Truly Terrible Tales: A Conversation

“Hey babe.” Max said as his girlfriend came in the door. He stood up as she stood over in the door way. Her arms folded over her chest, she placed her back firmly against the wall. “What’s for dinner?” “You’re one of ‘em aincha?” She whispered in response. Which, is never a great question to be asked. 


“You’re a Vampire.” Her voice barely above a whisper. 

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “What’s for dinner?” Max paused turning the question over in his mind as the color drained from his love’s face. “Ok now that I think about it, I should have switched over to ‘you look lovely in that dress.’” 

“You’re a Vampire!” She hollered in wide eyed terror. 

“Geez! Don’t shout it!” He hissed at her. “Not exactly something I advertise.” 

“How long?” She stamped her foot and started to tear up. 

“Since before we met.” Max said as he stepped forward. “Come on, buying blood and keeping it good isn’t something you learn over night. And if I was going to hurt you don’t you think I’d have done it already?” He let her chew on that one as he fought to keep my voice steady. “Come on Donna.” The two of them stood in silence. Max threw up his hands and flopped down on the couch. “Why don’t we talk?” 

“You’re a Vampire.” 

“Yes I am.” He said quietly. “I died one day and three days later I rose.” 

“And now ya keep blood in tha fridge.” 

“Sure like most vampires.” Again delivered with a shrug, because that is how most civilized vampires behave, yet her eyes flashed between her and the door. “Come on Donna I won’t hurt you.”

“Most vampires?” She asked refolding her arms.

“Yeah we aren’t monsters.” Max sighed again as his patience wore thin. “Would you sit down? You’re making me nervous.” She slowly made her way to the kitchen table. 

“You didn’ think I needed ta know that?” Her voice quivered as she looked with new eyes on the man she had shared a bed with. 

“It was going to come up eventually and I wanted to make sure you weren’t dating me just because I was a Vampire.” Max declared as he sat up to look over the couch back. Donna looked at him but would not hold his gaze. “Ok I get it, this is a big deal.”

“Yeah you’re a blood suckin’ monster.” 

“Ouch.” Which dear readers is a far more gracious response than I would have given in his place. “That hurts Donna.” Neither of them spoke as tears start streaming down her face. Max stood up and moved towards her to comfort her. With a flick of her wrist she brandished a knife at him. His hands came up and his feet stepped back. The blade slashing into his heart from almost three yards away, and it didn’t even leave her white knuckle grasp. “You really think I’m a monster?” She said nothing. She kept pointing the blade. “Donna, come on. Ok besides the whole blood drinking, what makes me a monster?” I step back and lean against a wall. My hands stay where she can see them. 

“Vampires kill people.” 

“White people owned slaves.” Max slipped a stick of gum in his mouth and chomped down on it. He would have preferred to grab a package of blood from the fridge, but that would definitely be too unsettling for her. So he opted for the far safer stick of gum. Which, if a vampire is chewing gum with you, it means they do not immediately plan on killing you. 

“That’s totally different.” She snapped. 

“Oh the systematic and widespread oppression of another population to preserve a style of comfortable living?” Max smiled. “You’re so right your people did it better.” 

“You can mind control people.” 

“Sure.” He yielded a nod. “But I don’t because that is very illegal.” 

“It is?” Donna gave a raised eyebrow. 

“Yes. You can’t just go around mind controlling people without their consent.” I laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of her statement, because of course there are laws for that sort of thing! Did she think that any neonate of a Vampire was allowed to behave however they pleased? “I do turn into a bat and use it to go get soda and alcohol. So yes I do abuse some of my powers.” That elicited a chuckle and both of them laugh together. 

“This’s weird.” She whispered, the blade falling to her side. 

“Why?” Max asked as he sat down across the table. Donna looked up sheepishly. “I’m still the same man. Nothing I’ve ever told you was a lie. I just didn’t tell you about certain dietary restrictions.” He shrugged as he chewed on the gum. 

“Doncha dare make light o’ this.” Donna sighed. “What’s my mama gonna think?” 

“Whatever she pleases Donna.” Yet another sigh. “We knew that.” I’m sick of this, it isn’t the first time we’ve had a conversation about something I can’t help being, but family is important.” 

“Yeah but you’re a Walker.” She said and stuck the knife in his table with a thud. “I didn’ know that.” 

