Shadow Crawlers. Part 12

Part 1, Part 11

Everything had gone smoothly, but Grady paid little attention to what she was doing, she was running on instinct, her thoughts were completely on the locket that hung around her neck. She was strangely fascinated with it, it was almost unbearable when she removed it to shower. She didn’t want to get it wet in case it tarnished or rusted, but she was always afraid that some thing might have happened, that maybe it had fallen and the ruby had cracked, or that someone had grabbed it. It was the first time in the house that she had worried about her belongings and though it at first unnerved her, she quickly became accustomed to it again. Brett seemed to be staying unusually close to her, now instead of hiding in his room he stayed where ever she was. At first she thought it had been all in her head, but she had tested the theory, if she was in the sitting room and went into the kitchen for more than five minutes, Brett was there, always for something like a glass of water. If she stayed down to watch television, so did he. She suspected that if she tried to sneak out Brett would be the only one to notice. Grady didn’t know what his problem was, but she thought it was probably due to the necklace. Maybe he did recognise it and was worried that she might start stealing stuff from everyone, but then if that was the case, why didn’t he just tell everyone that she took it? No one really paid that much attention to it. She had done as she had planned, slipping out early in the day. She wandered over to the park and sat at one of the tables, wanting to examine the locket in day light without worrying someone might see her. She had sat there for almost an hour, twisting it this way and that, getting a good look at the entire thing, searching for a secret catch that she had missed. She knew that there had to be one there, she just had to figure out how to open it and she’d see what was inside. There was certainly something inside all right, she could hear it banging around when she shook the locket. When she returned to the house, the only person that seemed to notice the necklace was Amy, who gushed about it for a few moments and after which it seemed as though Amy had forgotten about it entirely. No one else seemed to notice it, no one but Brett, though he never mentioned it to her.

 

Brett was starting to think he’d have to kill Grady, she didn’t put the locket down for a single second, there would be no way to grab it from her. It had only been two days, but he couldn’t leave it with her, the longer she wore it the more obsessed with it she would become. Rose was starting to panic and when she panicked she always did stupid things, usually resulting in a large amount of scrutiny thrown her way, like that library a few thousand years ago. If he didn’t get it soon she’d attack Grady, unless of course he could distract her somehow. He had been feeling it occasionally since taking over Brett’s body, that little pull in the back of his mind that let him know there was another. They weren’t using much power, only small amount occasionally, but it was enough for him to feel it. He didn’t think the others possessed the ability, but if they did they never seemed to use it. Certainly Rose would have said something by now. He thought he knew who it was, but some were easy confused. He had narrowed it down to two possibilities and either would do. Both were usually friendly enough and open to plotting together.
When he got to the house again, he could smell fresh baking bread before he got out of the car, that meant she was probably binging. Again. He sighed and stepped out of the car. The temperature outside was a good six degrees higher than it had been inside the car. It was already a warm day and the extra heat made it stifling. He was never a huge fan of the heat. He entered the hall, half expecting everything to either be on fire or already burned to a crisp, but everything seemed fine. He searched the house, calling out until he found her in the office, he knew that if the air temperature rose slightly, he was on the right track. She could go anywhere in the housebut she seemed to prefer the office. “What are you doing?” “What do you mean?” “You know what I mean. I can smell it, feel it in the air.” She sighed and flicked her hand outwards, a large spray of flames launched from her fingertips and settled on the wall, they burned furiously for a moment and soon they died out, the wall was unmarked and the smell of baking was stronger. “Stop that. You’ll make people suspicious.” Sweat was rolling down his face freely, “c’mon.” “Where?” “Anywhere but here, I’m not talking to you in a goddamned oven.” He left the room and after a moment, Rose followed.
He stopped in the kitchen and opened the large windows, allowing the slight breeze to cool the room. “It’s a damn mess in here. What the hell?” she shrugged. “You’re going to have to clean the place a bit. I’ve a plan for here.” “Fine. Did you come here just to give out to me?” “No, I came here for another reason, but you were acting like a petulant child. There’s another of us.” “What? Where? How do you know?” “I have my sources, I’m not sure who it is though, only that it’s definitely one of us.” “Are you sure?” “Yes. They’re one of the friendly ones, that much I know.” “Where are they?” “Bout a five hour drive north of here. Should be easy to find once we get there.” “When are we going?” “I’m not sure, I was thinking maybe tomorrow or the day after. I’m also going to need you to come around to the house soon so I can introduce you as my girlfriend.” “Do I have to?” “Yes. It’s what normal people do and we cant have any suspicions on us.” “Have you figured out how to get the necklace yet?” “Almost, that’s part of the plan too. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.”

