Shadow Crawlers. Part 2

Hope everyone’s week went well!

So here it is, the continuation of the short story The Break In. I shall link part one below, but here is a short synopsis of what happened,

Grady and Tom  break into a home, while waiting for Tom, Grady hears Tom scream for her to run. She does. While climbing the wall the surrounds the house, she pauses to see if Tom is coming or if she can help, instead she see’s him get attacked. She doesn’t know what has attacked him, but splattered with blood and assuming he’s dead or dying, she runs to the get away car which takes off.

I hope you enjoy this series, I’m quite looking forward to it myself.

On with the show!


Part 1.

They drove in silence for a while before Grady reached out and turned on the radio, she didn’t like the silence. Brett glanced at her but didn’t say anything. He took the long route back, making sure they weren’t being followed. Grady doubted it, there were no police and whoever attacked Tom didn’t have time to get to a car. Not unless they planned it. She shivered and turned up the heating before looking out the window. Brett saw she wasn’t looking and quickly turned the heating down, the car was too hot as it was. The street lights flashed by, Grady looked into the shadows at first, as they shifted and changed, before she allowed them to blur into nothing. She didn’t notice when he turned the corner, she saw the house and felt her chest loosen, she was safe, she was home. Brett drove into the driveway and waited until the garage door opened, once there was enough room, he eased the car inside. Once the car stopped, Grady got out and dumped her bag onto the table, the door was already closing, no one would see in. She brushed past Amy and went through the connecting door. Amy had seen Grady’s face, but she hadn’t said anything. She knew better. Brett would provide some information, Grady would provide the rest, when she was ready.

Grady went straight to the bathroom, ignoring everything, once inside she locked the door and began to strip, getting the clothes off her. She turned on the shower and stepped in immediately. The water was cold, shocking her awake, before it started to warm. She didn’t care, she just wanted to be clean. She grabbed the soap and started to wash herself, using a cloth for her face. She was careful not to get any into her eyes, she wouldn’t close them. She couldn’t. She stayed in the shower until the hot water was gone, then stayed a little longer. Grady turned the water off and dried herself, she carefully wrapped herself in a towel, then picked up her clothes and went to her room. She dressed warmly and, after a few moments of looking at her clothes, she put them into the wash basket. She couldn’t afford to waste money on new clothes, besides that it would make her seem weak. She took a deep breath, then opened her door. Amy was waiting for her. “Dom wants to talk to you.” “I figured.” “Yeah, well, he wanted you to know.” “Thanks.” Amy put her hand on Grady’s shoulder as she passed. “Good luck.” Grady walked downstairs and into the office. Dom was sitting behind the desk, big surprise there. He wanted to play the bad guy, the authority figure. He wanted her to be afraid so she’d hold nothing back. Grady closed the door gently behind her, as soon as they realised she was in here, everyone would be pressed against the door, trying to hear. Grady didn’t hold it against them, hell she had done the same in the past. They wanted to know what had happened, so did she. “So. Tell me.” Dom’s voice was deep, despite the thinness of its owner, the contrast always threw her for a moment. “Everything was fine until the end. I was waiting for Tom, he was late, he called out to me to run so I did. I stopped at the top of the wall to check on him, see if he was coming, something attacked him, I don’t know what. Might have been a dog but I didn’t hear any barking. I got his blood on me. I jumped from the wall, ran to the car and we bailed.” “Why’d you leave him?” “Tom was dead anyway. I saw him drop. Whatever got him wouldn’t have stopped, or if it did, it would’ve come after me.” Dom nodded. “Good call.” “Yeah.” “Anything you could have done?” “No. He shouldn’t have been late. If he hadn’t, he might have gotten out of there.” Dom nodded, “Yeah, I expected this for a while. He was gonna get caught eventually.” “So why’d you send him out with me?” “If he got caught on his own, he wouldn’t spill his guts, kick him out and he’d bitch about it for years to anyone who’d listen. It was better this way. No loose ends. Besides, you’re a smart girl. I knew you’d get away and I was right.” Grady nodded. “Can I go?” Dom looked down for a moment, “tell me about it again.”