“Donna do you have any other friends who are Shadowborn?” He asked quietly. She bit her lip and shook her head. “No? Well that word is a particularly nasty slur.” 

“Do you have other friends like you?” 

“Other Shadowborn? Sure.” He smiled. “Carlos, Soren, and Lou. You like Soren.”

“Soren’s a Vampire?” Donna folded her arms. “And I like Soren because he can sing so well. A lot better than you.” She reaches across the table and pushes my shoulder. 

“No he’s a wraith. Good man, but lacks substance.” He laughed at his own joke, and Donna rolled her eyes. “Lou and Carlos are what you’d call mummies. Dry humor but sharp as a knife.” 

“You introduced me to your folks. Are they…” Her voice trailed off. He let her gather her thoughts. He wanted to hear what she was thinking. “The ones who bit’cha?” 

“No you met my biological parents.” 

“Not the ones who bit you?” 

“Well it’s more complicated than that.” He rolled the gum into a ball in his mouth. “But they’re my parents too in a sense. They taught me to be like this.” He smiled. “I think you’ll like them.”

“But they bit ya.”

“Yeah cause I was already dead.” Max said. “I rose up a Vampire. But I or he, the me before I️ died, was already dead. And now I’m here. They’ve never hurt me and I promise they would never hurt you.” 

“So you’re one of the good ones.” Donna said and Max flinched.

“Again not so simple.” He mumbled as she looked back over at him. “I’m thirsty. You want anything?” I ask as I make my way to the fridge. Donna tensed as he passed, but she didn’t do anything else. Max drew a package from the fridge and punched a straw in. Spitting his gum in the trash before sitting back in the seat. He took a sip and felt the cool iron taste hit his tongue. Donna watched him as the vampire drained the packet dry. 

“What am I gonna do?” She eventually managed. Max said nothing as she looked deep into his eyes, the tears pooling just beneath the surface. She wiped her face and fanned herself as she blew a long sigh out. “I’m datin’ a Vampire.” 

“And?” Max asked, his hand reached out and held hers. “What difference does it make?” Her eyes met his and the tears broke like water from a dam. 

“All the difference Max.” 
By TKH Hamilton


Truly Terrible Tales: The Hour The Gods Forgot

The steady beat of EDM pulsed in Connor’s headphones as he perused the aisles of the Walmart. The incandescent lights above illuminated the empty aisles with not a soul in sight as the young man pushed the nearly empty cart through the aisles. His fingers ran gently over the boxes of brightly colored cereal beside him. He stopped, plucking the box of peanut butter and chocolate knock off from the shelf. He tossed the first box into the cart with a delightful thud. “Babe, one box or two?” Connor asked, pushing the headphones off one ear. He glanced around as he found himself addressing the air. “Babe?” He asked again, his voice raised a little. Silence met him. He pulled off the headphones and waited. “Alright Connie, very funny. You can come out now.” Connor applauded before resting his hands on his hips. The lights shone down on the empty aisle as Connor waited. Without the headphones he could hear the low buzz of the appliances around him. He gripped the cart and pushed it to the end of the aisle, peering around the ends to see if he could spot his girlfriend. 

“Connie? Baby, this isn’t funny.” He shouted as he pushed the cart up the aisles, glancing down each aisle as he went. His footfalls echoed around the empty Walmart giving a beat to the monotone melody of the background humming. He reached in his pocket only to find his phone dead when he pulled it out. He shoved it roughly back in as he glanced around. Connie would do this from time to time. Hide when he paid more attention to his phone than to her, then jump out and scare him when he least expected it. She was generally pretty patient when he hadn’t noticed. But Connor couldn’t think of a time where she had waited this long to spook him. 

Connor slowed and stopped. The hum of the building the only thing he heard. He felt his breathing quicken as he glanced about at the empty store. Memories of being swept away in a crowd like a twig in a flood bombarded him as he placed his weight on the cart. He had been separated from his parents for hours as he had ran around the amusement park. His eyes squeezed shut as the endless drone of his environment pushed on his senses. The sense of loneliness and insignificance rocketed around the inside of his mind and Connor feared the pressure on both sides would crush his skull. He took a long slow breath in and then out as he looked around. He was alone. 

