The Nightwalker #5

The Reaper is ancient. Lost in lore and bedtime stories. But in his time, he was terror. 

Carrying night with him like a plague. He would torture a home for months before dragging a soul to hell. 

After the Nightwalkers of that time captured him, they separated the days in honor of the lost souls.

Now we have night and day. 

Somehow he has returned 

Image origin
We pulled old magic from these tales.

” Apparently if you anoint a mirror when he appears before a person. Catching his reflection with the light of a full moon, shattering the mirror will trap him inside its pieces for eternity. ”  Clayton was reading aloud to us. 

“Sounds like a plan. We only have a couple of hours. Let’s get a mirror.  

He didn’t appear like I thought he would. He was just there suddenly. 

Choking Clayton. Voices filling the room with chattering. Cabinets slamming in the kitchen. The voices of someone crying in the bathroom. It was absolute cold terror. 

I opened the window to let the moonlight in. It struck the mirror. He saw his reflection and I struck the back of the mirror. It slowly shattered, pieces falling to  the floor. 

Shining at first, and then blackening like they had been through fire. 

The Reaper had disappeared 

Falling into the floor in pieces after the mirror. 

The room lightened. 

Clayton looked over to me. 

“Gee, I don’t want to go through that again. ” he said.

“Me either.” I shook my head. 

Maybe there was something more to sleep than I thought after all. In any case. I wasn’t quite sure what I would tell people now.

End

The Nightwalker #4

Darkness filled the room. The air growing cold. You could see your own breath.

Clayton, couldn’t move. Paralyzed by fear. He could smell them. Hear the steps around the walls of the room. Feeling the weight shift in the bed as they lay down beside him. He was frozen on his side. A hand gripped his shoulder slowly, a piercing as if slowly being stabbed in the back. 

A shadowed figure stood before him when he opened his eyes again. 

“Harvest is coming.” It whispered. 

Jack was on the outside of the bedroom door. Pounding it with his fists. Trying to get it open. Shaking it. 

“Clayton! Clayton! Focus! Try to move your hand you will wake up!”

Clayton couldn’t hear it… everything was a vacuum of fog in his head. All he could hear was the whispering of voices in the cold room. 

“I’m coming. Harvest is coming. ”


Afterword I stood in the room. Clayton showed me his back… a cold burn over his shoulder. 

“This is real.” I said with disbelief. I don’t understand. 

Clayton looked at me. 

“I know what Harvest is I know what it means. He’s coming.”

Clayton put his face in his hands rubbing his eyes he looked up at me. 

“The Reaper. Jack.  This is real. and he’s coming.”

Flowers for December 

Part 3
Room 669 

A lot can be behind a door. I thought about the numbers. The math. The crowd of people in the room downstairs. 

The last time I saw Lauren. This time. Lauren came walking out with her cane. Her hair pulled back into a tail. She didn’t look old to me. She looked tired but not old. Sometimes I think we look at each other through memories. 

Sometimes I think we would be better off not remembering anything. 

“What is it? You have that look you always have when something is troubling you, Sean. The wolves are at the door, and we have all night and no fire.” 

I sat down. Opened my notes and watched her. I remember standing on the bridge and her lips. She looked at me and told me she was leaving. She had to. We could have been great together. But, we were better apart.”

“What are you going to tell them? Lauren. You haven’t found a cure have you?”

She laughed. “A cure! Ha! There is no such thing as a cure. We are all dying. Every one of us. It started when we were born. Life is death. Every form of medicine is just prolonged death.There is no such thing as a cure. If I had one. I wouldn’t give it to them. No.”

“What would you do?”

“Keep it for myself. They don’t deserve it.” 

I looked around the room. “You don’t mean that Lauren.” 

Lauren pulled on her uniform coat. 

” I’ve spent my life,working , and now I don’t know what to do. Leukemia, maybe three months. I’m dying….there’s not enough time. I don’t think I can stop this, even if I had the resources.” 

