Meet Leah and you will almost immediately sense some elusive quality that dances around the periphery of your consciousness but cannot be pinned down. She is wildly charismatic, but there is more. She is stunning, a heart-stopping beauty that silences a room and forces it to go out of focus as she wanders through it – but there is more. Leah is two parts inviting and one part raucous, attracting the bold and lonely while challenging those that would otherwise leave her be – but the invitation and provocation still paint her on a human scale, and you will note that there is something far deeper to her purpose than inviting trouble at every dinner party and masquerade.
Leah is the magnet.
From the moment she was born, Leah has exerted a pull on every living object in the universe. Low grade but inexorable at long distances, she is impossible to resist up close. On the playground it meant half of her class vying to be in her inner circle and the other half making clumsy advances, violent or romantic. Outside the islands of school and home, every man, woman and animal in a hundred foot radius found their way to her, found it hard to leave her side. It is one thing to have the spotlight constantly shine on you, another entirely to draw the world towards you every waking moment.
She learned the art of hiding early, of defense soon after, of disinterest last. But above all she mastered her power, found ways to use it to her advantage, and this she used most of all. Success was impossible to avoid as she grew older, but anger, frustration and madness were almost as difficult. Mornings she would awaken to strange men on her doorstep, victims to her pull. Nights she would invariably incite brawls between suitors. Spend too long in one place and the trees would all grow towards her bedroom. Settling down was begging for calamity.
Yet it wasn’t the nascent stardom that started to bother those that paid the most attention, or the small riots that seemed to follow her everywhere she went. It was the low grade magnetism pulling from infinity that began to cause concern. There were signals to those that knew to look for them. Vile forms were rising slowly from the deep. Primordial horrors were making their reluctant hurtle through space. Beings more ancient and dangerous were clambering up the planet’s bowels.
Invulnerable, cocooned by her growing entourage, Leah continues her inevitable ascent while a growing congregation gathers quietly, set on finding a way to erase the crosshairs from the planet.
The beasts are picking up speed.
Illustration by Chris Corridore