Shadow Crawlers. Part 24.

The weekend, woo!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, my friend is celebrating graduating college, so she wants to go out and do something, it should be fun though I don’t plan on staying too late. I’m fairly tired at the moment. I feel into a reading binge so I’ve been up late with books, and my sleeping schedule is slightly wonky. Want to fix it before I start becoming nocturnal.

On with the show!

__________________________________________________________

Part 1, Part 23

Joey looked around conspiratorially, then he looked back at Amy, “watch.” He poured some milk into his hand, Amy was about to say something, then stopped. He hadn’t spilled any of it onto the floor. She watched as the milk froze solid in his palm. She looked at him, eyes wide, “Wow, that’s some magic trick!”

 

He frowned, “It isn’t a trick.” He did it again.

 

“Seriously kiddo, you’ve got to tell me how to do that, that’s amazing!”

 

He looked at her for a second, a mixture of anger and sadness, before a new idea came to him. He threw his cup of milk into the air, the cup spun, milk spraying out, Amy opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. There was a brief, silent lull, then the milk crashed to the ground and shattered into a thousand shards. “What…What the hell was that?”
“I told you there was something I wanted to show you.”

 

“But how? I poured it, that’s not possible.”
“I made it happen.
“How?”
“I don’t know. I can just do it.”
Amy put her own glass onto the table and sat down. The ice hadn’t started to melt yet, at least clean up would be easy. She giggled, an edge of hysteria to it. “Don’t worry, it’s safe. I’m not going to hurt you accidently or anything.”
“How long have you been able to do that?”

 

He shrugged, “as long as I can remember.”

 

“Does your dad…does he know? Can he do it too?”

 

Joey looked uncomfortable, that wasn’t his secret to tell. “He knows about it.”

 

Amy didn’t notice that he avoided her second question. She took a deep breath, then looked at him, “have you told anyone else?” Joey shook his head
“Good. Let’s keep it between us for the moment, ok?”

 

He nodded, smiling. Amy wanted to tell someone, drag one of the others in so they could see it too and prove she wasn’t going insane, but that wasn’t safe for Joey. What would the world do to someone who had that kind of power? She’d read books, seen TV shows, they’d want to capture him, turn him into a weapon if not worse. She took a deep, steadying breath. She’d have to talk to Simon about it, but how would he react? If no one else knew that put her in danger, what if he attacked her? He was a nice man, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t try and protect his child. She’d have to think carefully about what she was going to do next. Joey seemingly pleased that he shared his secret, asked for another glass of milk, Amy nodded and stood, before turning and going to the fridge.

 

Grady stood in the hall, eyes wide. She had been going for some dinner, suddenly ravenous, when she had seen Joey freeze the milk. Something about it all seemed familiar, but fear over road her mind, she couldn’t think properly. She calmed herself, then went into the kitchen. Amy looked up sharply, then relaxed. Good, they didn’t know she was watching. She looked at Amy carefully, but Amy still seemed to be in shock. After a moments hesitation, Grady went over to her and speaking in an almost whisper, told her. Amy let out a relieved laugh, “Good, so I’m not cracking up.” Grady shook her head. “So what do we do now?” “Well. We’re going to have to talk to Simon, make sure it’s safe for all of us. What if he gets upset or something, can he control himself? I don’t want to be frozen solid if the kid throws a tantrum over not being allowed to watch TV or something.” Amy nodded.

 

They agreed to play hide and seek with  Joey, the house was large and it would give them an excuse to search for Simon without worrying Joey. Amy started to count and Joey raced away, giggling.  After the count down ended, Amy went over to Grady’s obvious hiding spot and made a show of finding her. Together, they left the room to look for Simon.

 

 

Simon arrived home feeling slightly better. He had control of things again. He heard people clattering around upstairs. He ignored it and went to the kitchen, he was feeling hungry. There was no food cooked, and, hiding his disappointment, he made a sandwich. He wanted something hot, something to warm him. He ate the sandwich quickly, it seemed bland and tasteless, but he had eaten worse. Once done, he left the kitchen, wondering where everyone was. Amy and Grady rounded the corner and stopped short. “Um. Hi. We…We wanted to talk to you.”

