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On my usual, mundane, morning walk with my dog, Gizmo a chilling wind picked up, slapping me in my face. I pulled my jacket tighter around me, flipping my collar up around my neck. Gizmo, a beautiful brown and white Boston terrier, didn’t take notice to the hateful wind. His tongue stuck out, daring it to do its worst.

The street was abandoned. It has been that way for a long time. The shadow men of the night have retreated back into their corners, resting and waiting for full dark to come once again. Well, most of them anyway. A dark figure crept alongside the broken down shamble of a house adjacent to us. Out of the corner of my eye I could see his movement with quick glimpses of his body through the silhouettes of the buildings he was hiding behind. He was rubbery and rigid all at once. He could bend his body to stay hidden but could go stiff as a board when need be. He dripped what looked like black tar as he went, or maybe it was my mind giving me that illusion of it as I watched. To look at it, you feel the evil, like a predator looking for prey. But this thing would soon find out that it was looking in the wrong direction this morning.

I told my dog to hide on the other side of the street and he did. We have a bond and communicate better than most. He’s most likely smarter than me, but I’d never tell him that.
I waited in the center of the mostly unused street. There may be a stranger from time to time wander through, lost and looking to get the hell out as fast as they could. For me, I was safe in the street–except for that long shadow sneaking closer. I waited for IT to make a move, gathering my strength and power.

The creature was scared to leave its home and the sweet security of the dark. Reluctantly, it finally emerged, showing me the full, misshapen feature that it was. Standing seven feet tall, slender not unlike a Festivus pole, and its face, its face was the worst part. There were eye sockets, but no eyes, just sockets. The round holes were somehow darker than the rest of its thin body. The mouth had been stitched together with material that looked like fishing line. There were no fingers, no feet; just matter that connected to the rest of its body. I was wrong before when I called this merely a thing. I knew what it was and I didn’t like the answer.

Staying in the shadows for so long will change a person, change who they are, or even what they are. The valley can be cruel like that. It’s a harsh place to live for people so easily deceived. They get promised everything they’ve ever desired and in return they get everything they’ve ever feared. This thing could only live off of one substance now—souls. It eats souls, or more accurately it absorbs them.

To be continued…

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4 Comments

  1. Son, will you understand if I say I’m both proud and envious? You have found your niche and you are moving right along! Way to go!

  2. Keep it coming. Well done, sir.

  3. Bravo

  4. Can’t wait for the book. I think you are doing a great job!!


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