Shadow Crawlers. Part 19.

I was at a wedding on Wednesday, it was pretty fun. First wedding I’ve actually been to where it wasn’t relatives getting married and I was as old as the couple. It was a strange experience, though I don’t know exactly what I was expecting. I was the witness in the ceremony so I was a little unnerved (what if I screwed it up!?) It all went well though and my friends are now happily married.

After the ceremony we went for food, Brazilian cuisine, which was strange, but tasty. I ate chicken hearts. They were a lot nicer than you would think, plus I know how the extra strength of two chickens, I mean, I could afford to pass up that kind of power!

On with the show!



Part 1, Part 18

“Be quiet, they’ll hear us.” “No they won’t, they’re all passed out.” “Just keep it down, ok?” “Fine, but what the hell will we do?” “The locket should be in the house still, we’ll have to shift through the ashes to find it.” Rose gave him a withering look. “Allow me.” She closed her eyes for a moment and frowned. Brett looked at her curiously, he had never seen her do something like this before. When she opened her eyes, she looked worried, “It isn’t there. I double checked.” “How do you know?” “I Just do. And I’m certain of it. That girl must have it.” “Ok, perfect, well, we’ll search her room or something.” “When?” “In the morning, it’s too dangerous to do it tonight, they’ll be on edge. Either when she comes down for breakfast or when she showers. I don’t want them knowing about us, not if we can help it, ok?” “Fine…What if it’s already out?” “We won’t know that until we find the locket. Our seals were already broken, so we know she’s making progress. I’m hoping the shock of the fire will distract her for a day or two, long enough for me to nab it and make it disappear.” “And if it’s out?” “We’ll need Simon. There won’t be enough of us, but it’ll be weak, we might be able to capture it with little damage to ourselves or others.” Rose shuddered. “I don’t want to go through this again.” “Neither do I,  but we’ve no other choice, it won’t just forgive us, it’ll want revenge. We need to strike first. If it manages to outwit us…” They both shuddered. “It won’t come to that. We’ll sort it out. Ok?”

It was still getting used to this body. It was so strange. So warm. It was the only one who didn’t technically need a body, though it grew much, much stronger with one. It had taken a young man, one who had seemed robust and healthy, bodies it inhabited could some times run down very quickly. The young man was pale, with bloodshot eyes, maybe sick or perhaps he had just been up too late. He staggered slightly as he walked, but people didn’t pay too much attention to him. Occasionally a passerby would notice that they had a faint nose bleed or that a small cut had reopened. Others continued on unaware as they began to bleed internally. For most, this would resolve itself with little issue, but for the unlucky few, it would lead to deadly consequences. He could sense them, five, not including himself, spread out. Of them, one had a feeling that was new. One he   hadn’t met before. No matter, he was out for revenge, at least for now, and who ever it was earned his wrath by association. It could feel them, hot points on the horizon, pulling him onwards with a delicious burn that grew more exquisite with each step. The ones that were close by couldn’t be touched for now, but soon they would be his.

The man he had taken over was very helpful, providing all sorts of information towards how he could travel, how he should behave. Of course that wasn’t surprising. He simply showed the young man what he could do and who he would do it to. No one wants to see their family to go through that. The young man was trying to be calm, cool, collected, but he could feel the waves of sickly fear that emanated from him.

He took his place on the bus, wishing that the young man knew how to pilot one of the individual cars, but there was no such luck. It was late and the bus was mostly empty, it would take longer than he would like, but he would get there.

The bus was moving slowly, barely above a crawl, it tilted towards the pavement, mounted it, then came to a jarring stop as it hit a pole. Inside the bus a dark shadow stood and moved down the aisle, it was the only thing that moved. The door opened, thick blood began to slowly drip from the stairwell. The shadow stepped outside, thanking the bus driver, the voice sounded melodic, with a hint of mischief. He stepped from the bus and into the light. It was the young man, he was paler, if that was possible, his lips were bright red, as were his eyes. He looked back at the bus, the bus driver was slumped in his seat, blood oozing from every orifice. Inside the bus was rank with the stench of blood, six more bodies were littered through out, one or two appeared to have died peacefully, the others were in poses of pain. One lay in the aisle, arm stretched out as though she tried to run, her dirty blond hair stained red. The young man turned from the bus and began to walk, whistling slightly. Occasionally the whistling would stop briefly, and a mist of blood was blown from the mouth. He paused at a shop front and grinned at the glass, using it as a mirror. His mouth was stained black as the gums sullenly bled. He thought that he would get longer use from this body, but it had been too much of a temptation to leave the other people alone. It had been so long since had his fun. For now, he was happy with just attacking. Everything else would come later. He could feel his quarry up ahead, calling to him, urging him onwards, with a pleasurable shiver, he turned from the window and continued on.

She woke groggily, someone was ringing the doorbell. She rolled over, the bed was empty. Sighing, she stood and grabbed her night gown. As she descended the stairs she felt a thrill of fear. The phone had been on the fritz and her mother was sick, what if something happened? She opened the door without looking first and felt a surge of relief, it wasn’t her father or brother, then the fear returned. A man stood, dressed in a hoodie, the hood was up and his face was shrouded in shadow. “Can I help you?” There was no sound. Time seemed to slow, her hand found the light switch, the outside lights flicked on and with a scream, she tried to slam the door shut. A hand shot out, grabbing the door and pushing it back against her, she struggled against him but he was too strong, she wouldn’t be able to get it closed, she had to run, she had to grab Joey and get out, there was no other way. She took a deep breath, then let go of the door and ran. She took the stairs two at a time, ignoring the bang of the door hitting against the wall. She could hear him thundering behind her, so close, almost there, she reached the landing when a hand caught her wrist, sickly hot and sticky. He pulled and, already off balance, Mandy fell back into his arms.

Simon walked slowly, enjoying the cool of the night. He couldn’t sleep and at times like these he went for walks. Not too long of course, he didn’t want Mandy worrying. She knew about them, but she very rarely woke up while he was gone. The wind blew against him, he squinted his eyes against the grit. He was feeling slightly better now and decided he’d loop around and return to the house. He liked the world at night, it was so strange, shadows danced and shifted, everything seemed twisted slightly, a surreal counterpart of what was there during the day.

He entered the driveway and looked up, panic racing through him. The front door was wide open. He ran towards the house and froze. The room was covered in blood, the smell of copper was thick and heavy on the air, he could taste it as he breathed. Mandy’s head sat on the hall table.


He turned and ran up the stairs, trying not to slip in the blood, Joeys door was closed, thick gouges were in the wood, each one filled with blood. Simon crashed into the door, it shattered beneath his weight. The room looked safe, but Joey was no where to be seen. He stopped, breathing heavily. He could hear whimpering. There, under the bed. Simon raced over and pulled out his son. Joey was shivering and crying, Simon stood, and with his son clinging to his neck, he ran from the house.


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 19.

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 20. | Alan James Keogh

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