“What about medical schools? Surely there is something…”

“No. students today…I tried. They raise hands and trust textbooks they’ve paid a lifetime held ransom for. They won’t question what they read or what I find they’re obedient little soldiers. But not good scientists.  You can’t stop this spread. Not with that. I need critical thinkers. Someone who won’t even trust me. Science is our integrity. Not my degree or pay check or emotions. I don’t care that I’m dying! Get me results.” 

Lauren closed her notes. Packing them into her binder. Looked at me, asked.

“How’s journalism? Is it everything you dreamed? Don’t you ever want to go back? Do things differently? You haven’t exactly gotten your nobel prize. Have you.”

I sighed. Scratching my arm. I was frustrated. Frustrated with this whole thing. Newspapers are broke. They can’t afford journalists. They’re simply three page thought pieces. Cut into the bone marrow for budgets and no profit. No one gets a story. They get an opinion from a guy behind a YouTube camera who couldn’t even make it to the actual story. What could go wrong. 

We are drowning in a culture of mass media. Not a lack of information, it’s not even hidden, it’s in excess, too much. Anyone with a web address could post a story. An now we were paying for it. Everyone has a news forum to back up and support their worldview. 

I took my parents fortune and used it to travel in an effort to give the whole story. Without opinion. I’m one of the only journalists  who will be seen at government conferences. Not because they don’t want us there. Because no one can afford the ticket. Or salary. 

“I wouldn’t change anything. Lauren. I like what I’m doing. What are you going to tell them?”

She turned towards me. 

“I’m going to tell them the truth. That we had a good run. But our time is up.”

“You can’t say that, you have to give them hope . These people will respond to hope. It’s human nature.”

Lauren laughed. 

“That’s what the Golden Arches of McDonald’s are for.”

“Ehh I’m more of a Cheesecake Factory and yoga on Sundays.”

Lauren just stared at me.

“If you want to give them hope. Tell them we had a golden era where science, like God, Told disease it couldn’t take anymore lives. But then we got too comfortable, we didn’t suffer, we couldn’t remember, and we took down our barricade. And now the Reaper is coming to call. And there is nothing I can do.”

I ran my hand through my hair.

“Lauren, you’re the last scientist. No one is going to listen to you.”

“Soon I’ll be dead. And then so will they.”

She stepped into the elevator. 

The doors closing 

“I love you,you’re insufferable. But you have a nice ass. If I had more time.”

I watched as she stepped onto that podium. Opening her notes, to this crowd of faceless strangers. Staring into their phones. Assuming this too will pass. Like the war they unfollowed and the other viruses or flu seasons…it always goes away. 

I watched as she stepped up with her cane. And looked over the room. This woman I somehow still loved. She would open her notes and see two tickets.  One way.  To the mountains. Maybe I couldn’t  fix this,buy a scientist or a cure, but I could give solitude, and we could be together for just a little while. 

She looked at me. 

And for just a moment 

It was just us in that room 

And we were back in college 
Arguing over drinks. And I could see the future. And it was good.

End

The Nightwalker #3

You know why I keep letting Jack Frost hang around? Because he doesn’t talk.  In the 250 years I’ve known him. He’s never said a word to me. Don’t get me wrong. He digs those cheesy 80 anthems. 

I just want to reach out and touch you 

You make my fire come alive 

All I need is to be near you 

You get the picture, right? 

These things always start blaring through the air just as he comes strutting down the street 

Or popping up beside me 

Or my cigarettes freeze. 

Tonight was no different.

He was sitting in the window. His white hair covering his eyes. 

He handed me a cigarette this time. Without freezing it. And a drink. 

“I’ve been here before Jack.”

He looked out at the street. 

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. He’s shaken. I’m a scientist. I’ll just fix him.”

Jack laughed and hopped down flashing over a bench.

“I’m an immortal scientist. I’m still part human. At least in  form. I have tendencies. I’ll talk to him.”

Who was I kidding, I went back inside. Opened my books and settled down in the darkness. All I could do was wait. 