Of course he couldn’t be truly alone. This was a store. That meant employees. That meant a PA system to call Connie with. Connor glanced around at the seemingly endless aisles. He blinked as he tried to gather his bearings. Which way had he come from? Which way was he going? He looked around, slowly then swiftly turning on his heel until he again gripped the cart to steady himself.

Empty aisles stretched in every direction. Except they were in rows of parallel lines. Two rows of parallel aisles, yet no matter how Connor turned he was always surrounded by those same two rows. Almost as though the room turned with him, and Connor felt his stomach turn sower as he tried to find a front or back of the store. He dropped to his knees and felt hot tears well up as pressed his back to an aisle. The whining noise seemed to scream at him and yet it hadn’t seemed to increase at all in volume. He could hardly hear his own pitiful sobs over that constant, unyielding, monotonous whine. The lights beat down on him as though he was under a focused spotlight of a thousand suns exploding perpetually. Perhaps if he stayed still long enough someone would find him. 

For surely he was not alone. 

Not even here, in this place and in this hour could he be alone. No not even in a time when all the gods have named forsaken and refuse to look upon could Connor be truly alone. And even he knew this. And rightly, he ran. The cart abandoned he ran forward, down an aisle or past it he knew not which. All he knew was that as he ran his footfalls did a valiant if pointless battle against the buzz of the superstore. His voice hollered his love’s name into the endless abyss of aisles as he turned down random aisles and all along the store. His eyes grew red with tears as he ran screaming down the endless and maddening aisles filled with cheap packages of brightly colored products. 

Eventually though his feet slowed, his mouth dripping foam, and his legs burning. He felt alone again. But knew he couldn’t possibly be, and longed for the ignorance that he had once had. For of course he wasn’t alone. They were here. With him. He couldn’t see them, though he thought he caught glimpses at the end of aisles he dared not enter or behind him when he dared turn back. He did not hear them, save for what any crazed fool would call echoes of his footfalls. These were clearer and louder than his own, even if they kept perfect time with him. 

Connor found his fingers dragging over cans of soup as his legs trembled. Human blood stock, C’thuli-o’s, and canned fear felt cold on his fingertips as he wandered. His breath heavy and dry on his cracked lips. His footing failed and he stumbled to his knees beneath the unending brilliance of the incandescent light and the deafening hum.

Even as he collapsed Connor knew the truth. He was not alone and it would all be over soon. 
By TKH Hamilton

Truly Terrible Tales: Dearest Readers

Dearest Readers,Are you well? I do very much hope so. I very much hope you are very well and not at all ill. I do honestly hope you do not experience what others most slanderously call paranoia, because of course it is only paranoia if you have nothing to fear. In fact paranoia is quite preferable to that accusation, since at the very least you are not in any real danger. Though of course there is nothing lurking just in the shadows behind you, lapping at its orangish lips with a long black tongue. A tongue that swirls ready to pass between razor sharp ivory teeth to drag itself along your neck as you slumber. Because it isn’t time to even take a minuscule nibble of your succulent delicious flesh. There is nothing at all like that pursuing me, thank you very much though for your concern, but I am quite alright. Oh and it isn’t pursuing you, because something like that definitely is an illustration I just made up. In any case I hope you believe yourself to be well, or at least unaware that you are not at all safe. But you are definitely not in any danger. Definitely not. 

Anyways, Dearest Readers, I have things for you. No, not Eldritch secrets that are not meant for man to encounter and would tear fragile little minds apart at the seams. Secrets which would cause eyes to weep tears of icy, blackened, and thick blood if you heard them and turn those eyes blind as they beheld the secrets of the universe.

No, I do not have any of those, and if I did I would not share them. Because they would be mine, and I wouldn’t let you have any Dearest Readers. Unless you asked quite nicely, then I would perhaps share one small, tiny, insignificant whisper of forbidden knowledge, just to bask together in that utter silence that would follow. Not that I have any of those secrets Dearest Readers, so do not ask. I also do not have the children of ancient gods that slumber beyond the edge of the precipice of this universe. Whose children, even as infants twist and distort the fabric of reality as they try to fit themselves in our pitifully three dimensional world. Because in order to have those I would have had to have stolen them from their dark nurseries on a forgotten planet watched by a tireless deity with six thousand unblinking eyes of a color that does not exist in this universe. Or puppies. I do not have any puppies for you Dearest Readers. I apologize for that. What I do have are stories. Some of them are scary. Some are not. Some are about love. Some most certainly are not. 

