Four. Four is the sacred number. Or is it the profane number? Four and four and four and four. Four grasping hands with rending claws, four curving tentacles, four toothy maws, four and four again eyes around one central eye. The eye that sees; the eye that knows. Such beautiful symmetry that man has created. Or summoned? Or was it here all along? I no longer know.
It climbed out of the well of stars one night. Or was it only a well of water then, and the stars merely reflections? I have had such trouble seeing, lately. But why shouldn’t I? I have only two eyes, and two eyes see so much less than four and four again and one more. The creature sees much, much more than I.
It looks into the hearts of men and sees our sins, our fears. It sees too our desires, and those might be worse. Perhaps that is why it has eaten so many of us. We brought it here, or created it, and now it will cleanse us of our wrongs.
It stands as high as a man, crouched on powerful limbs, but it can rear up to twice again a tall man’s height. Its slick skin reflects the sky; blue-black for night, pale blue for day, and the most delicate orange hues at dawn and dusk. It never sleeps nor rests, but watches, and judges. And eats.
Only its eyes never change color. They glow with reflected flames, the flames to which it sends its prey. I can see them now, as it watches me.
Will you find this parchment stained with my life’s blood? Will you hear in your mind my echoed cries as you read this? I can but hope they serve as a warning. Repent.