The nobitrome /ˈnoʊbidroʊm/ is a sheet-like stranger that lacks limbs and holds itself upright as though a puppet in the air. It is hollow beneath, the temperature within consistently cold. The nobitrome's surface is similar to both skin and canvas, and though it cannot heal from injuries, it resists most searing and submersion (remaining dry even after being pulled from water). Its color varies, with the saturation of its eyes and lips being greater in cities with a higher number of coins which have been dropped and then forgotten.
The nobitrome speaks in a rapid hush. Its voice tends to be slightly higher pitched, and though its language is too distorted for words to be discerned, its tone is comforting.
a gushing whisper beneath sounds through the open window.
The nobitrome appears in either attics or basements in residential homes. In attics, it prefers angled ceilings, filmy windows, cardboard boxes filled with rarely used decorations, and dust-covered, folded sheets of fabric. In basements, it prefers buzzing lights, drip-marks on the walls, and layers of wood placed over metal.
Within these locations, the nobitrome starts off as a small, crumpled scrap, from which the weight of the nobitrome's head emerges and balloons upward over the course of ten to eighteen minutes. It appears in successive waves, with later nobitrome generating more rapidly.
The nobitrome's demeanor is mild to acquiescent. For the most part, it is only able to move in small and predictable paths. It appears content when it is able to position its body on top of pictures, with a particular fondness for picture books, and photographs being less favored. These images elicit a gratified sigh, pleased tut, or sated nod of approval. A nobitrome that lacks a picture on top of which to position itself instead has to make do with carpet patterns or picturesque stains upon the floor, its motions similarly appeased, though predominantly silent.
Though initially shy towards others of its strain, the earnest nobitrome always makes friends within its environment, approaching both others of its strain, as well as smaller strangers. Groups of nobitrome share in focus of stimulus, and engage in such social actions as a pressing of noses or an overlap of fabric along the edges, accompanied by some swelling and false-collapsing of form. As times goes on and the nobitrome explores its environment bit-by-bit, these connections become more diverse, the group solidified, and chattiness becomes the norm, though individuals do not tend to talk over their companions, instead waiting patiently for their turn to interject.
The nobitrome displays mild curiosity towards any sensitive that they encounter, circling their feet and bobbing in double-time with their breathing. Once it becomes "locked in" to the sensitive's location (which occurs after six to seventeen minutes of standstill on the sensitive's part), the nobitrome becomes unable to stop this circumlocution, circling the point even when the sensitive moves elsewhere. Forced into constant motion, its stability decreases steadily with each circle, until it becomes flimsy and breaks apart within the day.
Though the nobitrome engaged in this behaviour appears unbothered, this spiral draws the concern of any nearby nobitrome, which at first watches in quiet dismay before pressing its snout against those of any nearby companions' before turning away, as though unable to watch to completion.
Any encounter with the nobitrome causes small, circular shapes to be visually misinterpreted as coins at a rate ten to eighty times greater than is average. This effect persists for up to nine years following an encounter, though its duration can be minimized by an increase of iron in the diet.
A delicate stranger, it is able to handle only minimal touch before losing integrity and settling upon the ground.
Though the nobitrome's response to sensitives themselves is moderate, its excitement escalates when it encounters or is presented with either a photograph of a sensitive or an illustration of a human being drawn by a sensitive. While it first displays an expected dip of acknowledgement, this nodding quickly gives way to a crumpling in form, impressions appearing upon its fabric surface as though pressed upwards from beneath by a small human hand. The nobitrome becomes locked in place, its whispering growing rapid but not pained, until it bunches up as though gripped by a tight fist, folding in upon itself entirely and leaving no corpse.
Upon witnessing the death of their companion in this manner, other nobitrome within the vicinity always approach the affecting photograph or drawing, each nobitrome placing itself upon it one-by-one, the others forming a patient circle.
Regardless of whether a sensitive is present or not, towards the end of its natural lifespan, the nobitrome becomes caught in a loop, which, once it occurs, grows tighter and tighter by the hour, until it stops moving and becomes stationary, collapsing to a crumpled heap. Surviving nobitrome can only hush each other at such a loss.