The lume /lum/ is a top-heavy, short-legged stranger with ruddy coloration. The stranger's soft skin is faintly warmЯ when pressed upon, with pink flesh beneath, and a body cavity filled with a grey tissue that resembles human brain matter. The oversizes ridges and folds lack all nerve endings, have no electrical activity, and are only slightly above lukewarm in temperature.
Я The longer you touch it, the cooler it feels, though, until there's no heat left at all. But if you lift your hand up for even a second, and put it back down – it goes back to feeling warm.
When injured, the lume's flesh heals at a rate ten times slower than that of a healthy human being.
The lume is always accompanied by a severed human head, which drifts and bobs around the stranger's body at a slow, weaving rate. This head shows no outward sign of life, and never blinks, or otherwise changesჱ its expression. The head's appearance varies enormously; it may be homely or attractive, young or old, although it tends to conform to the general hair and skin tones of people nearby. It never looks artificial, or doll-like.ɸ
ჱ Its only reflex, an ability to sweat in high enough temperatures.
ɸ The statues and toys in the gift shop look as real as ever.
Zenno Harukatzi, The Electrocuted Dream.
from left to right: rex.verity, rex.yuri, rex.killjoy, and rex.wray head formotypes.
The head maintains a constant internal temperature of 96°F. Although minimal electric activity occurs within the brain, these random activations are not indicative of any kind of conscious activity. Blood drips from its neck at a rate of one drop every two to eight seconds; all stains disappear within six to eight minutes. Rotation is observed in 2.8% of individuals, with one revolution every two to ten seconds.
The lume and its severed head seem to behave as a single unit. The stranger cannot survive without it, and dies when the head is destroyed, drowned, or moved more than ten feet from the lume's body. The head can be plucked from the air with little difficulty, and, as long as it stays within range of the body, can be released to float by its side once more. Unlike the stranger's body, the head does not appear to have anyლ regenerative ability.
ლ As some might say, it's somewhat like a "living dead thing".
The lume is generated by bloodshed, physical cruelty, or other forms of destructive assault upon the human body, and appears in places㇉ that have witnessed such violence, up to 1.1 years after the incident has taken place.ʭ Car accidents and murders are two of the most common inciting events, but the site of any violent action can generate a lume under the rightԢ circumstances.
a you can still find grains of broken winshield glass between the blacktop cracks.
b the sting of bleach, and a coil of rope.
c there's still clothing fibers in the ground beneath the grass, and the headlights shine yellow on the highway stretch.
ʭ But usually, it's much, much, much sooner.
He's been doing this for a while – the clashes, these collisions, on purpose. And it's the only time he feels like he's not alone.
Jealous Fontaine, Cruel Love.
When the lume first appears, it is a small, undulating mass of flesh and arms, which squirm upward in a twisting rise to form the stranger's body, a process that takes only a few seconds. The ubiquitous severed head, meanwhile, generates within the stranger's flesh, starting off as a bead-sized, teratoma lump of hair and cartilege that expands in heartbeat-like throbs in a process lasting anywhere from two minutes to one hour. Upon the head's completion, it emerges from the back of the lume's body, leaving no hole behind.
from left to right: rex.rockwell, rex.north, rex.cox, and rex.burgerbunder head formotypes.
The lume appears on its own 66.5% of the time, and in groups 33.5% of the time. It tends to appear around others of its strain, and thus, infestations grow in clusters within a city. Total populations tend to hit a maximum level of one hundred to two hundred individuals, however, thus preventing indefinite growth.
The lume possesses a dim-witted and unsubtle nature, and moves with clumsy, shambling motions. Although it does not appear to possess vision, it can react to sound, moisture, and temperatures, and thus avoids potential dangers in its vicinity. Its attention is focused only towards violent or destructive activity nearby; any other roaming seems entirely random. Although it does not engage in social actions, bands tend to form as individuals seek out and move towards the same extremeꝌ events, and disperse when not in pursuit of a goal.
a the weak scratching of fingernails, unheard beneath the sirens.
b blood that pools between the sidewalk and the grass.
c pleading, towards no one in particular.
d rasping, slowing breaths.
why get out at all?
is it better to get deep inside?
will it ever be as good as the last time?
The lume is never aggressive towards a healthy sensitive, and in fact, ignores their presence and actions altogether. Instead, it is specifically drawn to sensitives who have suffered injuries as a result of assault, accident,Ɠ self-harm, or other acts of violence.
Ɠ It circles the wreckage of auto collisions. It pulls up metal plates, opens askew doors, and pushes debris around. It's careless, but it's not concerned about keeping the scene intact.
Once it has found an injured victim, the lume attacks with unwieldy, but persistent hostility. Although possessing relatively minimal strength, encounters can quickly prove fatal as the stranger strangles and smothers its weakened victim. It is similarly aggressive towards corpses, attempting to suffocateЭ them using similar methods.
Э Five fingers pushed deep into the mouth, and the few remaining teeth tumbled down threadbare cheeks.
Idilo Sonári, Libero.
Although the lume itself behaves as though blind, the severed head appears to possess vision, and guides the stranger towards individuals who attempt to crawl away. The lume is dissuaded only when it witnesses its victim's death, at which point it nods its head with a succinct acceptance and shambles away.
from left to right: rex.tomasi, rex.bones, rex.zhan, and rex.cherish head formotypes.