 

He frowned,  “what’s wrong, did something happen?”
“No, no, look Joeys fine but…can we go into the sitting room to talk?” Amy didn’t wait for an answer.  Everyone else was out as far as they could tell and the sitting room was as good a place as any. They sat down in the chairs, Simon looked around, “where’s Joey?”

 

“Oh, we were playing hide and seek.” They sat in silence until Grady nudged Amy. “We…uh…Joey…He showed us what he can do.” Amy didn’t think it was possible, but Simon paled.

 

“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.” His heart was beating wildly.

 

“He showed us how he can…freeze things.” It still sounded insane. Simon tried to breathe, tried to keep calm.
“Don’t worry. We’re not going to tell anyone. Just…we wanted you to know…to talk to him, maybe get him to be more careful and…” Grady started talking in the silence. “Look we wanted to know if it was safe. If he could control it properly. It’s freaky as hell, but I’m not about to go running to the tabloids, it’s not fair on the kid. I just don’t want to freeze solid if he’s having a tantrum.”
Simon nodded, relaxing slightly. “It’s a valid concern. His mother and I taught him to be careful from a young age. He doesn’t use it when he’s upset or angry. He had  good control.” He didn’t know if Joey was powerful enough to freeze them, but he left that part out. Better they were a little afraid. Grady nodded. Simon wondered what else they knew. What Joey had told them.

The front door banged open, Rose and Brett entered, laughing. Brett spotted them in the sitting room as they passed, he looked in, “is everything ok?” Simon turned to them, “They know about Joey. What he can do.” Damn. Brett and Rose stepped into the room, Grady and Amy started to look nervous. Brett looked at Simon, trying to gauge what they knew or what they had figured out. Simon shook his head lightly. Rose stepped forward, “don’t worry. You’re completely safe.” She  glanced at Simon, “it…sort of runs in the family.” Simon glared at her. “…who else can do it?” Shit. She took a breath and smiled. “Well. I can, sort of. So can Simon.” Hell, she was already in it, she might as well go a little further. If they thought it was some genetic quirk or new trait, all the better. “I just run a little hotter than my dear cousin.” She held out her hand and a small flame appeared. The two girls on the couch stared in shock. Grady looked at Brett, he didn’t looked surprised at all.

 

“why didn’t you tell us?”

 

“It wasn’t my secret to tell.”

 

“I asked him not to say anything. I took a risk telling him and I’m taking one telling you too. I trust you because Brett does, no other reason. I don’t want me or anyone in my family to end up dead because you two go and tell the world.” Brett took her hand, to Amy and Grady it looked as though he was supporting her. He gave it one hard warning squeeze. “It isn’t dangerous. We can control it. We’re good at keeping it in control. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t have made it this far in life. There’s a few more of us, scattered about the family tree. And it isn’t contagious or anything. I know it’s a lot to take in, but if you have any questions, feel free.” Grady and Amy nodded, but sat in silence.

 

Brett tried to calm himself, it had gone better than he could have expected. Grady and Amy had assured them all they wouldn’t say anything, then they left to try and locate Joey. He entered the room a moment later, impatient that he hadn’t been found yet. When they told him that the girls were still looking for him, his face brightened and he took off running back to his hiding spot. Alone, they looked at each other. “How did this happen?” “They said Joey told them and I believe them.” “Okay. We need to keep up this thing for a while longer. They’re going to have to know the whole thing soon, but the longer we can keep them in the dark the better it will be for all of us.” Part of Rose wanted to tell Grady, go to her and beg forgiveness, she quashed the feeling, giving a brief shudder of disgust. She wasn’t looking forward to the day that Grady knew what was happening.

 

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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 24.

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 25 | Alan James Keogh

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