Shadow Crawlers. Part 21.

So, I ended up staying in my sisters place, not for puppy purposes of course, simply to help.

I have learned a lot though. For example, when a normal three month old puppy is nipping at your hands and legs, it’s cute. When a wolfhound puppy does it, that shit gets old, fast. He’s slightly smaller than a Labrador, so it’s very, very easy to forget he’s only a few months old. Still, he’s cute most of the time, which is a help.

The trip across to my sisters place wasn’t too fun, I was smushed under a bunch of things in the car, most notably a mattress. I had to lie awkwardly on my side for the entirety of the journey. Still, got here without dying, so I’ll chalk that up as a success!

It’s also really, really quiet out here. Last night I was lying in bed and there was no noise. It was strange. No cars, no car alarms, no people, not even the sound of the house settling. It’s also not as scary as you would think, there isn’t really anyone that close by, but it doesn’t have that “We’re all alone” creepy feeling that I was slightly expecting. It’s pretty pleasant.

On with the show!

_______________________________________________________________

Part 1, Part 20.

He sat in the car park, the car turned off. He had left the engine idling for a while, but Simon began to worry that it was just a waste of petrol. There was no sign of anyone. He thought he’d be able to find them easily, but it was much more difficult than he expected. They didn’t leave any signs of themselves. There had been multiple fires recently, all spread out so even if Rose was responsible for them all, it would be impossible to pinpoint her location. Brett was just as difficult to find. The longer they stayed still the more he worried, but he didn’t know where they could go. Even if they checked into a hotel, they still wouldn’t be safe. As it was the police would be looking for him soon. He’d need to hide properly. He had used his false ID to rent the car, it had been hidden in the lining of the wallet, he had gotten it years ago, when he was worried he’d have to run without any warning. They wouldn’t be able to track him through that, but no doubt the clerk would remember his face, particularly if it was in the news. They had eaten lunch on the road, Simon got them both sandwiches, he felt guilty, Mandy was always so concerned with making sure Joey ate right, but there had to be exceptions made occasionally. There was a sudden pain shooting through his stomach, he hunched over and grimaced, trying not to groan. Joey was engrossed in a comic in the back. Simon undid his seatbelt and stepped outside, trying to keep his breathing even. He knew what this was, and that made things all the more terrifying. He had only felt this once before, and it hadn’t ended well. He closed his eyes, trying to keep himself calm, but there was no stopping it. He looked around, hoping there would be something, anything that he could use. There was nothing. He looked up, hoping it would work.

Simon collapsed a few minutes later, the area had gotten significantly colder, it had begun to snow lightly. People looked up at the sky, confused. The forecast predicted rain, but there was a sudden temperature drop. Simon stood and shakily got into the car. It was gone for now, but he didn’t think it would be the last tremor. His only other option was to freeze the entire shopping centre. He couldn’t do that, too many people would die. He turned on the car and started to drive. They had to move away from here, if he had lost it, it would know to look for him here. He didn’t know where they were going, or what they would do when they arrived.

Brett stopped, he had felt it, enormous power, Simon was near and something was wrong. He stood from the table and went to find Rose. He had been waiting for Grady to come out for lunch, but there had been no sign of her. Amy had checked in on her, at Brett’s request, and she said she wasn’t feeling well. He found Rose in the study, “Simon’s nearby.” “What? Why?” “I don’t know, I’m going to go out and find him. If we come back, say he’s your cousin or something ok? Supposed to stay for a few days and you forgot about it.” “Right. Hurry back.” Brett nodded.

He drove in the general direction of the feeling, but whatever had happened was throwing him off. As he drove he listened to the radio, there was a report of a sudden, unexpected snowstorm localised entirely around a shopping centre. Brett could feel his nerves bubbling beneath the surface, something bad must have happened for Simon to do something like that.

