The Darkness in the Shadows

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
She spent her life alone. Always alone. All she wanted was a friend. Someone she could talk to. Just away to escape in to bliss. She prayed and prayed. One day, her prayers were answered....

Submitted: January 06, 2017

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Submitted: January 06, 2017

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“They think I'm crazy,” dejection courses its way through my veins, tainting everything in its grasp. It leeches higher, deeper, trying to reach my soul as I attempt to put on the last bit of armor I have to fight back.

“You created me,” the voice I know so well says. This voice that sends shivers burning across me.

His voice was always a hushed whisper, like running after the wind trying to catch hold of a piece of it to know it was real. To know that the words you heard were there and not just a breeze passing by your ear. But the wind will never allow you to catch it, and his voice will always drift just out of reach.

I walk over to my bed, crawling into the little comfort it gives me. I hunch my knees to my chest rocking back and forth. I just want to be alone. I just want him to go. The longer he stays here the more dangerous he becomes.

Just leave me alone. Please, please, just let me be free.

I feel the first stirs of my sadness well up, begging to fall free from these voids I call eyes. “You hurt everyone I love. When I asked for you, I never knew what it would mean for me and my life.” I glance up to see the barbarous grin he's flashing me.

“Come, child, it can't be all that bad. What's wrong with a little mischief every now and then.”

I shake my head. “You hurt people,” I whimper, placing my chin on my knees. Everyone hates me, and now rightfully so.

I never knew what love was. Comfort was a foreign word that didn't hug my vocabulary. I thought school could be my hero, but the kids there were cruel to me, as a child I never understood why. I tried hard to gain acceptance, to be someone they could stand to be around. I never knew what I had done wrong in this life to be granted such undeserved hatred from people. But now the hatred is deserved. Now I deserve to be alone, to be the outcast, to be forgotten. 

I hear him sighing from across the room. His footsteps are nonexistent as they make their way over to me. The only reason I know he's beside my bed is because I can see his feet come into view.

He didn't used to be solid. When he first came to me all I knew of him was his voice. There was nothing to see, just that voice that instilled a fear like none other in me. The longer he stayed, the more solid he became. It wasn't long before I started to see a black mass hovering around me.

He is formed now. A shape like a man, yet not. He is tall, unnaturally so. His eyes hold nothing but piercing white. There are no pupils. I could search forever, but there would only be endless white. The only other color on him is the silver of his razor teeth. He is all black, consumed with a darkness that is otherworldly.

He takes up a seat near me on the bed. I can feel his empty eyes on me, but I refuse to look up.

“Thirteen long years, girl, we've been together. Have you already forgotten how you called out to me. You were a little thing no older than five. Yes, I heard your pleas and I came for you. You act as if I'm a burden, when you used to cling to me with your little hands.”

My lips purse without my knowledge. I slam my eyes shut. “I asked for a friend,” my voice creaks. “I didn't ask for a monster.”

“I am still your friend. A friend that only you can see,” his voice reverberates in my skull. He pauses, then, “ I used to stand by your side as you talked to me, people would look to you confused, they never understood who you were talking to. Do you remember?” He asked. “Do you remember how much you needed me then?”

But I did remember all too clearly. I could recall being a little girl weeping on my bed every night. I was alone. So lonely. It doesn't seem possible that a child could know such hollowness, but I did, and no child should ever experience such an emotion.

I would cry until my throat was parched. My tears would storm down my face until I would be on the verge of vomiting. I would clutch onto my arms and count all the different colors that I could see. I would tally up all the new marks I had gotten that day. I would clearly be able to decipher which ones were aging and which ones were fresh.

One night I couldn't take it anymore. I longed for someone to talk to. I just wanted to have one friend in this world that would give me the time of day. I had been alone and scared for far too long. I begged every night as I looked out of my little window to the moonless sky. I pleaded for a friend that would never leave me, that I could trust. A friend that would always be here for me no matter what.

The nights continued by. Enough nights fled that I began to forget what I had asked for, until one night my request had been granted.

I had been sleeping when I had jolted awake from hearing a peculiar voice that frightened me. My feet had jumped out of bed fast, flying down the hall to my mother's bedroom. I can still hear the anger lashed out against me as she told me to never wake her up again and that I better get back to my own bed.

I made my way back, crawling into my own bed slowly, my gaze darting around to every corner. I brought the blanket up to my chin waiting to hear the voice once more, but it never came. I laughed nervously at how silly I had been.

I jolted awake again the next night when I heard that odd voice speaking to me, but he was able to calm me down enough to get me to listen to what he had to say, all the while my shaking hardly ceased.

