Shadow Crawlers. Part 13.

Well, the week is finally over. My sleeping schedule still isn’t right, but that’ll hopefully be fixed in a few days.

In other news, site related news, I’m going to be moving the update time forward. I post the short story at 9 AM Irish time, but from Monday on, I’m going to change that to 2 P.M. as a little experiment. It shouldn’t really effect anyone too much, after all, if you’re reading it in work, just think of something to look forward to!

On with the show!


Part 1, Part 12

They moved towards the seating area and sat down, Simon was silent, gathering his thoughts, then he started to speak.

“The last thing I could remember was the fighting. I don’t know if either of you were there for that, I don’t’ think you were though. It wasn’t looking good, we were getting overwhelmed, even with me using my abilities. I was a machine, only paying attention to those in front of me. Of course it made me a target, but it was still fun. All that ice and snow. One man, I froze the blood in his veins. I didn’t even know I could do that. It was instinctual and I allowed myself to sink back, trust my body to do what was needed. I was in battle, laughing as the tides began to turn and we would obviously win, then everything went to black. I think I know what happened, they had snuck in and killed my master at the time. I don’t know why she didn’t call for me.” He shook his head, “probably though she could take them herself. I’m still not sure how long I was inside my container for, all I know is that it was a child that found me. I was still in battle mode. I burst from the container and before I was aware of what I was doing, I inhabited the body of the child that released me. It was a disorientating few hours. We fought for the body. I had never before taken a child. I didn’t even think we could. The child was strong, strong enough to fight me. I don’t know how he managed it but he almost got the best of me a few times. We struggled and fought but eventually I won, but he trapped me. I tried to flee the body, go into others for the first few weeks, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave. I was stuck. It was torture. I never liked staying in bodies for too long. His parents noticed something was wrong, the fight manifested itself physically, something I had never seen before either. They thought he hit his head and sent him for tests. About a month or so later I finally accepted that I was trapped so I stopped fighting and instead took on the role they expected of me.”


Mandy approached them, “Hi honey.” Simon smiled at her, “hey, these are some old friends I haven’t seen in a while, Mandy, this is Rose and Brett.” they shook hands, “nice to meet you, how do you know each other?” “School.” “If you want me and Joey can go and finish our shopping while you guys catch up.” “Yeah, that’d be great, he’s over there, playing on the machines.” They said goodbye and Mandy left to coax Joey from the amusements. “C’mon, I want some coffee or something.” They stood from the bench and followed Simon, he took them to a coffee shop, they ordered and once they had their drinks they sat down on some couches. Simon took a sip from his cup. “I don’t really like thinking about this.” “We need to know.” “I know, I know, just give me a minute, ok?” he took another drink, then he continued. “I guess I regressed, to be what I needed to survive. They couldn’t know I was in there. I mean I was lucky the parents weren’t religious freaks or something, they might have tried to have an exorcism. I don’t think it would have worked, but you never really know, do you? It was hard at first, I mean how did children act? I never really knew. Kids were just those short humans who ran around screaming all day. He helped at first, the child. I’d go into his mind and we’d play and from him I learned. I became a child I guess. It’s the only way the explain it. There was my life, before all this, and my life now. It seemed like a dream at times, though I never forgot it was real. I couldn’t allow myself to forget. I found myself loved by his parents. It was a strange thing. Love pure and unconditional, no one ever gave me that. It was always fear or love for my power, love so that I wouldn’t hurt them. This was pure and I found myself loving them back. I stopped trying to escape the body and just settled in. The body grew and changed, as children do. I hadn’t noticed that my powers no longer worked, I had never tried to use them, not for a long time. I didn’t want to raise suspicions. My strength was that of a child, I couldn’t freeze anything, I couldn’t even cool down a cup of room temperature water. That freaked me out. I didn’t know what to do. Then puberty hit. The powers came back slowly, and it took a few years for them to reach their old levels, but in the beginning controlling them wasn’t as easy as it once was. I’d mean to cool down something and freeze it entirely. It was a scary few months until I was able to control everything again. I went to school, made friends, went to college, got a job and eventually met Mandy. We married and soon after we had Joey. I don’t know how, but I suspect it’s because I was in this body when it went through puberty. I didn’t erase anything, change anything, the body developed normally.” He took another drink. “I don’t think it would have worked, if I tried to take the child. If that was what I had intended, but I was confused, didn’t know what I was doing and thought my physical body had been destroyed, I didn’t even see the child, just sensed a body and went for it. It was the first time I had ever just disappeared like that, normally there was some time to prepare, only if it was a second or two.”

