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At five o’ clock, Ed Loyce got his car out and headed across town toward his TV sales store. He was tired, and It was getting dark. He stopped his Packard for a red light and then started it up again . He passed the little square of green with it’s lonely drinking fountain and bench and single lamppost . Something was hanging from the lamppost -a shapeless dark bundle, swinging a little with the wind. He peered out “what the hell was it?”He made a u-turn and concentrated on the dark bundle . It was not a dummy. The hackles on his neck rose, and he swallowed uneasily. It was a body -Don Fergusson came slowly out of the store “See it”-how the hell long has it been there?”There must be some reason, Fergusson shrugged. Jack Potter joined them, and Loyce said “I am going to call the cops”He began to get hysterical “You see it?” you see it hanging there? A man’s body-A dead man -Potter hurried off ,joining the flow of people . But nobody stopped ‘I am going nuts -he whispered. He gained the curb and stepped up the little square of green. The man was middle-aged and his clothing was ripped and torn, splashed and caked with dried mud. His skin was gouged and cut deep scratches of congealed blood. His mouth was open .”Who was the man?”let me go, The police -Get the police ” He must be a sick or drunk ” Do something -he screamed. The cop then came and asked his name and address. Where were you today?-the cop asked him .”I was home Down in the basement Loyce said . They were not cops . He had realized that right away. A man could not own a store, operate a business in a small town for twenty-five years without getting to know all the cops and to his right -the police station. He could hear something. Something that made him struggle frantically to close his ears ,his mind ,to shut out the sound .A buzzing, a distant, muted hum like a great swarm of bees. Loyce gazed up ,rigid with horror . They were landing . They had wings like giant insects of some kind ‘They flew and fluttered and came to rest -and then crawled crab fashion, sideways, across the roof and into the building. He was fascinated. Perhaps they were aliens from some other world. He closed his eyes in horror, and his senses reeled. Pseudo-men,Imitation men -Insects with ability to disguise themselves as men . The bus halted . A senior man got on slowly and dropped his token into the box and took a seat opposite Loyce and he got to his feet and then ran to the door. He yanked the emergency door release . He was stopped by the bus driver . He groped around .His fingers closed over something . He crawled to his feet ,grunting with pain . A shape loomed before him -A man, the bright-eyed man with the book. He was again kicked .”Listen to me -he said I don’t have much time . They know, I escaped, and they will be looking for me”An utter alien presence, but it was dead. It was an insect From the telephone pole in front of the police station, something large and shapeless hung. It moved a little with the wind .-What the hell was it?’ He wanted to get home . He was tired and hungry . Now he thought of his wife, his kids,-a hot meal on the dinner table but there was something about the dark bundle, something ominous and ugly. The light was terrible -The shapeless thing made him uneasy. He was frightened by it, and the strange part was that nobody else seemed to notice it.
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