Simon pulled over again, Joey was getting restless and they needed a plan. Simon jumped as someone knocked on the window, it was Brett. Simon motioned for Brett to get into the car, he went to the passenger side and sat in. “What are you doing here?” “How did you find us?” “Don’t worry about that, I’ll explain later. What happened?” “It’s out.” “That’s impossible. It would have attacked me and Rose first, we were closer.” “It’s definitely out. It…It got Mandy.” Brett looked awkward. “I’m sorry.” He glanced into the back, “Is he?” “He’s not hurt.” “What happened?” “I don’t know. I was out, when I came back she was…It had already done its work.” “Are you sure? It could have been something else.” “No. It wasn’t anything else.” “When did it happen?” “Last night.” “Jesus.” “Yeah.” “Were…were you attacked earlier today?” “No. Why?” “The radio, said there was a snow storm.” “Wasn’t me.” Brett looked at him, Simon didn’t know why he lied. “We’ve been driving aimlessly, we haven’t really stopped anywhere.” “Ok. Well I know somewhere we can go, my car is just around the corner, follow me.” “Wait. It’s probably best if I get rid of this car. I’ll drop it off at the rental place. I can just dump it in the lot and leave the keys in the car. Then we’ll go with you.” “Ok. Do you have any bags or anything?” “There wasn’t time to pack. We just ran.” “Ok. I’ll follow you there. You’ll be safe with us.”

Once the car was dropped off, Brett drove them back to Rose’s house, they drove in silence. Brett was worried as Simon was being quiet, it might be hard to pull off the lie. When they were nearby, Brett told Simon what to say if anyone questioned them. Distant family seemed like a better idea to Brett as it would explain any gaps in knowledge. They got out of the car and went into the house. Amy was ecstatic with Joey and together they went off to look for something to play with. Brett assured Simon that Joey would be safe and together they went to the study.

“Shit. How could we not have known?” “I felt it when my seal was broken.” “I felt mine go too.” Simon nodded, “Either way, it’s out. We need to attack, or find more of us. We have to be able to take it on. If we fail we’re fucked.” “We could try and lure it into a trap.” “I don’t think that’ll work. Not after last time. It’ll expect something.” “Well, what do you suggest?” “We’ll have to fight it, hope we can contain it again.” “Rose is right. If we get it contained, we can worry about resealing it again, but first we have to get it back into its container.”

Simon told them what had happened in more detail and, after he was done, he went to look for Joey. “Look.” Rose pointed at the glass Simon had been given, its contents were frozen solid. “I don’t think he’s quite in control of it at the moment.” Brett nodded. “You’re right. I think his emotions are clouding everything.” Rose picked up the glass, the liquid melted.

Grady lay on her bed, huddled over. She had been feeling nauseous all day. Towards night she started to feel slightly better. She stood and made her way downstairs, hoping to have something light for dinner. She didn’t like this place but she was too sick to move. They were stuck for a few more days, at least she was. Rose seemed nice, though she was a bit off. Grady chalked it up to how she was raised. She meant well at least. Grady still had the necklace around her neck, it felt nice, a comforting weight. When she took it off, she felt worse, though she was sure that was just psychosomatic. Probably some kind of connection her mind had made with before the fire. She wasn’t quite sure what happened, but she felt like the necklace was a good luck charm, that it had somehow helped her escape. She stepped into the dining room, surprised to see new people, one of whom was a child. Rose smiled at her, “I hope you’re feeling better. This is Simon and his son Joey. Simon is a cousin of mine. They asked if they could stay a few weeks back. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier, it completely slipped my mind.” “Hi I’m Grady, nice to meet you both.” Grady sat at the table. The conversation continued where it left off, Grady paid little attention, but she was feeling better.

It stopped the car, feeling angry. It wouldn’t be able to attack for a while longer. They were together and though it was stronger by far, it would be dangerous to attack. The girl’s body was holding up well, much better than any of the others. She got out of the car, not bothering to turn it off, and began to walk. She enjoyed walking, it helped her think and she had a lot of planning to do.

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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 21.

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 22. | Alan James Keogh

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