The machines came alive one morning in Laurence Simmons’ junkyard.
All the machines.
Laurence was nowhere to be found, which was probably best for Laurence though not for the rest of Cross.
The machines went on a tear, so to speak. Those that could went racing out of the yard, chasing down people and animals. Three people were killed, including a pair of siblings, as well as six cats and eight dogs.
Houses, vehicles, and businesses were rammed. The damage was considerable, especially given the condition of the old machines. More than a few parts were left lying about the roads, and I wish more of them had fallen apart before they had caused any damage.
For three days, we hunted the machines throughout Cross. Roadblocks were placed wherever a vehicle might escape, and our fire department was kept on its toes as we destroyed vehicles or drove them back toward the yard.
By the end of the third day, every mechanized item which had escaped from the yard had been driven back into it, and I gathered up as many of the militia as I could to help me with the final burn.
When the last of the machines had ceased to move, and great, dark gray clouds of smoke billowed into the air, I found Laurence Simmons dead in his small work shack. He had a book of mechanical spells open in front of him, and he had opened his wrists into a bucket of oil and mixed gears.
The spell was a rough one, but it had been more than sufficient.
I threw his corpse and the bucket into an old Model T. The book is at home, in my private library, and the damned thing still smells of motor oil.
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