Shadow Crawlers. Part 17.

I’m almost 23 now. This Sunday will be my birthday, I’m a little excited (more so for going out and having fun.) and a little unnerved. I don’t feel 23. It’s weird. I guess I’ll have a year to get used to it!

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend and I’ll see ye all on Monday.

On with the show!


Part 1, Part 16

Rose was reclined on the couch, watching as a flame appeared at her fingertip then fluttered out, again and again. She was mesmerised by the dancing flame. So small, so simple, so perfect. The flame went out again, this time it didn’t reappear. Brett had brought her on two more missions towards the house, both times she stayed in the car and simply waved. Brett said he wanted them used to the idea of her before he introduced her properly. Rose thought he was stalling or just making it up as he went along. She was starting to become incensed. Though he had explained some of his plan, it seemed so slow and ridiculous. The longer the girl had the amulet, the greater danger they were all in. Personally, she didn’t get why the couldn’t just dispose of the girl, that would be the easiest thing for everyone. No more girl, no more danger and they’d have the locket. They could do what ever they pleased with it. Still Brett seemed to have developed some soft spot for her, though Rose suspected Grady was his master. It would all come out eventually, it always did. Secrets never really interested her, no one could keep them for long and there were very few things in her life she didn’t know the answer to. Brett had claimed that she was finally going to meet them at the weekend, but he had postponed that. Something about working. She hadn’t been paying much attention if she was honest. She shivered slightly, eyes widening. Something had changed.

Grady let out a satisfied grunt, she had managed to slip the head of a screwdriver between the sealed edges, finally. She had been working on this damn thing for what felt like weeks and nothing had been happening. She had been on the verge of giving up when it slid in. She felt a shiver race down her fingertips. It wouldn’t be long now and she’d be able to pry it open, finally.

“Rose? Plan’s moved forward, we don’t have time to wait. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. I’ll be back later tonight with everyone.” Rose hung up and went to the front door, she didn’t know what he had planned but it would be interesting no doubt.

Brett arrived ten minutes later, he got out of the car and ran to the door, he held a candle in his hand. “Ok, here’s what you have to do.” He explained it to Rose and after a moment, she nodded, then she placed her finger at the tip of the candle, a deep red flame appeared. Brett took it and carefully went back to the car.

Grady frowned in annoyance, “yeah, just a sec!” who ever it was knocked again. Grady shoved the locket under her pillow and opened the door, Brett was standing there. “What?” “We were gonna go out for some food, wanna come?” “I’m not hungry.” Grady started to close the door, “Wait!” “What?” “Ok. This is kinda awkward, but I wanted to talk to you too. I just wanted to see if everything was ok? You’ve been a bit distant lately.” “Yeah, I’m fine.” “Are you sure, cos you know you can talk to me if you need to, you can talk to any of us.” Grady smiled, “Yeah, I’m fine, really, I just haven’t been sleeping well.” It wasn’t a lie, not really. She was having a hard time falling asleep, her thoughts were wrapped up in the locket, wondering how she could open it and when she finally did fall asleep her dreams were dark, violent and filled with blood. “Maybe you should talk to Amy, she might be able to give you something” “Yeah. Maybe.” They stood for a moment in awkward silence. “Well, if that’s all.” Brett nodded, “yeah. Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?” “Yeah, thanks.” “Ok, well see you later.” Grady closed her door.

Shit. He had hoped it might work, he’d have to move his plan forward. It was almost night, it would be fine. It had to be. He had placed the candle into Dom’s office, he wasn’t using it and wouldn’t notice. Brett went back to the office and gently lay the candle on its side. The flame flickered, sputtered and then moved across the paper on the desk slowly. Brett left the room.

It didn’t take long.

Brett called out that there was a fire, he heard people moving upstairs, people scrambling. The air was filling with thick black smoke, the fire had moved from the office in towards the kitchen. Amy appeared at the bottom of the stairs carrying a bag, “Go, outside quick, I can’t put it out.” She nodded and coughing, she headed towards the door.

Everyone was out, at least, everyone that was supposed to be, but there was still no sign of Grady, the heat was getting too much, he’d have to go get her, he moved towards the stairs. Someone grabbed the back of his t-shirt and started dragging him outside, “what the hell were you doing?” “Dom and Grady are still in there!” “You could have been killed.” Amy doubled over, coughing again. Smoke was pouring from the front door, flames flickered in the downstairs windows. Brett looked up, Grady’s curtains were closed and there was no sign of her.

Grady pulled the locket from under her pillow and started to work at it with the screwdriver. She’d get it open tonight, she could feel it. At least she wouldn’t have any interruptions if everyone was out. Someone yelled downstairs, probably trying to get everyone ready. She heard them thundering around but ignored it. The screwdriver slipped into the crack, prying it open some more. She didn’t notice as smoke started to seep in under her door, she was too focused on the locket. She didn’t notice when her eyes started to water and she begun to cough. The screwdriver moved back and forth, working its way inside. The fire moved under the door, creeping along the carpet as though searching for something. The screwdriver slipped and found a crevice, Grady let out a triumphant cry as the locket popped open. She looked greedily inside, wanting to glimpse the treasures it held. The air with thick and hot with smoke, two small, red drops slid from the space inside the locket and fell on her bedspread. The locket snapped closed, and Grady blinked, almost confusedly, then looked around.

She was surrounded by fire.  


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 17.

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 18 | Alan James Keogh

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