They will come again, and when they do, the others will hide.
Mr. Brown will curl up in his hole in the eaves. The Wife in the crawlspace, and I'll be here, clutching my dear ones close. I'm wrapping my legs around them, and I can hear them fidget against the soft sac, their little tremors not unlike the desperate throes of flies, but warm, beautiful. It won't be long now. Now is the tender time. Soon I'll wear them on my back, and we can leave this place. But not yet. Not yet. Now is the time when a swift strike would kill them, and me with them. I will not leave.
I can't leave. I've hidden as well as I can. A small shadow between the braces under the mantel, where their lights don't penetrate. At least not yet.
Too much light. Too many sounds. They come with their sounds, with their fangs at the ends of their legs, shooting explosions into the walls, toppling everything. They are giants. They grumble at each other, tear up the floors, rip down the lights. Destroy everything that has stood for years. Stupid, loud, lumbering beasts with death in their hands.
I've heard the stories. Passed down from the others who have remained. We've always been here, generation after generation, thousands of precious sacs like the one between my legs. Hundreds of mothers, still with fear.
I've never known them, but I understand them. They were just like me. I will not leave my children. I'll die with them.
The dark time is ending. Gentle moon and quiet dark gives way to hated sun, sharp knives of light between the flapping tarps the giants have erected. They will arrive soon. I can feel the vibrations in what remains of the walls. Mr. Brown scurries toward his hole. The Wife skitters to her place inside the bones of our home.
I want to join them, but I won't.
The giants are here. I can feel the thunder of the things they ride to war. I can feel their massive footfalls outside the walls. The tarps jerk aside, and they storm in, weapons ready, shearing precious darkness with their beams of light.
One speaks, if you can call it speech, howling moans from forced air. They sound like pitiful ghosts.
"Yep, you've got a problem, all right. Get it cleared up soon before the inspector comes."
I have yet to meet any Inspector. They have said the name with reverence and dread. Perhaps the Inspector might see reason, see the damage the giants have done, and have mercy on our home.
The one who spoke about the Inspector leaves, but comes back. With tools.
He searches the walls, and hisses into them.
I don't feel Mr. Brown's tremors anymore.
He searches the crawlspace. He hisses into it.
The Wife isn't scurrying anymore.
He eyes the mantel with the sunlight he carries. I clutch my charges; fold myself tight.
"Oh, DAMN. Look at that shit. They're about to pop, dude."
"Well clear 'em out. Jesus, they give me the creeps."
I will not leave my charges.
I pray the Inspector arrives in time.