He made her repeat her story three times, asking for more details at different points before he was satisfied that she was telling him everything and once he was happy, he let her go. When she left the room her stomach rumbled. She didn’t think she’d ever be hungry again. She went to the kitchen, looking for food. Amy and the others were sitting at the table, “there’s some left overs in the oven, take as much as you want, Brett already had his grilling when you were showering, he’s already eaten.” “Thanks.” Grady opened the oven, inside was a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and a plate with some garlic bread. She took brought it all to the table, not bothering to heat it. As she ate, everyone chatted amongst themselves, she listened to the dull murmur of their voices, feeling herself relax. She was home, really and truly home. Amy put a large glass of water in front of Grady, ice tinkled gently against the glass, “you’re probably dehydrated.” Grady took a large gulp, then continued eating. When she was done, the conversation stuttered for a moment, as though everyone was waiting for her to speak, but once they realised she wasn’t going to say anything the conversation picked up again. Grady knew she’d be in for a grilling in the morning, but at least they’d wait until then. Whatever they had been able to overhear from Dom’s interview was enough to tide them over. Brett probably told them a few things himself, though he hadn’t seen anything but her blood covered face. Grady stood from the table, “g’night.” A chorus of “night” echoed around the room for a few seconds and followed her down the hall as she went, the longest, and loudest was from Jay. Grady smiled as she climbed the stairs. They’d do something for Tom, once they knew what happened to him. Grady wasn’t sure what it was yet, it was different with each person and it depended on what happened to them. She’d never been around when someone had been lost.

Grady closed the door behind her and locked it out of habit, then she stripped out of her clothes and crawled into bed, leaving the small light on her bedside table on. She picked up her book and started to read. She reread the same sentence five times before she put the book down. She was in no fit state to read at the moment. She sighed and turned over, scrunching her eyes closed. There it was, Tom’s face. Grady tried to push it away, to let go of it, but he just stayed there, staring at her. She jumped as someone knocked on her door. Grady got out of bed and opened it, Amy was standing there with a glass of water and a pill resting on her outstretched palm. “Now I know you don’t like taking stuff but-” Grady snatched the pill from Amy’s hand and swallowed it, then she drained the glass. “It’ll help you sleep. You won’t have any dreams either. A good night’s rest will do you well. Trust me.” “Thanks Amy.” “No bother, if you can’t sleep tomorrow, come see me.” Grady nodded, Amy would make sure she didn’t take too much of anything and make sure she didn’t get addicted. Amy was their resident pharmacist. Able to get anything they needed. Grady closed the door again and fell into bed, already feeling drowsy. Amy got good stuff, Grady had heard about it, but she never realised just how good the stuff really-darkness.

Tom, eyes wide, face pale, grinning up at her, blood drooling from his mouth. “You coulda helped me. Coulda stopped it.” A warm mist settled on her face, she knew it was his blood. “You left me. You left me alone to face it.” “You told me to run, I just-” “We don’t leave anyone behind. We stay and fight. You abandoned me. You killed me.” His hand started to reach for her, his skin was pitted and rotten, a thick stench was rolling from it, she couldn’t breathe, he started to laugh, maggots flying from his mouth, “I’ll get you you little bitch. One way or another.” She was drowning, drowning in a sea of blood, she couldn’t breathe she- Toms eyes widened, his eyeballs dribbling from their sockets, his flesh melting and sliding from his skull. Tom shrieked, then vanished. She took a deep breath, pure, clean air. Darkness surrounded her in a protective cloth.

When Grady woke the next morning she felt drowsy, but it wore off quickly. She scowled, she’d have to have a word with Amy, her dreamless sleeping pills didn’t do as advertised. She knew that it was just her head messing with her. Tom would never say anything like that to her. It wasn’t her fault and she knew it. Besides that tom would never, ever say that no one got left behind, his motto was “if you’re too slow, you deserve it.” Or when he was feeling less eloquent, “go fuck yourself.” He wouldn’t blame her for what happened. She slid out of bed and went down to the kitchen, it was empty. While she made herself breakfast, a bowl of cereal, she wondered what the agenda was for the next few days. There would be a meeting no doubt, there was supposed to be one last night, no doubt Dom held off so she could sleep. She ate quickly, then went in search of everyone, intending to speak with Amy the first chance she got.

Part 3


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Horror, Series, Suspense, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shadow Crawlers. Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Break In. Part 3. | Alan James Keogh

  2. Pingback: The Break In. Short Story. | Alan James Keogh

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