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THE SHADOW DEMON

October 30, 2013

THE SHADOW DEMON

The young woman awakened from her afternoon nap and scanned the room. A pale infusion of sunlight peeked around the drawn curtains. The bedroom door stood slightly ajar and the house remained quiet, deathly still. She curled back up under the thin covers, planning to sleep a few more minutes.

Whenever her illness flared up, she would stay with her aunt and uncle for a few days. She loved them deeply, almost as much as she had her own parents. Yet, Carol did not like coming to their house. They were wonderful folk, a couple obviously in love even after forty years of marriage, and were always solicitous of her needs.

It was the house itself she did not like. For reasons unknown, the house felt creepy to her, and she had no clue why. It was old and full of squeaks and groans. Stormy winds always made eerie groans and whines as it wound its way down the chimney. Her aunt and uncle told her that it was simply the noises any old house makes while settling. For as old as it was, shouldn’t the house have settled already?

Carol no sooner closed her eyes than she heard footsteps. She glanced at the little clock on the bedside table. There was still another hour before her aunt and uncle would be return.
The footsteps were much too heavy to belong to her aunt; and even though her uncle was a large man, they did not sound like his either.
Still keeping her eyes closed, Carol listened. The footsteps heavily plodded up the hall towards her room. They were sure, steady, knowing where they were headed.
They reached her door and stopped.

Carol wanted to scream. Instead she pulled the sheet over her head, hoping whoever or whatever it was would not find her. Silly for her age, but she suddenly found herself afraid to see what was making those footsteps.

In the next second, Carol sensed someone standing next to her bed. How did he get so close to me without my hearing his footsteps? The door had not squeaked, and it always squeaked whenever a person came into the room. Plus, anytime her aunt or uncle came in to check her they always knocked and called her name.

No one said a word. Carol did not hear any breathing.

Petrified, Carol waited. Her heart picked up its pace. Maybe they’ll leave. Without looking, she knew positively that something was standing beside her bed, watching her.
Biting her lower lip, she peeked over the edge of the cover. Carol gasped in a breath.

A giant gray shadow stood inches from her, a huge Hulk-like creature. Its edges quivered as tiny projections jostled about, almost like they were fighting for a position.
Eerily drawn to it, Carol raised up on one elbow. It’s two small black eyes stared at her. It had no mouth or nose.

Neither one of them spoke, yet Carol felt like it was trying to get into her mind.

He did not move. His thick heavy arms nearly blended together with his torso and hung unmoving at his side as he continued his silent vigil.
Unable to explain why, she wanted, no, needed to touch it. Was it soft or scratchy? Would my fingers sink into the quivering gray mass?

Almost of its own will, her arm stretched slowly, hesitantly, towards the beast. Fear made her fingers tremble.

Touch me. Taste me. Echoed in her head, pleadingly.

Temptation made Carol curious. What would it taste like if I touched it with one finger?

As much as she wanted to touch it, her fear increased. Her heart was beating wildly now. The temptation to touch him was overwhelming. Suddenly, Carol jerked her arm back, somehow knowing she should not touch it; that she would lose herself inside the beast if she did.
A terrible fear filled every inch of her slender frame. She had no weapon to fight such a huge monster. No light saber, Thor’s hammer, or magic sword.

It stood waiting, watching her with its small dark eyes boring into her.

Carol sensed it was becoming impatient with her. The urge to touch him persisted, becoming more and more irresistible. Tears stung her eyes as she fought for control. She bit her lower lip to keep from screaming. A small whimpering sound managed to escape.

Still the terrifying beast never moved, except for the quivering outline. That tiny, barely noticeable movement made him stand out from the dimness around him. He stood like a solid shadow, those dark holes watching her intensely.

Instantly a fear filled her–if he’s a shadow, what’s behind me?

Carol, gulping down her fear and half afraid he would disappear if she was not looking at him, quickly turned her head. The room was empty.

She looked back at him. Not wanting to, yet unable to resist, Carol looked into his eyes. Her breath came in short little gasps. The urge to touch him gnawed at her. She stretched her hand towards him, again slowly, unwillingly, resisting the urge.
Her hand wavered. Her resistance was wearing down.

Its voice in her head was stronger.
Touch me. Taste me.
He waited. The sense of impatience growing stronger with each second.

Realizing she needed help immediately, or she would be lost forever, Carol cried out, “Jesus help me!”

Suddenly, a calm feeling washed over her. She watched the monster’s huge body shrink as hit was sucked out through the wall.

Her aunt and uncle arrived home. “Doing okay, Sweetie? You look a bit tired. No seizures while we were gone?”

“No seizures. I didn’t get much of a nap, that’s all.”

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