I want to start by saying they're fake. Not all of us, just the ones they use for services like donations and tool rent. Robots. All of them. I am real. 

After every rain and every snow you can find us. Dig us up from the earth and place us in your homes, sell us, or put us in storage. We are items. That's what we are to you right? Items. 

Well under every gyroid. Under every colorfully painted clay face, there is a human. A human screaming to be let out.

Before you and your villagers came, there was once a thriving nation here. People used to flock the market place. Children played in the streets. It was a happy town with happy people. It wasn't just happy, it was safe. The army was powerful. My nation was the strongest in the land. Nothing could stop it. Despite this however we were peaceful, and chose only to fight when defending.

What could happen. What could possibly happen to a town so perfect as this. I know what happened. How could I forget. How could I? Trust me I've tried. But I can't. The memory burned inside my mind. Every thing that has happened to me so clear. The most horrible thing is being forced to sit  motionless as I learned the same thing happen to my family. My friends. My children. How could I forget the day I wanted to die.

There is an insect. A parasite. It has no name, we never gave it one. Anyone who has ever encountered the bug, never spoke a word again.

The way our town worked was if we ever needed anything. Pretty much anything. Food, water, wood, supplies. we would have to go to the forest lands and gather some. This deemed a problem however. The forest is where the parasite lives. Waiting for someone to come. Waiting for it's victim.

The parasite would wait. Waiting on the trees as small as a pill bug. Waiting in the hundreds. Sometimes the thousands. Just waiting. 

When someone arrives it attacks. They start by biting you. The bite is powerful, painful. The pain itself is enough to bring you to your knees. If not the added poison will. It won't kill you, if anything this is a sign. A sign of eternal life. Eternal torture.

Once they have you immobilized they start sucking. Sucking out every bit of moisture you have. You don't need it. The bugs will keep you alive. They will force you to live. After sucking out every last drop you become about half your size. Your arms will be stiffened into a ninety degree angle. You become a full body shell. Hard as clay with the same color.

Then they eat. They eat everything of you that's not necessary. They will supply you with nutrients so your digestive system can go. You don't need your vocal cords. Why would you want to call for help. Your legs look heavy and unnecessary, you can't run. Why have them. Tongue can go as can the eyes. You don't need to see this.

The entire time you can feel them. Feel them crawling up and down you skin, your throat, your body. Feel them eating away at you as you helplessly do nothing. Feeling all the pain. 

You are done. 

They use you. You are their hive. Your remaining organs are forced by the poison to keep pumping. Keep living. You are immobile except for small twitches and odd noises you manage to utter. The parasite feeds your organs so you have enough food and water. You wish you don't. You wish they'd kill you. But why would they? You are the perfect host. The perfect hive. 

Slowly they drive you insane. You can feel their small touches of their prickly feet as they roam inside you.

You wish you were dead.

Another winter comes and the parasite dies off. But you remain. The parasite's poison is rich in glucose. This substance has enough nutrition to last millenniums. So you remain living.

It isn't long before someone finds you. They think you're just a little statue and take you back. Using prickly brushes they paint you and set you out in the center of town. In the shrine. Along with hundreds of other gyroids you now know where came from.

Everyday you hear your tortured family pass you. Dreading their loss. Eventually you learn another one leaves. And another.  And another. Soon the town's population is cut by the hundreds. And all you can do is sit and hope. Hope the torture will end. 

It does though, for a while. The ice age hit soon enough and along with erosion and settlement I was buried. Deep underground. Until now.

They forgot to eat away my vocal cords so I'm lucky. You however, are not.

For you can kill the parasite with cold weather, but not the eggs.

Which should be hatching about now.

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