Shadow Crawlers. Part 23

Wednesday’s story was a little unusual, but I’m writing something that’s pretty intense at the moment so I wanted to have a bit of light hearted fun to cheer me up and give me a slight break from seriousness…ness.

The story on Monday will be normal again.

I have a massive to read pile at the moment, I got snagged in a section of a book that I’m not a fan of, but I’m rereading the series so I have to plow through it. I’ve been tired as well, so I’ve just been going to sleep at night rather than reading until my eyes are sore, which is what I usually do. I’m planning on getting back into it again soon, especially as I don’t remember much of the plot. I’ve a bunch of books waiting to be read, plus new ones that are out that I really wanna read too. Ugh. So many books, so little time. I vote every year there should be like two or three weeks spaced out where you can give up all responsibilities so you can catch up on reading. It would be awesome. No work, no children, no distractions, just books. And maybe food. Food would probably be important at some point in there.

On with the show!


Part 1, Part 22

This body was weaker than she would have liked. She had been dragging the corpse for only ten minutes and already her body was tired. She couldn’t even pick up the entire body. Of course the body was stronger since she started to inhabit it, but it was still shockingly weak. The homeless man had been a way to blow off a little steam. She had spent all day practising. It had been fun, but she needed to just let go. Besides, the clean up was an exercise too. She had to keep the blood static, make sure it didn’t leave a trail. There was a river nearby, once she got there it would make things so much easier. The stabs wounds had already been created, she just needed to divert the blood flow to drain there and it would be thought he was stabbed. Ingenious really. The water would wash away any evidence she may have left and would dispose of all the excess blood. She stopped, panting. She just needed a second to catch her breath. There was no one else around, so that was something. It was two in the morning, all around her were high-rise buildings. From what she understood they were uninhabited during the night, such a waste. Still, it made things easy, no one would peer out and catch a glimpse. She let the body drop. There had to be easier ways to do this. She concentrated, the body stood. She should have thought of this earlier, but body disposal had never been something she had to do herself. She propped an arm of the body around her shoulders, ignoring the smell, then the two of them began to walk. Should anyone see them, it would just appear as though she was escorting a drunk. Of course it would look odd, a young girl helping a dishevelled old man, but no one would say anything. She could claim to be his niece or something like that.

The river looked like glass, so still and smooth. The body stood on its own and  staggered towards the railing, it crashed into the metal and slumped over, she concentrated for a moment, the arms and legs started to move, lazily clawing at the railing. Damn, she didn’t have that much control over the corpse. She walked over and grabbed the legs then lifted. The body rose, balanced and finally fell into the water with a slight splash. It bobbed on the surface, but already the river was dragging it off. It was deceptively fast. She had no doubt it would make it out of sight before the sun provided enough light for anyone to see what it was. She looked at the lump, anyone else would think it was just a garbage bag or some debris. She smiled and walked calmly away. Now she just needed to find a place to stay. She smelled after the walk, the stench of the man had sunk into her clothes, she needed to rest and eat. A hotel, that would be perfect, but she had little money. The homeless man had some, but not much. She wandered the streets until she found what she was looking for, a drunk stumbling home. She walked behind him for a second, then seeing no one else, she concentrated. The drunk stopped walking and stood up straight, unable to move. She walked forward and reached into the mans pocket, she removed his wallet and opened it, there were a few bills, but not much. There were cards though. The man began to walk, her following behind. The movements were much smoother with the live body. She located an ATM and handed him the card, he was unconscious. He slid the card into the machine, he pressed the buttons and removed the card, then money slid from the machine. He took it, then walked back to her. She didn’t want to be seen on the camera. He handed the to her money, she took it then returned the wallet. She sent him walking again, then removed the control. The man stumbled, fell, then after a moment stood shakily. He began to walk, she turned and went looking for a hotel.

She showered quickly, then got into the bed. It was comfortable, more comfortable than she had expected. Her clothes smelled, but she would have to wait until tomorrow to change. Her stomach grumbled, but she’d get food in the morning. For now she needed sleep. She closed her eyes, in the darkness she could hear the sobbing of a girl, smiling, she slept.

