When the mob retreated, they left Hungerford Morrow’s studio in ruins and the artist himself torn to pieces. The only things that were not destroyed were his hundreds and hundreds of clay model studies for more “immoral” statues. In their rush to smash the finished pieces, the clay studies held little interest, after all, and there were still dozens more completed statues throughout the county to haul down and smash.

Morrow gave all of his studies the same placeholder face, a benign and simple smile with two dots for eyes. He’d then rework them as he saw fit. But as fire overtook what was left of his studio, something curious happened. Rather than hardening, the clay models instead melted and ran together, forming a voluminous mass amid the flames.

Even more curiously, it soon began to move.

The sum of all the unfinished clays in Morrow’s home stood taller than eight feet, and placid, smiling faces continuously bubbled up and sank down in its form like flotsam from a bog. It rose from the flames and strode off into the night, in the direction of town.

Over the next six months, a third of the mob’s members would be found bludgeoned to death, surprisingly placid smiles on their faces.

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