Out of the Muck

Day -7 (seven days before the new moon)

Sharps Teller’s hut is completely destroyed, with no sign of him or his visitors.

The water level throughout town raises a foot higher than normal. Any who spend any significant time in the water experience skin irritation. No one can stand more than an hour or so of it before needing to dry off.

The sounds, muffled, continue.

Conversation at The Pleasant Kitchen tends toward ways to abandon the village, and when, or trying to investigate the source of the problem.

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Day -8 (Eight days before the new moon)

There are several sightings of dark figures around the outskirts of town.

The water level throughout town drops several inches overnight. Aquatic crops, like rice, droop and appear sickly. The booming sounds quiet, but now occur at regular intervals. They can be felt more than heard.

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Day -9 (Nine days before the new moon)

More animals, mostly fish, turtles, and frogs, are found dead in the parts of town nearest the bog. Water throughout town has a strange odor.

Sharps Teller comes into town as soon as the fog burns off. Many nervous townsmen are assembled at The Pleasant Kitchen, discussing the noises last night. Sharps speaks privately with Peter Bran, Benjamin Bran, and Obie Merrymaker before returning to his home with them just before sunset.

The noises start recurring once it gets dark, at a rate of one every few hours.

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Day -10 (Ten days before the new moon)

The morning fogs return, thicker. They now last until past noon. Visibility is decreased greatly, and no one wants to go far from home.

Sharps Teller sends his immediate family to stay with Timothy Hob, at the center of town. He spends all day and night on his roof, watching the swamp.

As midnight approaches, four identical, long, low, booms come from the direction of the bog.

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Day -12 (Twelve days before the new moon, final day of the full moon)

The fog rolls in just after dark, thicker than ever. The full moon diffuses through it. No one goes out this night.

Sharps Teller wakes to discover everything in his turtle ponds is dead and sunk to the bottom. Every dead turtle, every dead fish, every dead frog, all refuse to float.

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Day -14 (Fourteen days before the new moon, first day of the full moon)

No sign of the fog today. William Teller, doing some night fishing from a canoe, sees something dark and human sized at the edge of his light. It vanishes while he watches it. Moments later, he spots four more of the figures, all immobile, at the opposite side of what his lantern is illuminating. He hurries home, shaken.

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Day -24 (Twenty-four days before the new moon)

A think fog blankets the majority of the village just before dawn, lingering much longer than would be expected. It takes several hours of the summer sun to burn it off.

The fog makes a brief appearance almost every morning after this.

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