A brief short horror story. Hope you like it.
When I saw the blood, I nearly passed out. The man had been killed moments ago. I watched his life fade away, almost as if I watched his soul leave his body. The room was barely light, the shadows hiding the ultimate predator in it’s dark arms, death. Life is the prey of death, which death hunts mercilessly until it’s hunger has been satisfied. The shadows, the shadows have eyes, watching but not listening, and listening but not watching. The dark is limited, but death is everywhere; in the sky, on the ground, in the shadows, in the light, in your neighbor, and in you; but the shadows can provide. They can hide life from death, mouse from cat, deer from bear, but it can also hide the hunter from the prey. I look over at the man. He is lying on his stomach, he is facing away from my hiding spot. I have befriended the shadow that protects me from death, it gives me cover, safety, and some comfort. I still stare at the man, his face is scratched, the iris’ of his eyes are green, and he has blonde hair. I look harder, I remember his death, and the others. His blood still seeps from his body, his life, his blood, death lures these things out with fear and death; then, death has a feast, eating life and drinking blood, nourishing itself; but, life can turn the tables on death. Life can overpower death, that is why death must be patient, and come when unexpected. I cannot tell what exactly killed the man, but I do understand that death comes in all shapes and sizes.
The voice was not from around me, but in me. In my head. In my mind. The shadows were speaking to me.
I turn to look at what caused the piercing noise, but all I could see was shadow. I feel movement in the shadows, unrest. I turn back to the man, but he isn’t there.
Heaven or Hell? The voice says in my head.
I look up.
The man hangs from the ceiling, by a noose.
The monster is still here.
He slowly turns towards me, then stops as he is looking right at me. His pupils are ghost white. He stares right at me. I see nothing on his face, except everything. I remembered the shadows moving, dancing as they move across all dimensions. I remember the laughter, the screaming, the terrors, the others, the first, the ones I could never forget, the ones I forgotten, the convincer, the survivors, the traitors, the community, and her, she was always there, taunting me, haunting me, advising me, killing me, and healing me. I would never forget how hers happened, she died and lived at the same time, experiencing life and death at the same time, every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, every second. I would never forget what happened to her. I would never forget what she did. I would never forget, how it happened.
I look away from the man. I look at the two doors. Close enough to make it but far enough to never make it. He died trying to reach them. His blood pools around me in a circle. I stare at the doors.
Who’s there? I think.
Stolen by. It replies.
Stolen by who? I question.
Both doors swing open simultaneously, and then the doors dissolve into the shadows. I look into the darkness, and they look back at me.
3 Year Later
“Pledge your allegiance.”
“The darkness is power,” We start. “The light is power. For all is the same, and all is different. They are your friend, and they are your enemy. Death will preserve, Life will preserve. For all is the same, and all is different. I will use the powers of the True God to serve out his will in this world. If he commands slaughter, we will slaughter. I will not fail him, I will not fail the High Priest, I will-”
“Please! Help! Somebody! Anyone!” She cries out.
“Silence!” The 3rd Class Priest yells. He brings the knife closer to her throat. She shuts up.
We continue, “ I will not fail the Community, the Legion, or the House in the service of the Almighty. I will-”
“Please somebody please help!” She cries out again.
“Quiet!” The 3rd Class Priest yells.
“Please don’t do this! You don’t have to do this! Please! You! Hey You!” She yells at me. I look at her. “Please! Let me go! I will do anything! Anything!” Tears stream down her face.
I approach the 3rd Class Priest and the girl. “I will not fail my mission. For Shadows.” I finish.
“For Shadows!” The trainees reply.
“No,no,no,no,no,no. No! Don’t do it!” She screams.
Two other Priests grab her and the 3rd Class Priest backs away. I pull out my own knife.
“Don’t! Please! Stop!” She begs.
I look at her expressionlessly. “May this blood sacrifice satisfy the Almighty Lord.”
The Priests and Soldiers yell “For Shadows!”
“No… Please…” She begs weakly.
I look around the room. I see my men, my hooded brethren, and my non-hooded brethren. I spot the officers with red robes and black markings and black highlights on their robes to show their rank, the newly appointed men with the black robes with red markings and red highlights. And my Eternal Shadow. The non-hooded men. We are masters of the shadow, we do whatever The Shadows or the High Priest wish for us to do. We wear grey uniforms, with a star for a badge. They are all chanting. But I don’t look for them, I look for the shadows. But what I find is a shadow made of light. For all is the same, and all is different. It nods, and I understand.
I turn back towards the woman. “For the Shadows!” I yell.
And I stab. She gasps. I pierced right through her neck. Where her throat and spine once was, my arm is now there. The tip of the dagger broke clean through the muscle and spine. I pull my arm out. The Priests drop her.
And she fades into the shadows.
I look for the shadow made of light. I see it, and I know.
It’s you. I marvel.
The shadow made of light is her shadow. The one who was dead and alive at the same time. My friend. It was her shadow.
They are still here. And they found me.
I now know what that voice in my head meant all those years ago. I had stolen something. I now know what had been stolen.