Shadow Crawlers. Part 54

Part 1, Part 53

Simon lay on his bed, exhausted, he had been poked and prodded for the last few hours, he was given a physical by some doctor, he was made run until he was too tired to continue, then made run some more. His legs were tender and vaguely crampy, he wanted to sleep but the lights in his room were bright and harsh, previously they had lowered them at what he assumed was night to simulate some time passing, but they seemed to have given up on that. They had promised him he could see Joey later on that day, and while Simon was looking forward to it, he was unsure as if he’d be able to do anything besides sit and talk. He could feel the unpleasant need building, it seemed to start in the back of his eyes, making them gritty. He shivered slightly, he felt almost feverish. He hoped it was just exhaustion. He rolled over and closed his eyes, trying to sleep.


Grady and Amy spent the next few days in relative comfort, they had all their needs provided for, as long as the needs didn’t include leaving the building. They were allowed visit the prison cells as often as they liked, though neither actually went there. Grady couldn’t look at the thing that was Brett. It had crawled inside the man she knew and killed him. Frank had told her the people were still alive in there, trapped inside their own bodies. It made Grady feel sick when she thought about it. It was on the fourth day that she decided to visit Rose, she had an idea that she wanted to test.
Rose sat on the bed, bored. She had done their tests, allowed them to poke and prod her but still, they kept her locked in this damn room with nothing to do. Wouldn’t even give her a goddamn book. It wasn’t like she could set the thing on fire or anything. For a while she resorted to her memories, replaying them over and over but soon that grew tiresome too. She didn’t want to think about past glories, about dead masters and cities, she wanted to be outside, doing something. Anything.


It was Grady’s voice, Rose stood and faced the window.
“I was told that the people whose bodies you stole were still inside you, is that true?”
“We contain them. Force them into the dark recesses of their minds, prevent them from escaping.”
“Are they…are they aware?”
“yes, to an extent. This one isn’t too aware of what is happening, she’s buried deep. I don’t let her see too often. She knows she’s trapped. That’s mostly it.”
“I want to talk to her.”
Rose sighed. This wasn’t going to be fun for anyone. She closed her eyes and searched for the vault, the tiny place in the back of her mind. She found it quickly and opened it, allowing the woman to come out. Rose stepped back, allowing the woman to take over.
Grady watched as Rose started to scream, again and again, no stopping it. The sound was horrific. Not knowing what to do, Grady pressed the speaker button,
The screaming stopped. Could she control the woman now too?

“Who are you?”
“My, my names Heather. Where am I? What happened? Why was it dark?”
“What was it like, the darkness?”
The woman started to shiver, “So dark and there were things that crawled and slithered and the burning. So much burning, it never stopped.” Tears started to flow down the woman’s face. Grady felt a dull, sick anger begin to throb in her stomach.
“It…it let me watch sometimes. I saw what it did, what I did. Oh god.” The woman threw up.
“I…I’ve seen enough. Put her away again.”
The woman’s eyes widened, “No plea-”

The eyes relaxed again. “I’ll admit it is unpleasant, but it’s just the way we were created. You don’t blame a lion for hunting the other animals.”
“I didn’t say you could talk.”
Feeling sick, Grady left the room. Was this what happened to Brett? Was he forced to watch? What about his family? Grady stopped, then turned, she needed to know for sure.
“Did you kill Brett’s family?”
Grady let out a breath of relief,
“I didn’t kill them. He did. And he would have made Brett watch.”
Grady turned from the window and left the room. They were monsters. No matter what they had said or done, they were all monsters. How could he have done that to Brett? To his family? They were innocent, there was no need to kill them, no reason for it. He could have done the same to them any time he chose, every time they were together, Brett could have reached out and killed her. Grady went back to her room, she needed to think. She didn’t want to see anyone, though she knew she’d have to tell Amy what she had discovered.
Grady entered her room and saw that they had already brought up her lunch, just a sandwich, but the sight of food made her want to throw up. She ignored it and sat on one of the chairs, breathing slowly and deeply. They were monsters, ones she was supposed to control. What if they turned on her? Like Brett did with his family, and what about that girl Heather? Did her family know where she was? Did Rose kill them too? Grady didn’t want to know the answer, not yet. She needed some time first.


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 54

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 55 | Alan James Keogh

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