Joey liked Amy, she was fun to play with and it helped him forget about the other thing. He liked the house, it was fun, the fridge had ice all the time, so he didn’t need to cool his drinks. He was happy about that, he didn’t want to use it in case daddy got mad. He did that sometimes. No one was supposed to know. But he liked Amy and she was his friend. He wanted to tell her. He wanted to tell someone. He had tried once before, but no one believed him. His friend Mick said he was crazy. Joey tried to prove it, but Mick didn’t believe him anyway. And his mommy always said that secrets were bad. But it was a special secret, one that wasn’t really a secret. It wasn’t a secret if more than one other person knew. So it was just something that wasn’t supposed to be said. Amy handed him a glass of milk, he took it. After a moments hesitation, he looked at her. “I have a secret.”
“What kind of secret?”

“A special one.”
“Can you tell me?”

Joey shook his head. Then he smiled mischievously, “I can show you.” It wasn’t telling then, not really, and she’d definitely believe him.

Grady stumbled down the stairs. She was still half asleep. She made herself a cereal while the kettle boiled. She wanted coffee. It wasn’t something she drank that often, but she’d need it today. They were going to have to rebuild and as no one else seemed to want to say it, it was up to her. They had to move on and soon, they couldn’t stay here forever, they had to get working again.

Simon sat by himself in the garden, there was a small bench beside a fountain. He looked at the water, but he didn’t see it. He was lost in thought. It wasn’t safe here, for anyone. He had to protect Joey and there was only one way to do that. He half wanted to go out by himself, take it on alone, but he knew that would be suicide. It would take him down almost immediately and for him, it would be the closest thing to death he would ever experience. After all, once the body left him he’d be stripped of emotions, that’s assuming that it even could be stripped from him. He might remain inside, trapped for ever. Or he might move on, disappear like the humans did. He didn’t know what would happen and that scared him. He didn’t want to leave this body, be rendered effectively emotionless. Sure, he could feel anger and pain and fear, but he couldn’t feel love, not truly. He’d be able to remember the feelings he felt, remember the time he spent with Mandy, with Joey, but it would become emotionless. He never expected to live like this, never wanted to, the thought of it before would have had him horrified, but it was something he didn’t want to give up now that he had it. He snapped out of his thoughts, the water in the fountain had frozen. He didn’t mean for that to happen. He’d have to ask Rose if she’d melt it. He looked behind the bench, there were no windows nearby and it would be dark soon. It should melt by itself. He was ashamed that he couldn’t keep control of himself, he didn’t want anyone else to know. Not if he could help it. Despite wanting to stay, part of him missed the emotionless void, the coldness that would slip over him in battle, how he could destroy without a second thought or question. He would need to find that ruthlessness again and he knew he would. Failure was not an option for him, he had to win. He stood from the bench and walked down the slightly sloping garden to the front gates. He needed to go for a walk, clear his head. Joey would be fine for the moment. Amy was entertaining him and, as he told Amy, he would have no trouble entertaining himself. After all there was a large TV and some game consoles attached. There was plenty for him to do. Everyone was in the house, Brett and Rose would be a layer of protection if anything happened. For now he just needed to get away, needed to think. He stopped outside the gates and took a right. He walked quickly with his head down, he needed to burn off the energy he had.

He ended up in a small park, he didn’t know exactly where the house was but he knew he’d get back to it. It was getting dark and the park was empty. Soon teenagers would arrive to drink or smoke. Probably both. He sat down on the empty swing set and swung back and forth gently. He could feel the emotions, trying to overwhelm him but he wouldn’t give in. He couldn’t lose it. Not yet. He would wait, bide his time. He exhaled slowly, the ground beneath him freezing solid. It spread outwards slowly until he felt calmer. He stood from the swing and began to walk again. When he stepped out of the park, the air got noticeably warmer, there was no longer a chill. Feeling his cheeks flush he sped up, he had a lot more walking to do if he wanted to be able to sleep tonight.

Brett could feel it. That need, deep inside, clamouring and clawing at him. He needed the release, he knew that Rose felt the same. She had an option at least, she could expend some of her energy, but it wasn’t enough. It never was. Together they slipped from the house unseen, they wouldn’t be too long, after all, it wasn’t unusual for couples to go out. They needed to feel the rush and they needed it soon. They drove for what seemed like eternity before they finally stopped outside a house. It wasn’t as far away as Brett would like, but it would have to do. They got out from the car, in Roses hand a flame flickered faintly. Brett could feel them inside, seven of them. Young and old. The climbed the small steps and knocked on the door. A young teenager answered, sullen, obviously sent by his parents. “What?” Brett smiled and pushed passed him, the teen let out an indignant yelp, face surprised. Rose followed, closing the door behind her. It wasn’t long before the screams started.


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 23

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 24. | Alan James Keogh

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