Night of the Scorpions

Scorpions are no strangers to the desert or to those who live there. For the most part, scorpions go about their business unseen. If you live far enough out into the wide open desert you might see more than your fair share of scorpions but still not enough to cause panic.

A long time ago on one extremely hot night, a patch of desert simply came alive…alive with scorpions.

As the sun started to set that evening, the heat radiated across the horizon as iridescent waves clinging to the desert floor. Further off in the distance, the ground appeared to be moving. Dismissed by most who had seen this vision as just a simple heat mirage, the locals went back to their normal routines. Most already preparing to settle in for the night. By morning it would be long forgotten. Lights went off across the desert valley as bedtime approached.

But there was one old desert dweller who knew that the moving desert he was seeing was no mirage. No, something was happening out there in that patch of desert and it wasn’t good. Once the sun set, the moving desert would no longer be so easily visible. That thought alone sent chills through the old desert dweller.

As most of the small town’s lights turned off, the night sky grew even darker than before. Any movement made harder to see unless you were very determined.

Well, one old desert dweller was just that determined. How could he just turn off his lights and rest his head when he knew something was creeping towards him? Terrified his childhood nightmares were coming back to haunt him. Could those old stories have been true? Stories he hadn’t thought about in years.

The old desert dweller sat alone in the dark on his porch armed only with a blue light. He had his suspicions.

See, this old desert dweller had been told some pretty fantastic tales as a kid. Tales of scorpions taking over entire towns. Crawling over walls and into houses. Covering entire streets. Swallowing up horses! These stories were always told by adults sitting around a roaring campfire. No surprise, a strong drink or two had been had by the story teller himself. Usually it was just meant as a harmless session of wild tales intended to scare the kids off and give the adults a good laugh. But some of those stories seemed pretty close to the truth…

Alone in the dark on his porch, the old desert dweller recalled every word his young ears had ever heard. Was it possible hundreds or even thousands of scorpions were creeping towards his town?

There was no breeze that night. Only a stillness, a quiet in the heat, that made sleeping easy for all those who had ignored the moving vision on the horizon.

The old desert dweller sat at high alert. Ears tuned in, trying to hear the approaching silent invasion. Flashing his blue light across his front yard looking for anything glowing or scurrying its way toward him. He knew it was coming. He could sense something was out there. This was his desert. He had been there all his life. This night did not feel right, the same uneasy feeling he had inside when he first saw the horizon moving towards him.

The hours ticked by. Maybe he was wrong he thought as he yawned…they were just crazy old tales told a long time ago…

Staring out into the quiet darkness alone, the old desert dweller nodded off in his chair on the porch. Fast asleep his flashlight dropped to the ground at his side.

The night grew even hotter making sleep almost impossible. With no breeze blowing through to cool everything off, the hot and heavy air hovered over the desert like a thick smothering blanket.

The stifling heat woke the dweller from his momentary nap. Sleepily he rubbed his eyes then fully awoke to the unbelievable horror as he watched hundreds of scorpions fall off of him and down to his scorpion covered patio! He had fallen asleep before the invasion and now it was too late! They were everywhere!

Horrified, he helplessly watched as his home virtually disappeared, entirely covered in scorpions. Crawling and stinging scorpions covered his entire body. The only sounds were the shrieks and gasps from the old dweller as he shuffled his way towards the one thing he knew could stop this nightmare. Fire.

Dying from shock and pain, the old desert dweller reached for his lantern and matches. Struggling to stay alive through the excruciating stings of literally thousands of angry crawling scorpions, he managed to light his old lantern then throw it into his house setting the whole unbelievable scene on fire.

Thick smoke and flames woke nearby neighbors who were unable to save the old desert dweller.

They say his act of heroism saved the town that night. The fire had alerted the towns folk and they were able to escape mostly unharmed.  After the fire was put out, hundreds of thousands of dead scorpions were found all around the property of the old desert dweller. Locals say it is that very patch of desert that will come alive again one day… alive with scorpions.

So beware…Next time you look out onto the horizon make sure it really isn’t moving before you go to bed that night.

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