The boguldromi (/ˈboʊɡʌldroʊmi/) is a dull-colored, weighty, six or eight-limbed stranger with clock-like eye markings. There is a noted artificiality to its composition, as its thick, leathery skin feels more like hard rubber than it does the skin of an animal, and its flesh is dull and slimy, but not oily or fatty. Its body cavity is filled with a spongy, grey tissue which leaves behind the vague smell of burning copper wires when touched. Although the boguldromi has mass and density, it is unaffected by gravity, and levitates eight to twenty inches from the ground at all times. The boguldromi's arms and legs are small in comparison to its bulky body, and as they are not required for locomotion, they remain tucked beneath it as it moves. The boguldromi is not able to open its mouth, though it possesses a tongueless oral cavity lined with small, sharp teeth. It takes several months to heal from injuries (with 10% of individuals exhibiting a lack of regenerative ability), and always presents with dark scarring.
A boguldromi's eye markings vary between individuals, with no two individuals possessing identical markings. Numeral forms do not present on these markings, although hands are typical.
The boguldromi appears only in locations with minimal human presence. It prefers underground locations, such as abandoned subway, mining, and rail tunnels, as well as certain subterranean storage, electrical, or water facilities. The boguldromi always avoids sunlight, and never generates outdoors. When it first appears, it starts off as a blurry and indiscernible visual distortion, and grows more solid over a span of 24 hours.
Exactly one hundred boguldromi exist at any given time, and as soon as one dies, another appears someplace else. The boguldromi never appears in close proximity to another boguldromi, although a single city may be home to more than one boguldromi at a time, and avoidant behaviour is not strong.
The boguldromi's disposition is emotionless and intent. It keeps a large territory, within which it floats forward at a slow and steady pace, always on the move. It stays within confined areas only when no suitable exits exist, or when it finds itself locked in by the chaos of the world around it. It moves with a long, slow shudder, like the unseen weight of a distant subway car1.
As it roams, the boguldromi seeks out analog clocks, from small wristwatches to prominent, public chronometers. It also moves towards any non-clock item which makes a ticking sound, such as stopwatches or metronomes, as well as recordings of clock sounds. When it finds a clock, it grips it with its forelimbs and attempts to expose the inner workings. When it is able, it takes these clocks apart gear-by-gear, and leaves these inner components on the ground in complex, ordered formations. It is not destructive in these motions, nor does it appear to gain any particular joy or fascination from these actions, either – rather, it behaves as though ordered by some higher rule.
The boguldromi sometimes approaches pictures of clocks, toy clocks, or other objects which visually resemble clocks. Once it gets close enough to realize that the object is a "fake," however, it loses interest and moves on.
When the boguldromi handles clocks, it also generates clock components inside of its body. These components start off as small metal slivers and beads, which twist, elongate, and split apart to form the individual wheels, springs, and arms of a clock's inner workings. Younger boguldromi contain a jumble of these small parts, often arranged in a tight formation which loosely resembles a human heart in shape and size. As the boguldromi ages, these individual parts continue to multiply and shift position, and the heart-like cluster breaks apart, allowing components to spread themselves evenly throughout the boguldromi's flesh.
As additional clock pieces grow, pieces have a tendency to once again grow towards one another, slicing and carving the boguldromi's stringy, membranous inner flesh as they shift. The boguldromi itself displays no reaction to this process, and remains either unpained or unfazed by the assemblies within it. Over a long enough time, these individual components fit together to form a clock's complex inner workings with perfect accuracy. Upon assembly, 55% of internal clocks begin to tick and turn, and a full-grown boguldromi may contain hundreds of these clocks, each one different from the last, but all jumbled together into an interlocking and operational system that fills the entirety of the boguldromi's body cavity2.
Most attraction to sensitives is incidental, for although the boguldromi follows sensitives who carry wrist or pocket watches, it loses all interest in the sensitive once the object itself is obtained.
Although the boguldromi displays no interest in sensitives in and of themselves, it is directly drawn to any sensitive that clicks, taps their fingers, or hums at one-second intervals. The boguldromi's criterion for rhythmic sounds is rather broad, and even footsteps can be enough to attract its attention. The boguldromi continues to follow the sensitive even if the sensitive grows silent, and only gives up once their target is out of visual range, which means that a clever enough sensitive can even hide behind a dumpster or wall partition to avoid the boguldromi's pursuit.
Despite the boguldromi's slow speed and the ease with which it can be avoided, this stranger's pursuit can nonetheless prove dangerous for many sensitives, for although the boguldromi can easily be outrun or avoided in theory – and, at a distance, may be evaded with little difficulty – the closer one gets to the boguldromi, the more difficult it is to escape, as proximity to the boguldromi slows the perception of time. Although this effect is barely noticeable at a distance of one hundred feet or more, at close range, the shift in temporal perception is so great that a single second seems to last for an hour or more.
As the effect of the boguldromi's time dilation increases, so too does the effort required for each individual step. Running from the boguldromi at close proximity may seem to take hours, and requires constant focus and exertion on the part of the sensitive to control their motions at such a dilated speed. If a sensitive trips or stumbles at such a short distance from the boguldromi, recovery can often prove impossible.
Once it is close enough, the boguldromi disassembles the sensitive with slow deliberation, taking them apart with the same meticulous attention that it displays towards clocks. The gears within the boguldromi turn at a strained rate as it does so, filling the air with a low grinding sound as its hapless victim is left to struggle in slow silence. The boguldromi takes the sensitives apart piece-by-piece, a process which may seem to take weeks (but, in reality, usually takes less than 25 minutes). The boguldromi displays no emotion as it pulls off fingernails and places them to the side, peels off skin and folds it in a neat stack, removes teeth one-by-one, and finally, yanks out individual muscles, bones, and organs, starting from smallest-to-largest. It always takes the sensitive's body apart into the smallest components possible, and arranges them in the same careful, ordered way that it does disassembled clocks before it continues on its way. Although a sensitive can hypothetically fight back against such anatomization, the boguldromi's great strength presents further obstacle to any sort of escape.
When two boguldromi meet, they each produce a deep, bellowing tone which grows louder in volume the closer they are to one another. Physical contact between the two individuals causes this tone to become loud enough to cause structural damage to the area around them. Otherwise, the boguldromi does not display much interest in others of its strain, and displays no social behaviours.
At the end of its life, the boguldromi loses its buoyancy and drifts to the ground, making no further attempts at locomotion. Over a period of exactly twenty-four hours, small holes appear in the boguldromi's skin. These holes expand in size and eat through the stranger's inner flesh, leaving nothing behind save for the boguldromi's inner components, which act as bizarre monuments in absence of a corpse.