As I stand in the damp shadows of the night looking through the muted sheen of drizzle in the night lights, a darker shadow comes into view.
It moves as if apart from the world around it. Coming slowly towards me. It cannot be more than four feet high.
I turn and scurry, ducking to hide behind a large tree spreading its darkly leafed limbs in the front yard of a house behind me on the street. Peeking out, I look up the rain slick street.
The clash of cool rain against the warm night air thickens into a fog, filling the air with its ghostly aura.
The light of the street lamps still glow sallow and mute despite the rain misting them and the fog folding them into its thickening embrace.
The shadow moves, untouched by the dim light, the rain, and the fog.
I am filled with the urge to duck deeper into the tree, to become one with it, hiding like the little grey squirrel who I know lives in this very tree.
Fear breathes from my mouth and I imagine I can feel the little squirrel trembling in fear inside its tree home, holding its breath and listening.
I look again and the shadow is closer now. It has split into two somehow. Identical. Almost.
The urge to laugh at how stupid I must look sits heavily in my chest. I have no idea why I am afraid.
Swallowing the sick bile of fear in my throat, I force myself to move, darting for the darkened house behind me.
Yanking at the door is useless. The door is locked.
Ringing the bell brings no solace with the impotent pushing of that little button on the wall next to the door. No one is there to let me in.
Looking around quickly, I remember there is a shed behind the house.
The shadow twins are still there, closer now, in the middle of the road where the street lights reveal them to be nothing more than two children, a boy and girl.
A laugh bubbles up my throat, filled with the tension of unease. I feel foolish. They are just a couple of kids. The smile that cracks my face is a little sickly looking.
I move to step towards them. I should greet them and ask what they are doing out here in the middle of the night, in the rain. Are they lost?
They are staring at me. I know this by the way their bodies look in the dark and the rain, the dim light glittering with a fiendish wet sparkle that touches everything but them. They are facing me, staring at me, although I cannot see their faces, their eyes.
As we face off in the rain glistening in the street lamps’ haloes of light in the dark of night, the warm air loses its clash against the chill air brought by the rain, and the fog thickens.
The other night shadows recede, but somehow the two children seem to be shadow and real at once. An aura of shadow that is a part of them. They are untouched, somehow, by the street lights.
Fear oozes through me, slithering dark and oily.
They move towards me in perfect unison, taking a slow step, unhurried. They have all the time in creation of the planets and the universe.
I don’t know when my feet moved. I only know that somehow, inexplicably, my feet are moving beneath me. Running.
It feels like I cannot take my eyes off those children. I feel bad that I am not offering to help them. They should not be out here. Yet, I know I cannot be looking at them because the house passes to my right in a fear-fogged blur. The driveway moves beneath the slap of my feet. The rain soaked grass of the back yard dampens the bottoms of my pants legs. I see the shed coming at me, the hand that moves as if it is not a part of me reaching, grasping, and pulling the door open.
The darkness of the shed’s interior with its lawnmower squatting like some strange alien bug, the rakes and shovels, and the spindly spokes of a bicycle rearing suddenly before my eyes, hanging from the roof or the wall, I am not sure which.
My breath is panting raggedly out of my mouth and I am certain I can smell my own stink of fear sweat.
The two kids are outside of the shed as I pull the door closed, jamming a gardening utensil into the handles on the inside to lock the doors closed, even as my displaced thoughts wonder why those handles are even there on the inside of a small shed.
Utter blackness fills the shed with the closing of those doors.
I can feel them out there, staring at me.
The last image of them is burned into my eyes, my mind. Their faces, so strangely devoid of emotion, of life, of whatever it is that magically makes the living feel animated.
Their eyes, twin orbs of blackness staring out of twin pale moon faces. Expressionless. Lifeless.
Their eyes are all black. The pupil, the iris, the sclera, the part that is supposed to be white.
Their voices come through the rough wood door, close on the other side; hollow, surreal and weirdly dreamlike. As if they are speaking to me through some strange mutant sound muffling and distorting mist from far away.
“Please, let us in. We only want to come in.”
“Let us in out of the rain.”
“It is dark out here. Please let us in.”
Everything that is human and decent in me tells me that I should open that door.
The slithering dark oily fear filling me holds me prisoner. I cannot move. I cannot scream.
I somehow manage to look down and wonder at my bare feet. The bottoms of my now wet pajama pants. I am dressed for bed? Did I go to bed? I don’t remember.
How did I get outside? I don’t remember.
I can only see those black eyes. Strange and lifeless, staring at me without expression.
The all black eyes. Football shaped marbles of black that do not, cannot, glisten in the light the way eyes do. Light cannot touch them any more than it can touch the strange children or the shadows that became them.
They are the absence of light. Of life?
I want to scream.
I can only see the eyes.
What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions? Find out in Where the Bodies Are.
Take a step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are: The McAllister Farm reveals the secrets behind the man who created the killer.
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