He came every night when I was about to sleep, and every night every hair on my body would rise at the sound of his voice. But believe it or not, it took no time before that voice turned to consolation for me. It became a voice I was eager to hear.

I couldn't picture my life without that voice that I had become attached to. There is no amount of words I could express that would sum up how excited I had been when I first got to start seeing glimpses of him.

I had no idea at that time that my seeing glimpses of him was just the start of him getting stronger. It was the first sign of his essence being grounded here. It would become a decision that I would regret.

“Please,” I beseech.

My friend is a monster. His comfort is no longer here. I take no solace in hearing him, seeing him. I want him to leave me for good. He causes more destruction than I know how to handle. I've asked him to stop, but he refuses.

At first it wasn't so bad. Five years ago this side of him started, just innocent little things like pulling my bullies chairs out so they would fall to the ground and others would get a good laugh at them. He would make my bullies spill drinks on themselves in front of the entire cafeteria. It wasn't a big deal, and even I would be laughing at their expense as him and I made our way home.

Things started escalating. Little innocent tricks were becoming more frequent. I still cringe when I see the packed hallway and one of the guys that had tormented me for years was pushed down a flight of steps. People stopped and looked at the commotion, and I had stood there with my mouth ajar, my eyes almost popping out of their sockets as I saw that my friend was the one who had done it. That boy was honored a broken leg from the incident. That's not even the worst of it. A year later that same bully who hadn't been bullying me any longer accidentally fell from the auditorium balcony. It hadn't been an accident though.

More people were injured when they came around me. I had actually at one point started making friends, people who had accepted me. I didn't see him getting jealous when this was occurring, I was in my own bliss. I didn't neglect him, I just didn't spend every waking hour talking to him anymore.

My heart picks up when I think about one specific boy. A boy with warm eyes that could pull a smile from anyone who looked upon them. Hair the color of fallen leaves. A kind boy that was silly, sweet, a savior you see right before you're about to drown who pulls you up and kicks your heart back to life. He was that kind of boy. One who I never thought would pass a glance at me. And that boy loved me, and touched my cheeks with the softest hands, and brushed back strands of fallen hair, and tilted my chin up to devour me with a kiss of eternal happiness.

A boy that made another man rage with fury unlike anything I had known. This boy that I loved was found on the side of the road mauled by what police thought was some type of animal. I thought my arms would never leave that casket. I thought my tears would fill up my lungs. I thought I was truly dying.

People saw me as a bad omen. No one was safe around me. All of the friends I gained didn't stay. The nicer ones would tell me something didn't feel right, while the others simply ignored me like we had never shared a memory in our life.

I was alone again. I thought I had known what loneliness was, but this was worse, because by this point I had learned what having people in my life meant, something I hadn't experienced as a child. It was worse because I got to touch it for a moment before it was snatched from me. I desired it back to the point of it being crippling.

“What happened to the girl who craved attention?” He pulled me back from my reverie. “What happened to the little girl who needed me? I still recall coming to you as if it were yesterday. Your mother and father had been divorced for a short while. Your father had packed up his things and took off never wanting to see you or her again. Your distraught mother was consumed with grief. He had wanted a child, she gave him you because she loved him, but she never wanted to be a mother. How easy he gave you up as another woman swished her hips at him,” he scorned at this memory, as if it had been his and not mine.

“She didn't sign up to be a single mother,” he continued. “You were neglected, filthy from head to toe as she popped her pills on the couch. You were all skin and bones while she threw her money at alcohol bottles that will forever decorate this home,” he inched closer to me. “I came for you. I guided you through this life. I've been the one to raise you. Feed you. Keep you clean. I've protect you.”

I hate the shame that started to rise. Out of all the bad that he's done, he's done a lot of good. Before he turned into this, he had been my savior, and recalling that made me feel like a disgrace, and ungrateful.

“You asked for a friend that would protect you. You asked for someone who would stay loyal to you and listen to you. You wanted someone who would never leave your side. Have I not been that for you? What about all of those times I held you when you cried. I carried your tears with me. What about all of those times you needed someone to stay up all night and help you through what you had to deal with. Wasn't I there always listening, giving advice to the best of my ability? I never complained. And didn't I protect you when anyone tried to hurt you? I've been here every step of the way for you. You're edging on being a woman, and I'm the only one whose never hurt you. Now you act as if you've lost all trust in me.”

“You've taken it too far!” My voice starts to raise as a tear slips out.

“With the friends who gossiped behind your back? For that boy that would have cheated on you with that cheeky blonde? You hate me because of those things, but you didn't see what I saw, what I knew would come to pass. They would have hurt you. You don't want to believe it, but they would have. Do you not recall all that I've done?”

My hands clamped over my ears. I didn't want to hear him. I didn't want to think about all that has happened, but it's as if a vortex pulled me in.

