The black rains were coming, Tommy looked at the dark clouds that were rolling towards the town. He’d be stuck indoors for the next week, everyone would be. Once a year the black rain came and with it were the whisperers. They would scratch at the windows and doors, whispering promises and secrets. Tommy didn’t know what they looked like, no one did, the black rain obscured the windows and anyone who went outside during the rains was never seen again. The first raindrops began to patter against his window. Tommy watched for a few minutes until he could no longer see outside. The lamps provided some light in the rapidly growing darkness but as always they seemed dimmed somehow.
Tommy was pouring himself a drink when the first scratching started. Soft, gentle and persistent, he ignored it, it was followed a minute later by the whispers. It was too low to make out any proper words, he felt the urge to move closer to the window, to press his ear against it and listen. He turned from the window, leaving his drink behind.
It was day three and the whispering was getting worse, it was an almost constant noise in the background, when he ate, as he slept. It was relentless. The scratching and tapping were no better, at night he would scream back at them, beg and plead for them to stop, they never did.
It was the fifth day when they stopped tapping and started banging, heavy thuds against the doors and windows. They whispers were louder than ever but still he could make nothing out. It was maddening the words were there but just out of reach. He stood in front of the door, they promised him eternal life and everything else he could want, he knew it, if only he could understand what they were saying. He reached out and gripped the doorknob, it turned easily in his grip though he knew he had locked it days ago. He pulled the door open, a gust of window blew in carrying the black rain with it, it splattered over Tommy and the floor. He finally saw them. They looked like humans, dead and starving for years, their skin was grey and gaunt, their eyes were bright and feverish. They stumbled in, the whispering growing louder. They grabbed his hands, their skin cold, damp and somehow papery and with surprising strength they pulled him from his house and into the rain. The rain was cold, he felt it washing over him, coating his skin. He stumbled further into the rain, basking in it. He felt himself being pulled towards a house nearby, there was something inside, something he needed, something warm. He started scratching at the window and began to whisper with the others, begging to be let inside, promising everything they could ever want, if only they opened the door.