Shadow Crawlers. Part 32

Part 1, Part 31

“What do you think of the guy?”
“I don’t know he’s not what I expected, I thought he’d be different. Angrier maybe?”
“Yeah, he seemed pretty ok. Do you think we can trust him though?”
“Do we have a choice?”
“Not really. Do we know what he can do?”
“I don’t think Rose said and I didn’t want to ask. It seemed rude or something.”
“I don’t think he’d mind. Ask him today.”
“You ask him.”

“fine. I’ll do it.”

Ed was sitting in the kitchen by himself when Grady entered, he was eating a sandwich, “Where is everyone?”
“I don’t know.”

Grady sat down at the table, “Rose didn’t tell us much about you, do you mind if I ask you some questions?”
“I guess.”

“Well…What can you do?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, Rose can do the fire thing and Simon does cold stuff. I assume that Margaret, was it? Could control fire and ice. What can you do?”
Ed frowned, “we can only do one thing. Someone else must have shacked up with one of us. I can move the earth.”
“Like earthquakes?”
“Yeah. Earthquakes, sinkholes, chasms, hurl rocks. All that stuff. I can sculpt with it too if I want or have to. I enjoy that sometimes. It’s relaxing. There were many places I designed, before I went away.”
“Where did you go? Like is there a commune or something?”
“No, we live separately. I went to a small town, lived there for a while. Every few years I changed so no one would notice.”
“You can change your appearance?”
“Yeah. Kind of.”
“Can Rose or Simon do that?”
“I don’t know. I assume not. They’re not like me.”

Ed took a bite of his sandwich, he was starting to get confused with all this. He didn’t like lying. It made things so much more difficult. Ed stood from the table and left the room before Grady could ask any more questions. He went to the back garden where he sat on a small bench. He wanted some time to think by himself. The ground in front of him started to  bubble, almost as though it was boiling. After a moment, there was a pile of dirt in front of him, he reached out and took a handful, letting it run through his fingers. It felt good, cool and damp. His hands moved without him paying attention, moulding and shaping the earth, when he stopped there was a small statue, intricately detailed. He smiled at it, then crushed it and began again.

Rose was getting tired of this. She wanted to fight and the waiting was putting her on edge. They were open to attack, they needed a plan of action, they needed something, anything. A large gout of flame erupted from her hand, scorching the ceiling. Shit. She needed to burn something, or better yet, someone. Brett was off doing something, no doubt planning what to do with herself and Simon after It was dealt with.

Rose walked through the streets, looking for something perfect. It had to be subtle, no one could know about this, not even Brett. She walked for almost an hour when she found it. An apartment building. Perfect. She moved into the alley beside it and crouched beside the window to the basement. Flames poured from her hand and moved into the window, she stepped back from the window and leaned against the wall of the building, she closed her eyes and concentrated. The flames moved upward carefully, she started in the stairwells, she needed to block off some exits. The flames crept upwards to the first floor. Silently they moved along the corridor, slipping under doors. The first ones had to be quick, the flames consuming them in seconds, racing down their throats as they tried to scream. The flames moved up through the building, floor by floor, at the fourth she stopped taking everyone, there would be no escape. The bottom floors were in flames and still no one had raised the alarm. She waited another moment, then allowed the heat to set off the alarms. The flames blew outwards, the outside windows shattered and the flames licked their way upwards. Those trapped on the upper floors had no way past them, it wouldn’t be long. She watched with a thousand eyes as the first person jumped, crumpling as they hit the pavement. The heat was all around her, soothing, calming.

When she was done the air was thick with the stench of burning, she inhaled deeply, enjoying it. Any investigations would show the the boiler in the basement exploded, some improperly stored fuel had caught fire and in seconds the first four floors had been consumed. No one would be able to trace it back to her, she covered her tracks well. She moved away from the building to watch form a distance as fire-fighters fought to get the flames under control, she fought against it for a moment, then allowed them to gain some ground. It would be unusual for everyone to die. A few people would be rescued, but most wouldn’t make it. Smiling, she walked away from the building. She would need to stop somewhere to clean herself off first. It wouldn’t do to reek of smoke when she returned to the house.

She rented a small motel room and showered, getting most of the stench of smoke off her skin. She missed the scent, but it had to be done. Her clothes smelled like fresh baked bread, though that would alert Brett to what she had done. On the way back, she stopped in a few clothes shops and, in her clean clothes and laden with bags, she returned to the house. She had an alibi if there were any questions, and a good one at that. She had bought clothes for herself and for Grady and Amy, she could tell Brett she was just sucking up to them. He was stupid enough to believe that.

She entered the house, smiling. Brett was standing at the top of the stairs, he heard the door open and scuttled to his room. He needed to change, he was covered in blood. He hadn’t intended it to be so messy, but sometimes accidents happen.


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 32

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 33. | Alan James Keogh

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