the shadows by nahla elkady

Reads: 199  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
i wrote this as a creative writing essay and received my best marks.was great fun to write too

Submitted: July 20, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 20, 2012



There finally. john stared at the steps that lead up to his house. he sighed. Relived. although he had only walked from the village, there were moments he thought he wouldn’t make it home. The possibilities of falling asleep at the curb, ending up tumbling down a bank, being picked up by the police. oh and he could have been sick again. his stomach churned at the thought of it. He forced himself to forget. “right” he muttered to himself “one step at a time”. His head felt like an enormous balloon, oversized for his body, and his legs, non existent as he forced himself up the infinite set of steps, memories of the earlier party becoming distant and uncertain. Only one thing remained sure and that was that tomorrow would be the most important day of his life. 'emma” he whispered reaching the flat point of the garden. He thought of her, her fair hair, ocean eyes and sweet sweet smile. And then them breasts. He giggled to himself then thought of what she would say if she saw him now. how angry she would be, he had broke another promise. Hed put it right though. He was home now, and by morning he’d be sober and showered and at that church on time. His trail of thought caused him to stumble and take a fall. He couldnt remember ever being this drunk though he was sure he had been. He thought hed just lie there on his front. Just for a moment, until he got his bearings and the world slowed down, stopped playing spinning top and then he could get up without falling off. Instead john fell asleep.


It was the rain that woke him. His attempt to get up in one go failed miserably, he was still drunk. He felt awful. His grazed hands and knees burned as the rain hit them. He let the rain fall into his ashtray mouth, webbed with a horrid taste. He reluctantly looked at his watch, although he had cracked its face he could see behind it, it frowned at him 3:40. ouch. It was then he noticed that it was not just the rain that disturbed him from his outdoor concrete slumber, but there were voices. Raised voices. Two of them, one male one female he thought. The female voice sounded distressed. John lived on a hill from where you could clearly see the garden and back of the cottage on the opposite street. The kitchen was lit. “at it again” he whispered to himself as the arguing voices rose into the night. He watched the silhouettes as they danced. This incident wasn’t new. Him and emma had watched the shadows argue many a time. She had always panicked, begged him to stop it or phone the police. That was emma, always concerned for everybody. Perhaps she had a point he thought as the silhouettes became faster and more distorted, they were really going at it tonight. He couldn’t be sure but it looked, almost violent. He sighed and took himself indoors. Tomorrow he was getting married, it wasn’t a time to get involved in other peoples domestic disputes, besides, he couldn’t be sure of what he had seen.


He was welcomed home by the angry flashing red light on his answer machine that enveloped 4 messages from his beloved emma, the last one angrier than hed ever heard her, she said she was coming over. He called back but was greeted with instant voice mail so he left the usual soppy message full of apologies and excuses and exclamations of how much she meant to him. He just hoped she hadn’t phoned adam. Adam was johns best friend, best man tomorrow, and should have been there helping john with preparations. However adam had somehow managed to get a rather pretty young girl to drink enough tequila she found him interesting, and took him home. John wasn’t worried, adam was like a modern day, unorthodox Jesus. He was a saint to relay on and had an ability of performing the most unlikely of the nights early antics had proved. He tried to call him anyway and wasn’t surprised when he received no answer. He slipped his phone into his shirt pocket and went back outside for a cigarette.


The shadows in the window below still danced around manically, the voices seemed louder now. It frightened john a little, he had almost forgotten watching them previously. As he listened he became more and more concerned with what he heard. The female screams escalated as the larger silhouette appeared couldn’t appeared as though the larger shadow was beating an object over the head of the other. It was like some sort of dark twisted punch and Judy show. John froze in the seat as the voices died, his cigarette falling from his mouth. Had he just witnessed what he thought? Surly not. He was drunk after all, and it was dark, distant, the mind plays tricks he thought to himself. He sat there, transfixed to the scene, goosebumps spreading up his arms like a rash. It was silent now, until the backdoor of the cottage slowly opened and the figure of a male appeared. John pushed himself down in his chair, afraid of being seen. He held himself in suspense as the figure lifted on a jacket, walking forward into the garden clumsily, staggering into shadowed objects before seating itself, head in hands on the step. The thought of running indoors and punching 999 into his phone crossed his mind but john didn’t dare move. Time became non existent as his eyes reached into the darkness, paralyzed in the horror of what he believed he had seen. His heart skipped as the figure rose and john pushed himself lower down behind the garden wall, like a frightened soldier with enemy in view. He continued to watch, absorbed in the drama as the figure rummaged through the tool shed, then reappeared with objects under arm. What they were john couldn’t make out in the combination of the eerie darkness and night time mist. Torch light appeared creating a stream across the garden, closely stalked by figure and objects then stopped and started too...oh was digging. Digging! John felt his jaw tighten, his mouth filled with saliva and he forced him self to swallow back his sick. He couldn’t believe what he was watching. This couldn’t be real. He heaved, then clasped his hands over his mouth terrified hed be heard. The figure paused and looked right at him. John kept still, prayed not to be seen. The figure starred, like a cat about to pounce, seconds felt like hours before the thing turned back to its patch, digging, shoveling, going at it like a machine churning the soil. The power and speed of this figure made the whole thing seem more surreal. No man had that strength. The pile of earth being dug became a small mountain in no time at all. John just watched, hoping hed wake, hoping this was a messed up dream, all the while knowing, no nightmare could feel this authentic. This was real alright, and became more real as the thing went back inside, returning moments later dragging a heavy lump, covered in what appeared to be blankets. There it was...the body. The figure heaved it onto its shoulders like an enormous rag doll, dropping it with a thud half way across the garden while it paused, staring down at its victim. John felt his breath becoming heavy as he tried to hold the silence. The figure kept checking around itself and once again its direction came to john. He had never felt this frightened and he was sure for a moment he had been seen, but to his relief, if you can call it relief given the situation, the figure went back to work with the body, tugging at it. john gasped as the blanket came unwrapped revealing a leg, the leg of a dead woman. This was to much. He felt tears cloud up his eyes, then, as if things couldn’t get worse he felt vibrations at his chest.


