In The Shadows

Samuel James

Jules was right about the dark, that people should be scared of it, that all manners of evil lurk around in the shadows once the sun goes down. He tells them to get inside their homes, lock their doors and windows and close the curtains until the sun comes back up, because there’s things out there in the dark that want to harm others.

But no one listens to him.

Nobody takes him seriously.

They all just write him off as an insane old man who’s gone crazy of old age, they say ‘yes old Jules, we’ll do as you say’ but then ignore his advice. They think he’s just a crazy old man. Just another crazy old man who has gone crazy of old age and solitude.

But he was right.

He was always right.

He’s seen things in the shadows at night. Things with red eyes, red eyes no normal human can possibly have. He’s seen things with teeth sharper than any teeth he’s ever seen in all his years he’s spent on this planet. He’s seen things most other people brush off and try their best to ignore.

But he knows he’s seen them.

He’s looking at one of them right now.

Old Jules is looking at a man, a young man with bloodied hands and nails too long and sharp to be those of a human. Nails that are claws. Claws that just tore another man to bloody ribbons of flesh and fabric. The young man is staring at Jules with eyes as black as coal. Eyes that stared right at Jules and are making the old man back away from the scene he just walked into.

But the young man won’t let him go.

No.

Not after what Jules has seen.

The young man takes a step towards Jules, snarling like a vicious dog and baring his too sharp teeth at poor Jules. All Jules can do is back away, back away from the demon slowly closing in on him, bloodied claws twitching. Itching to dig themselves into more flesh tonight, to tear another soul from its body.

Jules knows he won’t make it out alive. He knows they’ll find his torn-up corpse in the morning, that there won’t be much of him left to bury, that they might not even recognize him once he’s been reduced to strips of meat and fabric.

Jules says one final prayer.

One final prayer as the demon closes in on him, raising a clawed hand high above his head and bringing it down in one swift blur of dark red. Jules doesn’t even let out a scream when the talons tear through him. All that can be heard is his body hitting the paved ground and animalistic snarls as the fiend descends upon poor old Jules.

The first one to discover the remains of Jules and the unknown man is a young woman who will never forget the bloody scene. A woman who now firmly believes that there’s something out there in the dark, because she has seen what happens to people who go out in the dark.

Nobody will believe poor young Hazel.

Nobody will believe her about the things that lurk in the dark.

Nobody believes in things skulking around in the dark.

That’s why they go unchecked.

That’s why nobody ever catches them.

That’s why they’re free to take as many lives as they please.

Because no one believes in them.


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