3am Full Dark

Midnight is considered the beginning of night. But everyone knows 3am is full dark. It’s when all of your night terrors hit. Your demons come out to play. 

My subject was asleep. All you could hear was the clocks in the room. The light in the bathroom flickered before dying. The room was quiet. I closed my book. Looking over the room slowly.  I could hear Clayton’s heart beat…thump thump thump the air  went cold like a freezer. This was different than when Jack comes around. For one, everything was layered in darkness. This was different, like a living darkness. For another, Clayton’s heart beat started hyping. Faster and faster. He was in terror. 

I looked over at Clayton. I could hear him trying to talk. His hands shaking. He was staring into the ceiling. 

“Nooo! Go away! Stop it!” 

He sat up in the bed rubbing his face. 

I walked towards him. 

“Clayton. Do you know what just happened? Can you tell me what you saw?”

“I thought you were supposed to see those things for yourself?” He said while fixing the covers around him. 

“I tried, I couldn’t read anything in the room. It’s just a regular night. Which suggests this is just your insomnia again. ”

Clayton looked at me. “No. this is r  r real. Something was here. In the room. I saw it and felt it. It was dark, and absolute fear. I could smell it. Like sulfur. It was standing beside my bed. Just tall and dark. It kept saying ‘Harvest’.” 

I looked around. “Harvest?”

“Harvest. Why?” 

“I don’t know. This feels familiar.” 

I walked out into the hall. The words ‘Harvest.’ Were  carved into the mirror on the wall.

This was getting weird.

The Nightwalker #2

Maybe we’re not all made of magic. Not really. We just fade from one world to the next. Always on the fence. That’s what sleep is, death,without commitment. 
I  watch and wait, and when a child has fits of night terrors. I am there. To explain what and why, sometimes if they are young, I simply remove them. Like popping bubbles. Or turning off apps left running. 

Most of the time I am mistaken for a dream, staying  in the dark, my scarves and dark clothes…a drink or a book in hand. This is very very solitary work. 

Most of the time I never even have to return either. 

With the exception of one. 

I helped one child. A boy. Stayed with him for weeks. His case was hard to crack. Nothing added up. The child would wake up in fits of terror.  Hearing chains and smelling fire. 

Finally. Believing the boy was well. I moved on. 

Fast forward 6 winters. 

On this night. Under a full moon. Away in a college dorm. I drop my cigarette. Walking from the corner of the room. Recognise the face. 

“I know you. I’ve visited you before.”  

I walk towards him. 

He’s shaking 

I know this one. 

I know this one 

The Nightwalker 

Listen. I’m going to tell you a story. But you have to promise to listen. Otherwise, it’s all pointless and I’ve wasted your time. I don’t like to waste time. If you pay attention, I promise it’s going to be fun. 

I’m a Nightwalker. The last I suppose. I don’t really see anyone else. My name is Jack. Like Frost, but I deal with dreams. Not weather. I do see Frost from time to time. He’s always tampering with my cigarettes. 

When children sleep, they have night terrors. I don’t steal these, I simply find out why they are having them. And close those windows. 

Like apps left running in a phone. Sleep has layers. Once they understand this? Most of the time they are not afraid anymore. 

Why does John remember what he dreamed last night? Because he didn’t hit that deep sleep. Why did it feel real? Because his body and nerves were picking up his surroundings and mistaking images for interactions, again…not a  restorative   sleep. 

This is what I do. 

Did you pay attention? 

Good. 

Now, 

The only question left…

Do you want to have fun?

Halloween Writing Contest 

Halloween Writing Contest I was invited to participate in this Halloween Writing Contest by StephJ you can to. Just follow the link and all the rules are there. It’s going to be fun. If you were a part of her Fall blog party you know what I’m talking about. Make sure to give her a follow while you’re there. 
It was one of those nights on cemetery lane that made you feel electric with energy and somber with thought all at the same time. The air was crisp, dead leaves scattered as they ran underfoot and glided overhead, filling the night with noise. The moon was full and luminous casting an eerie light on the scene below. Halloween was in full swing, the streets were abuzz with hooded figures and lively children enjoying their annual candy hunt.

