Yup, a special mid-week post! Saturday Scribes was a bit late in positing their prompts on the weekend, but they did and the short story that follows came from;
Theme: What goes bump in the night
Words: darkness, razor, wisps, slithery, circling, black, patter, drainpipes, dripping, prickle, tangled, buried
by Paul Darcy
Oh, how I love the sound of nails on a chalkboard. For most it sends a prickle down the spine, but for me it’s like a beautiful symphony; relaxing, invigorating even. Besides, it’s how I sharpen my claws to a razor fine edge before the hunt, and this night is special; Halloween. It’s the one time a year when my powers reach their fullest potential, and he is truly within my grasp.
It has something to do with gravity waves emanating across the dimensions and fueling the demon within. But whatever the actual reason, I don’t look to deep for the answers. I do what I do for the fun of it and not to probe the mystery behind my dark powers.
The old abandoned school is my home. Let’s just say there are still children there who, on occasion, visited here against their will. But you won’t find them - well not all of them. Their memories are buried here as well, under the rubble where nobody dares look. And no one is foolish enough to venture here anymore, not even on a dare, since I took up residence. The locals know, and those that don’t add to my collection in the end. But they are inconsequential. My true goal it to have my way without interference, but that will only happen when he is torn down.
This year will be different.
This year, my nemesis is going to die.
The curtain of night veils the sky in black and I slip out through the crack by the gym next to the broken plastic drainpipes which never stop dripping no matter the weather. Like spilled ink traveling silently over a page, I glide across the overgrown schoolyard without a trace. The yard, once a playground for youth is nothing more than a tangled wasteland of thistles and scrub now, and I begin my search.
Every year it is the same. The smaller ones come out first in costume, mad patter of tiny feet to the doorsteps, while the big ones huddle in small groups on the sidewalks, talking and smoking and oblivious to the peril I could put them in. I do love crossing their paths, then watching the expressions on their faces afterwards. The little ones are especially tasty to me and I can’t help imagine sinking my claws into those cute cherub-like eyes, and tasting the juices within - but not this night. This night my energies are to be spent on but one purpose, and I sniff the air for clues.
Down by the water, I catch my first real hint of him. Stalking along the banks, quieter than death itself, I pass along the riverside and search for traces in the circling, slithery wisps of steam rising from the steady, slow moving waters. He is masked, but the night is young and I am patient.
The smell of smoke irritates my nose and I creep out of its way. Any other night and the offender would be floating down the lazy river, throat and eyes torn out. But tonight the lucky offender is spared my wrath.
Completely aware of him now, as he hides in the mist trying to wait out the night and escape me, I bide my time and gather my energies. A breeze wafts up and colder air blows in. My muscles are bunched up like coiled springs. He can not hide much longer. In fact, as I grow stronger I can see the traces of him, glowing a pale white like the pallid skin of dead children’s faces.
And as suddenly as lightening he appears behind his veil, and I attack. Faster than any eye can see I have him in my grip. But he is strong and the battle will not won easily. My claws rake his pale flesh and my teeth gouge deep furrows in his being, but he is so much bigger than I and the certainty of finishing him off is not as potent as it was in my mind earlier.
Through a second sense I can hear people running from the area trying to protect themselves from the collateral damage or our struggle. The sound is fury, and the powers unleashed by my demon are titanic. Several times I’m sure I could finish him off, only to find he has slipped my grasp and hidden again for a spell. My energies know no bounds this night, but despite my best efforts he has survived again as the sun begins to brighten the sky and sap my powers once more.
Back at the school I scratch the blackboards in rage. He has escaped me again, but there will be another match. Until next year then I’ll do what I do best and those unfortunate enough to encounter me will suffer.
Now I rest until the night arrives once more, and hunting time comes again.