I saw myself as a child as my mother raised her fist once again in her drunken stupor. The sting across my face was enough to have me fall against the living room table scattering all of the empty beer cans. I had put my arms up preparing for the next attack when I heard a crash. I peeked up and saw she was no longer there, her body laid a few feet away after she had crashed into a wall. She would be out until morning.

He had cleared away my tear soaked face. He wiped off the trail of blood that dangled from my lip. He cradled me in his arms as he walked me back to my room. My bruises had become less frequent now that he was there to help stop them.

There was this one evening my mother was being very nice to me. I was locked in my room but the gentleness of her voice was enough to tempt me to try leave it. She kept saying all of the things I longed to hear her say. He wouldn't let me leave no matter how hard I pressed against him. My mother just wanted me to play a game with her friend and her, I didn't understand why he thought that was bad. I understand now, but I hadn't then. I am very grateful that he kept me in that room. 

She spent most of her money on booze and pills, the men she brought in constantly helped to feed her. I was left to my own, and since my mother's money went elsewhere, the house was practically bare. I don't know where he would get food from, but he made sure I never went without. Those holey clothes I used to have to wear were thrown in the garbage, new ones replaced them and he never allowed me to wear anything dirty or falling apart again.

He helped me elude the bullies that used to corner me in hallways. We always made it out of school after the ending bell in enough time that I never got swarmed in the middle by people blocking every exit again. I don't know how he knew things, but he did, and it saved me a lot of beatings.

He tenderly pulls down my hands that had still been on my ears. “It doesn't matter anymore!” I yell at him. Doesn't he comprehend that. All of the good he's done has been replaced by all of the bad.

His hands fall to his sides. “Then what will you have me do?”

“Just leave.”

“You know I am unable to. I can never leave you.”

I was emotionally weak every single day, being around him drained every ounce of energy and fight I had left. Tears ran down my face with no relief. “I can't live like this anymore. This isn't fair I was a child then, I didn't know what I would be giving up to have you.”

If I had ever saw anything that resembled an ounce of hurt cross his face, it would be this instant. “You really can't stand to have me then?”

“You're too much,” I exasperate. “I can't have you here hurting people. I can never have anyone in my life because of you. I would trade everything I have in this world to have you away from everyone I know.”

His silence stretched for miles. “Then end it.” Was his response.

“What?” I asked in confusion.

“That's the only way to stop this suffering you feel I'm causing.”

“I don't understand what you're saying.”

“End it for us. That is the only way you will ever be able to keep me from those you love. I am with you forever, in life, in death, all is the same.”

“Are,” I stammer. “Are you asking. . .” I trail off unable to finish.

“I am simply giving you a solution to your grief.”

My mind raced. The world felt like it was tilting and nothing would ever be whole again. Just the thought of what he was asking me to do was enough to draw my heart into my stomach. I felt like I could barely keep myself upright. But, there was something in that request that pulled me to it like a beacon in the distance giving me hope.

I bite my lip while the tears begin to dry to my skin. I'm insane, I have to be. What sane person would sit here and actually start to find a haven in ending their life. But I just want this to end. I don't care anymore, just let me be granted a freedom I've never had.

“What,” I stop afraid to play with this morbid thought. “What would it be like for us after this? Will I be damned to repeat this same life with you somewhere else?”

“No. It would be different. You would be happier.”

My head droops low, I rub my forehead as if trying to gather myself. With a huff I look into his eyes. “I'm scared.”

He scoots closer to me, wrapping a secure arm around me as he's done many times over the years. “This is your decision and yours alone.”

My body was trembling with a fervor that I've never felt before. “Will it hurt?”

“I will make it painless, and then I will follow.”

My breaths were irregular but I could still pick up the scent of ash that stayed near him. I took in a deep breath to be immersed in a smell that has calmed me since he came to me. I didn't know if I could go through with this, but then again what other options were there.

His free hand came and laced through my fingers as he waited for a response. In all of the time I've known him, in all of the years I've watched him hurt people, he's never hurt me physically and I honestly believe he never meant to damage my emotional being. In his own way he was doing what he thought he had to do to protect me.

I didn't have the courage to speak as my body started to break out into a clammy sweat. For the briefest of moments I looked up to him and tried to forget all of the wrong he has done as I nodded once with my decision.

My body started to feel light, almost as if caught in a euphoric dream. I gazed into his eyes as a small smile tugged up his lips. My shoulder slumped against him as peace started to rain down. A peace and solace like I've never experienced. I clutched his hand as tight as I could as my soul began its cross into freedom, knowing that he would be by my side for all of eternity. My friend forever.


© Copyright 2017 Camlann. All rights reserved.

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