Hidden from the action at the end of the long lane of perfectly decorated houses stood the towering and dark-windowed number 13 cemetery lane. Behind it, the forest stood lightless and desolate, a depressing shadow on a lively scene. It was in this very house at this very moment that 

something old was waking up. 

Just as little Angela Lynch was stopping at the last decorated house. She was noticing this one…Angela wasn’t afraid. She was just curious. What kind of candy would be in  this house? She thought. 

She walked up the path to the steps of the house. The leaves  clearing in front of her.  She still wasn’t afraid. She knocked on the door. The one light at the back of the house, flashed back into darkness. 

She frowned. Raised her fist and knocked again. 

The door rattled and cracked and slowly moved open into the darkness. 

“Hello?” She asked. Still unafraid. Setting her candy basket down. She stepped into the house. The emptiness filled the stale air. She set her flashlight by the door. Letting her eyes adjust to the darkness. Adults were always bringing things to change the rooms they entered. She didn’t want to do that. She wanted to learn something from this room. She wanted to adapt. To understand it’s emptiness. 

There was a staircase. A bookshelf. And a room…open…with a high backed leather chair…and a desk. With paper and ink…someone had been writing. 

“Aren’t you afraid,child?”  

The rough whisper came from the stairs. 

“I’m not afraid of anything ” Angela said firmly.

“And why not?” It asked. 

“There’s nothing to be afraid of.” She said confidently. 

“And are you so sure?” 

The shadow extended an arm towards her. The front door slamming shut behind her.  

Angela felt cold. She closed her fists and pinched her leg. “Yes. I’m always sure. My name is Angela. Angela Lynch. What’s your name? Are you a monster? Or a demon? Or a person?”

“You wouldn’t be able to say my name.” The shadow breathed heavily. Slowly moving down the steps to the floor with Angela. Which changed everything. Because some dark things are much easier to accept while  they are across a room or far away. But when they are there with you. They consume so much more .  “I am none of those things. Just old. Very old. ” It said. Slowly coming into the light from the window. 

She was surprised. It was just a man. A tall man. But darkness hung around him. His skin almost transparent. He could see her surprise and moving to the window said “Every year the monsters come out to play. But I’ve lived long enough, 900 years, do you know what that’s like? To live a lifetime times nine? “

Angela looked around the room. The books piled along the walls a lifetime of reading lists.

He continued “it’s long enough to outlive all of the history. Watch your existence and memories turn into folklore and children’s stories. I had a beautiful bride. But they burned her. I was the most powerful warlock and she was the oldest vampire. 900 is long enough to watch men turn into the things they fear and hate. They became monsters and we became shadows.”

Angela sat with her legs crossed sifting through the books with 300 year old handwritten notes in the margins. Stuffed with letters folded as bookmarks. She looked around “why don’t you Ever go out? There are a lot of good things left.” She rubbed her nose fighting off the urge to sneeze. 

“I’ve lived long enough. I’ve seen all there is. And every Halloween, We would go out among the people and keep current. I think it’s more than I could take now.” 

The door opened. 

“You can leave if you wish.”

Angela looked around. All the books. “Do you have friends?” She asked. 

He looked surprised. “People come…the pizza man. And I’m really close to the Chinese delivery man. They have the best sesame chicken. It’s secret is …” 

” I mean real friends. People who spend time with you.” 

“No. I’m afraid…I don’t think I’m ready. This house is so big anyway. Half the time I’m afraid of it. I only stay in these rooms.”

“Well it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of anything.” Angela said standing up.

“We can’t.”

 “It’s Halloween no one will expect anything less than …your dark creepiness thing. Come on, we’re going out besides, you owe me candy. Have you ever had falafel? Don’t. It’s over rated. Now let me tell you about tacos.” 

End