“But, if they child is the only who released you…”

“Why can’t he control me? I think he can a little, but I locked him out quickly. I don’t think he understood what had happened. He still doesn’t. He’s still the same age, happily playing in his make believe world. I visit him sometimes. Make sure he’s doing ok.” Simon looked away from them. “I didn’t mind it so much at first, not until we had Joey. I know I can’t let him out, let him see what his body has become, let him know. But I feel bad for the child. I’ve taken not just his body, but his life.”


Simon took another drink, “I age normally, I don’t know what will happen when this body dies. I suppose I’ll be ejected.” “Have you tried to leave?” “Not after the first few times. I don’t know if I could, but I don’t want to try it. I’m happy here. It’s a good life.” “We need you.” “My family need me” “They aren’t your family, we don’t have families. Besides, if it gets out again, we’re all fucked.” Simon paled, “I thought he was sealed in that locket and the locket was destroyed.” “Well, someone found it.” “What was your plan?” “I don’t have one, just stop it happening. Look, we’re in control for now, we can do what we want, we’ve never had that before and it’s nice, almost intoxicating, but it won’t last long for us. You know the feeling I guess, even if you are trapped, but the day will come when it ends and we go back. It always does. I don’t particularly care for them, but it doesn’t matter, if they’re gone, we’ll be trapped forever. We can’t go into other bodies. It doesn’t matter if some other creature rises up and takes their place, we won’t be able to inhabit their bodies. We might be free, but we’ll be effectively powerless. Sure we could do some things but it would amount to nothing more than annoyances.” Simon nodded. “Ok. Look, I’ll help, but just not now ok? Where are you living now? I’ll think of something, get some time away.” “What are you going to tell her?” “I don’t know. She doesn’t know the whole story. She thinks the powers just manifested at puberty, she doesn’t know the rest. I don’t know why Joey  can use his powers now, they’re weak, but they’re there. They should have been diluted. I need to be there for him when this is all over, I need to teach him how to use them.” “Be his guide? Right from wrong?” Brett laughed, Simon shook his head, “no. Teach him to survive. That’s all. We tried to raise him well, but if he is evil, there’s nothing I can do to stop that.”


They finished their drinks and stood, after saying their goodbyes, Rose and Brett left Simon. “What do you think?” “He’s gotten weaker, but he’ll help us, he knows what the cost will be if he doesn’t. If it comes down to it though, I don’t think he’ll sacrifice himself.” “No. Probably not,” Rose shuddered “can you imagine that, having a child?” Brett shook his head. “Just the thoughts of one of those things squirming around inside me makes me feel sick.” Brett nodded, “I still don’t know why this is possible. We were told there was rules, things in place to prevent this from ever happening.” “Maybe they were wrong. They couldn’t know everything. They probably never thought what would happen if we took a child, after all, that’s supposed to be impossible.” Brett shivered, he remembered previous attempts, commands by those around him, wanting their family line to be powerful. It always hurt to try and they would make him try over and over again until the child was dead from exhaustion. Sometimes that didn’t stop them either, many of them had more than one child. Brett looked at his watch, “we better hurry. I want to make a stop before we get back. I’ve been feeling jittery.” Rose smiled, “Finally, I’ve been needing this.” He held out his hand and she took it, he squeezed lightly, “don’t worry, we’ll both feel a lot better afterwards.”




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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One Response to Shadow Crawlers. Part 13.

  1. Pingback: The Break In. Part 14. | Alan James Keogh

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