"The time draws near…"
They stood shoulder to shoulder, four figures shrouded in inky shadow. The city was quiet, but not sleeping. Sleep is foreign to a city like Manhattan, where restlessness is romantic and anxiety an epidemic. The air was electric and wind cut like a blade through the whistling leaves… but the cloaks on the four figures remained still, unaffected. Few were out at this hour, none at all in this particular section of Central Park aside from a single sleeping woman, draped across a park bench like a tattered rug freshly beaten for dust. She clutched weakly at the newspaper pages shielding her against the chill, but did not wake at the voice that sounded so near her. Even if she had, she would see nothing. The figures were not of her world, were more than what any human was capable of seeing. Had she been able to see them, really see them, then her mind would have been torn apart. She would have screamed until the chords in her throat popped, would have run her nails through her eyes until there was nothing left in in the sockets but gaping hollows. A human mind would be unable to hold all that they were.

She did not wake, however. She remained as unaware of the four as they were unconcerned with her. They stared off where the tallest buildings peaked through the trees, lights glowing softly in the windows like manmade stars. There was greed in their gaze, hunger. The strength of their hunger was tangible, and the sleeping woman shivered.

"Very near…" one of the figures spoke again, and the other three almost groaned in their craving. "This part, the waiting… it's ending."

"We've waited for so long." moaned another figure. It had been long. For many years they had waited and watched and fed. The feeding had been glorious. The four had known many existences, but never had there been such a rich spread for them. War, hatred, evil… this world was diseased with it, and they'd gorged themselves, devoured every bit of it. And now, their bellies swollen of power fueled by the collected vices of this world, the time was finally upon them. They would rule it all.

And the feeding they had enjoyed before their rule would be a bed time snack compared to what awaited them when all was theirs.

"She is near as well… Can you not feel her, brother?"

"I can," answered the first figure to the third with a shrug, "but it means little. She is where she should be. She will not interfere. Now is our time."

The woman on the bench mumbled something in her sleep, drawing the attention of the figures. The fourth smiled. It was a terrible thing, that smile, black and slick like motor oil. "Look how they sleep," it said. "They are so close to the end and know nothing."

"They will know," said the first, and the other three quivered at the promise in its voice, "It will begin here. From this city we will spread our influence to all four corners of this Earth. They will cry out for their gods… but it will be us to answer. "

"And we will hold it this time," said the third. "We will not allow that seer bitch to wrest what we have earned... what we have yearned for."

"Seer bitch!" The second repeated maniacally, an almost child-like laugh coloring its voice. "Seer bitch!"

The first spoke over the second's ramblings.

"We have fed more than we ever have before in any previous cycle of the prophecy. We have more power than we ever had. She will choose her champions and she will come. It has been written… but we will be ready, and we will devour her with the rest of this world. We will end her. We will end all of them."

The four looked up through the trees. Soon morning would come. The sun, that looming orb, would set itself behind the city silhouette, casting the sky in a fusion of pinks and purples and blues. The time was coming.

"Today." the first said with certainty. "It will be today."