is a nomad, without star or companion,

Save, the scarlet phosphorescent moss,

Whose quixotic hum is a kind of food to the symbiotic hourglass,

In the cubic cities, all thoughts, all memories, are open to the Li'laas,

No concept of private or secret,

From star to star, the hourglasses harvest stories,

A means to expand their knowledge,

Finding themselves a specimen,

They warble behind, and hum, waiting for a moment of weakness,

The eight-meter hourglass never caring to apply itself to the laws of our matter,

Phasing through walls and floors, or shrinking themselves to fit through the smallest of keyholes,

Prying into the minds of the unsuspecting specimen and into their memories,

Theirs is a multiverse of countless realities,

Yet, for the Li'laas, there is no conception of falsehood,

For surely, all the memories that one has MUST be true,

Near omniscient, yet ever naïve,

In those memories, the Li'laas is only visible in the periphery,

Or heard, through their eternal hum,

Following their specimen through their life and incidents,

But visible only in memory, never in the moment,

The smarter creatures of the worlds,

Always question one another,

They of lesser mind knowing the truth of what the Li'lass do not.

Falsehood is. Delusion is.

Analyzing the specimen's thoughts and memories

Realizing and hearing that otherworldly hum,

Fear takes hold! The hourglass is upon him!

Eight eyes retreat to eight faces,

The nomadic planetoid, with her greyscale cubic cities, launches her retreat,

The maddening hum ceases,

And the Hourglasses of the Night become nothing more than a half-hallucinated memory.