 

Brett spent the next few days worried about the drive, he’d need the car, which he was certain he’d be able to get without a hassle, but the reaction of the others concerned him. They might want to know where he was going and they wouldn’t take kindly to being told to fuck off. He was starting to feel a little antsy too, claustrophobic. He’d have to sort that out on the road before he did something stupid. Things were so complicated now. Sure there were conveniences but he missed the good old days of superstition and fear. They’d all bow down to him as soon as he showed them what he was, now however there would be air strikes and an army out looking for him. As he suspected Dom allowed him to use the car without any trouble. He had to be careful there for a few days, Dom was going to be a helpful part of his plan, Brett couldn’t tip him off that anything was amiss until then.

He picked Rose up early in the morning, she grumbled slightly but after a few minutes of driving she passed out in the passanger seat, head against a pillow. He drove slowly, taking his time. He didn’t want to get pulled over, sure he could get rid of the cop easily, but it would be more trouble than it was worth. Rose slept for most of the journey, only waking up during the final leg. One moment she was asleep and the next she was awake and looked immaculate. Even asleep she managed to have an air of perfect beauty, but when she was awake she seemed to create an aura about herself. “How much further?” “Not much. Bout half an hour.” She leaned forward and started fiddling with the radio dial, turning until she found something she liked. As she sat back, Brett chuckled softly, “what?” “Nothing.” She had settled on a radio station that was currently playing big band music. She looked out the window, frowning slightly. She hadn’t seemed to realise how much she looked like she just appeared from the 1930’s. They drove in silence until she started banging on the window “oh! Oh! Pull over!” “What?” “Food! They do food. I’m hungry.” He signalled and pulled into the fast food restaurant. “Next time do it a little calmer. I won’t be as likely to swerve into a car next to us.” She smiled sheepishly, “Sorry.” He pulled into the drive through lane and ignoring the rapidly changing order from beside him, he spoke into the machine. “Aren’t we going to stop?” “No, I don’t want to lose too much time here. We’ll just eat as we go.” She started digging through the bags and handed him a burger that she had partially unwrapped, “thanks.” She nodded, then started to devour her own food.

 

He pulled into a large shopping mall, “why are we stopping here?” “They’re inside.” “Ok. If you say so.” They got out of the car and walked towards the large doors, he could feel it now, so much stronger. Who ever it was didn’t need to use their powers for him to locate them, not while he was this close. He followed his feeling into a large clothing store and after a few moments he zero’d in on who it was, a man. He was with a woman and a small child. “There.” “Which one?” “The man.” They moved closer, pretending to be shopping. “What do you think of this honey?” “Yeah, it looks good.” The child started pulling at the mans hand “I think he wants to go somewhere else though.” “I’ll only be a few more minutes. I’ll grab this and I just need one more.” The man smiled and nodded, “we can wait outside, there’s a small play area. See you in a few?” “Yeah cool.” “Do you have enough?” “Yeah, I think so.” They kissed briefly and the man and boy started to leave the store, Brett and Rose followed. Brett wondered if the man could sense them, perhaps that was why he moved from the woman. They followed at a slight distance. Outside the store the boy ran to a small coin operated ride. “Can I go? Can I? Please?” The man chuckled and dug out change from his pocket. “Here, can you put it in yourself?” he handed the correct change to the boy who ran over and sat inside, from where they stood, they could hear the boy counting out the coins as they went into the slot. The man moved slightly closer, smiling. Seeing their chance, Brett walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. “Hello.” The man turned, the smile fading, eyes widening. “Oh.” “Surprised to see us?” “Yes actually. I thought I was the only one out.” “We haven’t been here that long. Have we?” Rose shook her head. “What’s your name this time?” “Simon.” Brett smiled, “At least I don’t have the worst name here.” He stuck out his hand, “Brett.” Simon shook his hand, then Rose’s. Simon smiled, “It is good to see you both. I was just a little surprised.” “Understandably. So who’s that?” Brett gestured at the small train. “That’s Joey. My son.” Brett frowned, “like stepson? You’ve a family?” Simon shook his head, “no. Biological son, my wife Mandy is inside.” Rose’s mouth dropped open, “how is that even possible? We can’t have kids.” “Well. Apparently we were mis-informed.” Brett laughed, “she cheated on you, you know that right? Told you it was yours.  You should know better.” “No. He’s mine. I’m sure of it.” “How?” “He’s exhibited certain traits. There is no doubt that he belongs to me.” “Does your wife know?” “Yes. I told her a few years ago. Well, not the full truth, an edited version of it.” “How is this even possible?” “I don’t know. I really don’t. I didn’t do anything to make it happen, it was an accident.” Joey was at Simons side, shyly standing behind his fathers leg and clutching at Simon’s jeans. He reached back and gave Joey a brief hug, then he squatted down to Joey’s height, “daddy needs to talk to his friends ok, why don’t you go play on one of the machines again?” He handed Joey more change, it was almost overflowing from Joey’s small fist, his face lit up and before Simon could change his mind he took off running, stuffing the coins into his pocket. Simon turned back to them, then gestured to the seats, behind him he could hear the train start up again.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 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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One Response to Shadow Crawlers. Part 12

  1. Pingback: The Break In. Part 13. | Alan James Keogh

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