Shadow Crawlers. Part 27.

Part 1, Part 26

Something about this just felt right. It was taking longer than he would have liked, but they’d get there quickly enough. Rose stood in front of the metal door, looking intensely at it as she directed flames where she wanted them, on the other side of the room, Simon kept the air cool enough so the room didn’t over heat. Brett supervised the two, which mostly meant pacing while he waited for them to be done. He had never really explored the house, but Rose had while she was waiting. She had come across a large area that was missing. The safe had been built around so the negative space wouldn’t be obvious. Each room was missing roughly fifteen feet. It wasn’t too noticeable either. None of the rooms were easily entered after leaving the other, the doorways were all on opposing sides and the rooms themselves were already quite large. After Rose realised there was missing space, she had told Brett and together they had searched through the rooms, finally finding the door to the safe in the study. One wall of in the study folded in on itself, the design on the wall paper masking the seams. Once they discovered the door they set to breaking in. Rose was currently cutting out a door spaced shape in the middle of the wall. Brett had thought that there might be things of importance in the house, but it was hard to know what the old man had deemed as important. Rose’s container seemed to be kept on display on the shelf, his own container was probably the same.

When Rose finally penetrated the vault, they could all sense it, there were more containers there. She started to work with increased vigour, Brett paced faster. How could they not have known what was there? The metal wasn’t that strong, there had to have been something built into it to prevent them locating the other containers. From the corner of his eye, Brett could see something standing in the doorway. He turned to look and saw only the closed, wooden door. They were back again, he’d have to take care of them properly. He had tried to get rid of the one that was hanging around but obviously it was unsuccessful. He turned back, ignoring the creature he could just barely make out. If he opened the door properly he’d be able to see it head on, but it would probably just disappear.

It took almost an hour for Rose to finish cutting out the door. When she did, they waited while Simon cooled the metal. Rose was having difficulty controlling the heat the fire had generated. Once it was cool, they moved the door and stepped into the vault.

It was underwhelming. The vault itself was metal inside, with shelves built into the walls, the shelves on one wall were filled with strange knickknacks, while the others were completely empty. The three of them approached the filled wall and went to one of the alcoves, each trying to see what container it was. It looked like an ordinary rock. Interesting. Brett smiled. They could use this easily. They just needed someone to get the damn thing.
“Hey, Simon, pick it up.”
“You know we can’t.”

“Just humour me for a second here, ok?”

“If something happens to me, I will kill you.”

“Yes, yes fine, just do it already.”

Simon reached out and wrapped his hand around the rock, he felt sick as his fingers closed around nothing. His mind told him he was holding the rock, his body screamed that there was nothing there. He raised his closed hand, the rock stayed where it was. Brett let out a small breath he didn’t know he was holding. That was one dilemma solved. Now there was the hard part. They needed to get someone inside to open it. The biggest concern was how they would explain breaking into a safe that Rose supposedly owned.

They examined the other items and decided they were of no value, at least to them. They’d have to call the others in, barring Jack. That would be the easy part, Jack had been spending more and more time out of the house. He wasn’t saying much to anyone in the last few days, Brett suspected he was looking for work. They exited the safe and stood in the study.

“We’re going to have to tell them.”

“No, we’ll tell them some modified version of the truth. It will be better for them. Trust me. They’ll be more inclined to help us too.”

“Brett’s right, there’s no telling how they’ll react if we tell them everything.”

Simon sighed, “Fine, but then we need a plan.”

Brett smiled, “I already have one. Get the girls and we’ll all meet in the kitchen. Rose is going to tell them a story.” Simon left the room, while Brett told Rose what she was to say.

“I’m afraid we weren’t entirely honest with you, with any of you, earlier. It’s dangerous and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. It’s too late for that now. When I said we didn’t know what gave us powers, that was a lie. We do. It’s a trait that was passed down. My great, great grandfather married a woman who wasn’t like us, she wasn’t quite human. She was created and she was powerful. We don’t know how she was created, she would never talk about it. She wanted to join the human world and forget. We only know of her as her children displayed powers too and she couldn’t let them go out unprepared.

How ever she was created, she wasn’t the only one. There were a few others, ones before and after her. She didn’t know how many, but she knew they would be looking for her. She didn’t use her powers as they could sense one another, but she couldn’t sense her children.

She needed to keep them safe so she taught them secrecy, if one was found the entire family would be exterminated like rats. They didn’t want humans to have power.

Once she chose to have a human life she started to age, she lived longer than a normal human, far longer, but she died. Before she died she gave us some items that would help if we ever needed, items that would call others of her kind that were sympathetic to her, that would help us and protect us from the others.
One of the others, the strongest, is trying to track us down and we think he may succeed. Others in the family have recently died, ones who had powers.” She looked at Simon, “We think that who ever killed Mandy was intending to kill Simon and they made a mistake. We’re in danger, but so are all of you. If you leave there is a chance you too will be killed in the cross fire. They will kill you just as they would kill us.”
Amy looked pale, “so what are we supposed to do to help? I mean if you’re not lying.” She looked at Grady, “We have to help right? We’ve pretty much been dragged into some kind of supernatural war.” Amy stopped talking, she opened her mouth again, then closed it.

“We have the items that will call for help, but we can’t use them. Their design was based off one that allowed humans to control the other beings, before they escaped. It was built with safety features that wouldn’t allow one of the others to touch it. It was thought that if one of them could control the others, they would rally together and enslave humanity. They were prone to jealously and infighting, they couldn’t conquer people when they were too worried about battling each other. Because of these safety mechanisms, none of us can touch the items, we cannot pick them up. There are people in the family who can, but unfortunately, they won’t be able to get here fast enough.”

“So you want us to call some human-killing monster?”

“No, they’re not monsters, they think differently, but the ones that my great, great grandmother knew are the best of their kind. They were like her, they wanted to help humans, to live together.”
“Will it be dangerous?”
“Yes, but the danger will be minimal. The item needs to be opened, then the room has to be vacated. There will be a lot of energy released, it’s attuned to the specific being and will call for it. They should arrive within a few days, but until the energy dissipates, the room will be uninhabitable.”

“What if the person doesn’t get out in time?”
“They will…I also want to offer payment to who ever does it. The safe it’s kept in contains valuable items. Who ever does it can have everything in that safe.”

“There has to be some catch, something you’re not telling us. Why would you give us so much for something like that?”
“Money is worthless when you’re dead. I don’t want to die and I don’t think any of you do either.”
“Can we have a moment to talk about this between us?”
Rose nodded and together her and Simon left the room. Grady looked at Brett, “what isn’t she telling us?”


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 27.

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 28. | Alan James Keogh

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