The sound of Metallica’s enter sandman burst into the night, echoing between the houses. John fumbled with it, “off off” as it flashed at him, Adams face on the screen with that stupid grin and his two fingers up in that insulting gesture. Incoming call. He was aware of I light illuminating his face, and in horror he looked over to see the figure staring from its garden, torch pointed at him. Both it and john stood still for a moment before he ran indoors panting locking him self in and drawing the curtains, phone still buzzing between his figures. In his panic he lifted the phone to his ear and answered with out speaking

“john,john...answer me you prick”

john burst into tears, words that made little sense trembled from his mouth, overlapping adams plea for him to calm down and start over. he took a deep breath and recited the nights events in a clear whisper to adam, who listened with patience. Adams response was no more than a giggle

“john, mate, your steaming drunk, look, hold tight, im on my way and when im there ill check it out and if your right we will call the police, but im sure this is just your imagination, im nearly there, just two minitues”

slightly calmer now john replyd “ok, but come the back way so your not seen”

he sat for a moment, listening to the silence, before he took himself upstairs where he kept his beloved samurai swords. He felt a little silly as he held it out in front of him, every creak making him jump. He passed the bedroom where layed out on the bed was his suit for tomorrow. He wished emma was hear now. she would have known what to do, all them times she had begged he call the police. Tomorrow this would all be over and he could hold her. His beautiful wife. “hurry up adam” he whispered into the shadows. he took himself reluctantly to the window. Panic struck when he saw the body still sprawled out on the grass, but no figure digging, or looking about him. Where was he? What if he was coming, but there was movement, he thought, from inside the cottage. Perhaps he was getting something, a weapon perhaps, to come over, kill john, bury him too, alongside the corpse of his lady friend. At least this gave john time. Time to think, time for adam to get hear. time to call the police. He ran down the stairs lifted the phone and finally dialed 999. he should have done this first he thought. At that the back door handle was pushed making john drop both phone and sword. Then knocking followed. “Thank god, adam, I know what I saw..”he unlatched the door and went back to the phone spilling out sentances about the body and the figure going back to the house, as adam clomped about by the door for a moment. “lock it mate” john shouted, as he said it he heard the door slam. He turned to tell adam to be quiet but was faced with not adam, no, but a large man. An angry man, who stank of whiskey. The figure was there, in his house, the figure who he had watched from a distance, murder that poor lady. His size was exagerated by johns fear as he staggered back, mouth like a fish...opening and closing, paralized speech. The oger of a man stood statue like, a large shovel raised above his head, clasped tightly in fat soil stained fingers. That same shovel john had watched dig a morbid bed for his female victims eternal slummber. John took in a breath, knowing his fate was approaching, numbed by shock as the shovel came crashing into the side of his face, cracking into his cheekbone and squashing his left eye. Immense pain leaked through his body as he dropped to his knees clasping the side of his face, a waterfall of thick blood pouring through his fingers. He sat there, blinded in one eye, not even sure he still had a left eye, head down watching as the heavy black blood splatted boots move closer, untied laces like snakes slithering behind them. This cant be real he thought, closing his eyes as once again the shovel came crashing, this time right on the top of his skull. Sound disappeared, replaced by a hypnotic buzz, his vision blurred, he fell further, body flat on the ground, indescribable pain rippled through the core of him, his breaths shortend. Through blood and tears he let his eyes close, fought for his last chance to take in a breath and thought of his beautiful emma while life slipped away leaving him no more than an empty shell where a man once lived.


© Copyright 2018 nahla elkady. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: