Shadow Crawlers. Part 35

part 1, part 34

Simon had the house to himself, everyone else was out. Rose and Brett had gone off together, they mentioned where they were going, but Simon hadn’t been listening. The others had gone to the movies. Simon was thankful that they took Joey with them. He wanted some time alone, so he could sort through everything. He had been distant lately, he knew it but he couldn’t help it. He just didn’t want to play with Joey, he didn’t want to talk to anyone, he didn’t want to do anything. He had been moving through the house, ignoring most things. He still ate, but it was less out of desire and more out of simple habit. He knew he was supposed to eat around this time, so he ate. There was nothing more to it and that worried him. Even the worry was dampened. It was a vague sense that something wasn’t quite right, but it didn’t matter because everything would sort itself out. He was losing himself and allowing it to happen. He needed to fight against it, pull out of it for Joey. Once it was all over he could sink into this if he wanted to, he could give up entirely, but he had to make sure that Joey was safe first. Simon wasn’t sure what was happening with Joey either. He seemed to have blocked out what happened to Mandy. Occasionally Joey would wake up screaming, but whenever Simon asked about the nightmare, Joey would shrug and claim he didn’t remember. During the day, he acted as he always had and that didn’t seem right to Simon. He wanted to bring Joey to a psychologist or something, but he couldn’t because Joey couldn’t be honest with them, couldn’t tell them what he had really seen. He worried that it would screw up Joey, but again this was a far off worry. It wouldn’t happen for a while yet, so there was no urgency to it. He had tried to funnel his pain into anger, into power, but that hadn’t worked either. His emotions were dulled rather than a honed blade. It sapped everything from him. Desire, energy, nothing was spared. He knew the others were talking about him, particularly Grady and Amy, they worried about him. He had caught them whispering about him once, when they were in the kitchen, speaking in hushed, urgent tones. As soon as he entered they stopped talking abruptly and looked shifty. He didn’t know exactly what  they were saying, but he could guess. They probably didn’t want him around Joey, didn’t trust him. He wondered if it was the inaction that was dragging him down. He had been able to experience things normally when they were running, but as soon as they stopped this veil had fallen across him.

Would it ever go away, or was he going to be stuck like this for the rest of his life?

Simon took a deep breath and closed his eyes, he found the door quickly and tried to open it, but it didn’t budge. He frowned slightly. That was odd. He pushed again, but there was nothing. He opened his eyes. He mustn’t be strong enough to access it anymore. He hoped Simon, the real Simon, was doing ok. He had been neglecting him lately, not visiting as much. The last time he went it was a nightmare realm, with twisted broken trees and barren grounds. Simon was in the midst of a vast, crumbling city, one that echoed with screams during the night and gangs roamed the streets during the day. There was no safety in that place. Simon had wondered if it had been him that had created this land, that his grief and anger and pain had all been relegated to this small prison. The guilt had made him flee. That had been a few weeks ago and he hadn’t been able to face returning. Sure there were times in the past when the place was desolate, or struggling to survive, but never before had he faced such bleak horrors. Perhaps The real Simon knew this and wanted some time alone, some time to heal after it all. He didn’t know if Simon could stop the door being opened, but then there was a lot of things he didn’t know about himself. After all, he was told he’d never be able to possess a child and he had done that, he wasn’t supposed to be able to reproduce either. The longer he was in this body, the more he questioned what they were told. They had believed the rules were true and impossible to break, but there had to be ways around such things. Their creators were men, and men made mistakes.

He had already visited his sanctuary, but it seemed wrong now. The bodies of his servants littered the hallways, they had been huddled together and frozen solid. He felt bad for them. He had smuggled them in without the others knowledge, he had believed their devotion and his power would help them survive the icy  temperatures but he had been wrong. They were all dead. They were removed quickly, that part was easy. He didn’t look at them individually, or try to remember who they were. He didn’t want to go through that too. The place was rebuilt quickly, ice reforming, doors unsealing. He had expected it to melt or something, but it had deformed itself, ice growing outwards in strange spokes, doors closed off, entire rooms destroyed, others simply encased in ice. Once everything was fixed, he left. He didn’t want to spend time there, not now when it had been the tomb of so many. He would eventually create some servants to keep things going, but for now, he was fine with it being empty. It wasn’t like he was going to use it for anything either. Unless one of the others wanted a meeting, even then he wouldn’t give anyone permission to enter. They weren’t supposed to be able to harm one another in those places, but he didn’t trust it. He’d only meet in the sacred space, the one they all shared. It would be a level playing field that he could easily leave if he had to.

He made the same resolution that he made with himself everyday, he’d try harder from now on, he wouldn’t let it take him. He’d pull through, he’d fight and he’d win. It made him feel better, even if they were simply empty words.

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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 35

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 36 | Alan James Keogh

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