Shadow Crawlers. Part 6.

So, I made a shocking and startling discovery yesterday while watching The Net. It isn’t actually about cyber-terrorism or a womans desperate struggle to regain her life. No. It’s much more insidious. It’s about a womans slow descent into schizophrenia, about how her therapist takes advantage of her delusions, how when he tries to help her over come them, she turns on him and mentally kills him. And the ending? Where everything is happy? She’s on meds now and slightly sane, but the news report in the background hints at something darker, that soon her meds will not work and she’ll snap back into her delusions.

I’m not even joking.

Ok. Maybe I am a little. Still, it is kinda weird how you can twist movies and the like to justify things. I’m pretty sure I could convincingly argue that she is schizophrenic using only the movie as a source.


Part 1, Part 5.

Grady wandered through the shop, not paying much attention; there was nothing she specifically wanted, but browsing helped take her mind off things. She stopped at a display of jewellery, it was cheap, not worth much, without thinking about it, her hands started to work and within seconds she had rings on each finger and two bracelets on each arm. She didn’t look around, didn’t worry about it. No one would catch her. She snapped out of her thoughts and looked down at her hands, studying them. It was all junk. She smiled to herself then began to strip it off. She didn’t need them and they wouldn’t get her any money. No point in risking herself over something so stupid. She put them back onto the shelves. She needed to get out and do something important. Dom was going easy on her still and Brett was acting weird too, he spent the last few days locked in his room, only coming out to eat and talk to Dom. No one seemed to know what it was about, but everyone was on edge. There had been nothing about Tom’s death, there should have been something somewhere. If he had just been some random junkie nothing would have been said, but he died robbing some big shots house, that was important. She continued to walk, her fingers feeling itchy. She hadn’t felt like this since she was a kid. She left the shop, not trusting herself. She walked through the shopping centre, ignoring her surroundings. It wasn’t the greatest area in the world, but then she was safe here, no one would mess with her. The shops looked grubby, most of the storefronts had metal shutters pulled across them, their insides empty. She just wanted to buy some clothes, splurge a little with her money. She left the shopping centre and walked down the road. It was cold outside, with a steady breeze. Grady didn’t rush, she took her time. Being in the house now was awful, before it was always her home, but with everyone so tense she had begun to avoid it. She remembered it well from when she was a child. It was easier just to get away from the place.

It was dark when she returned to the house, slipping in the front door she went straight to her room, ignoring everyone else. She was reading when there was a knock on the door, “yeah?” Amy poked her head in, “there’s dinner if you’re hungry. I wasn’t sure if you are or not so I made enough for everyone.” “Thanks. I’ll be down in a minute.” Amy closed the door, Grady wondered if she would be able to eat up here. There was no rules against it really, but Amy always acted so disappointed and went on and on about it being rude. Grady sighed, it’d be easier to eat with everyone, she didn’t want to upset Amy, especially after all the help she had given Grady.

Dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese, and everyone was already eating when Grady arrived, there was an empty seat with a bowl in front of it for her. She sat down, everyone was silent. After a few minutes Brett finished eating and left the kitchen, mumbling thanks to Amy. After he left conversation began slowly. “I can’t believe what happened.” “I know, it was just so sudden.” Grady looked around, confused, “what happened?” “Oh, right you weren’t here. Brett’s family died the other day. There was a house fire.” Grady felt cold, she had met them before, they were good people. “What happened?” “His mother fell asleep while smoking, the whole house went up.” Grady shook her head, then put down her fork. She wasn’t that hungry anymore. “We should do something for him.” “Like what?” “I don’t know, just something. To show him that we’re here if he needs us.” “He already knows that.” “When’s the funeral then?” “I’m not sure. Dom didn’t say. We should go though. Be there for him.” A few people nodded. Grady moved her food around her bowl, then after a moment, she stood. “Thanks for the food, it was delicious.” Grady left the kitchen, ignoring the soft whispers that followed. She went to Brett’s room and after a few seconds of hesitation, she knocked. She heard stumbling around inside, something fell then Brett cursed. He opened the door slightly, “Yeah?” “Hey. Um. I just heard. I wanted to say I’m really sorry. If you want to talk or anything I’m here.” He nodded, “thanks. I just wanted to be alone for the moment.” His voice was rough, husky. He must have been crying. “Well, if you need anything…” “Yeah.” He closed the door. Grady went to her own room. She couldn’t imagine what he was going through. He hadn’t visited them in a while too, he was complaining about that before their last job.

Not-Brett sat on the bed in the room, smiling to himself. They were all so gullible. He had worried about showing emotion, being sad, crying, but he was able to stay away from everyone, locked in this room. Apparently it was considered normal enough. It gave him time to acclimatise properly to the body, and Brett was being helpful, telling him all about the occupants of the house. Though that wasn’t his main concern. His concern for the moment was Dom and how to convince Dom to give him what he needed. Himself and Grady needed to return to that house, though he wasn’t quite sure how to manipulate Dom into letting them go. Grady was apparently trustworthy, but he didn’t want to bring her there and have her tell Dom. Not-Brett knew that Dom would consider it a stupid move, and it would be if there was any real chance of them being caught, but with Tom’s death, Dom wouldn’t let them near the place without a good reason. His stomach cramped suddenly, doubling him over, he breathed through the pain. He needed to get used to food again and it could still cause problems. He hadn’t eaten in a long, long time. His body was still uncertain what to do with it. After a few moments it subsided and he straightened again. His organs had been slowly replacing Brett’s, it was an uncomfortable process, but not actively painful, the cramps however, were. He was thankful that in a few more days they would stop. He could feel his stomach ripple when they hit, convulsing wildly. Being secluded made things easier, they wouldn’t see some of his weaknesses. Not-Brett stood and went to his window, it was dark out, he opened it and climbed outside. It wouldn’t be an easy task for an ordinary human, but he wasn’t ordinary. He walked away from the house, no one would bother him. Grady’s appearance had been a bit of a surprise, but everyone else would leave him alone and, if he didn’t answer, they would just think he was asleep. He walked through the night smiling, there were things that he needed to do.

Part 7


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.
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2 Responses to Shadow Crawlers. Part 6.

  1. Pingback: The Break In. Part 7 | Alan James Keogh

  2. Pingback: The Break In. Part 5. | Alan James Keogh

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