“Where do these stories come from?” You ask of your own free will, and not because a government agent has your loved ones at gun point. I made them up. Yes, that is exactly what I did. I did not ask for tales during an exorcism. I did not win secrets by playing games of cards with fey lords and wagering my soul. I definitely did not interrogate the souls of a long dead mummy prince for secrets. I definitely never stole a usb drive from the breast pocket of a still warm body of a government agent of some unknown agency. And his name definitely wasn’t John Smith. I also did not tear pages from an Eldritch Tome found in a creepy house on the corner of the street. I did talk to ghosts. Which, as an aside Dearest Readers, I can recommend coffee with ghosts. Some of them are lovely people. In any case, I made up these stories. If you recognize anything in these stories it is absolutely and totally a coincidence. 

So of course, enjoy these stories. These entirely fictitious stories. These completely and totally fake stories. And if these stop do not worry. I definitely have not angered demons that wish to tear my body asunder in a fury. I also have definitely not been in a government arranged accident for spreading secrets that they wish kept. Nor have any wizards, sorcerers, witches, warlocks, cultists, and especially not someone who taught me magic in the first place, finally gotten tired of my ceaseless shenanigans and decided to turn me back into an owl. Not that I have ever been an owl, toad, pig (literally), or black lab mutt puppy called Rex or Poopsie. Though, Susan, if you read this, thank you for giving your darling Poopsie so many delightful belly rubs. No, if I stop posting it is because I am out of stories. That is all. 

Also, if ever you meet me, and you shall know it, do not be afraid to tell me a story. Do not be afraid of that. That is absolutely the last thing you should be afraid about if you meet me. 

In any case Dearest Readers, enjoy these: Truly Terrible Tales. 

Sincerely and Hopefully For A While,

Mr. TKH Hamilton 

P.S. Everything is perfectly fine

Is this thing on?

Well hello there old friends,

First of all, let me apologize. This last year has been grim and dark. So I haven’t written Penumbra. That had a kind of hope that I don’t have anymore. Perhaps I just don’t feel that way about heroes anymore. Maybe I do. 

In any case I have taken to writing something different. Something quite different. What you might ask? (Assuming this missive finds anyone) I’m calling them Truly Terrible Tales. What are they? Well they have an aspect of horror to them. Some are up and up horror. Some are love stories. Some are… well just me playing with words. 

In any case, I hope you enjoy these. I really do. A light in the darkness from a man a long way from home. 

The Poet Player,

Mr. TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: Don’t Be a Baby (part 4 of 4)

Part 4 of 4Mark felt his brain begin to stiffen like his muscles. Every thought slowed. 

It was his fault.


He killed her.


It was all his fault. He was a killer just like his father. He was forced to stare into that blackness. Unable even to stop seeing or hearing his torment. His failure started straight back at him. He was going to die. A failure and a killer. 

He was just like him. 

Then in that blackness, Mark saw a flash of white.


For a moment something had appeared reflected in those eyes. 

When I-

It didn’t matter he was still a failure. He was still a killer. He didn’t deserve to be Penumbra. 

When I raise-

The white thing perched somewhere behind him. 

It was pointless.

It was a dove.

He would die.

A dove perched on some fireplace and stared into the darkness and through the darkness it reached out to Mark. 

When I raise my shield.

Words came back to him. They pushed back on the darkness like a candle being lit. Words that he knew. Words he had spoken a thousand times. 

When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend-

It’s pointless. 

You killed her.

When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend His every subject.

It’s futile.

He couldn’t survive this.

Mark felt the darkness push back on him as those words came back. 

When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend His every subject.

Loyal and disloyal.

The words grew to a boom within his head. His vision widened just slightly. 

When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend His every subject.

Loyal and Disloyal.

When I raise my blade,

I raise it against his every enemy

Within and without.

It doesn’t matter. 

He couldn’t win. 
When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend His every subject.

Loyal and Disloyal.

When I raise my blade,

I raise it against his every enemy

Within and without.

When I raise my light

I raise it to lead all His subjects to Him,

Skeptic and Fanatic.
He still killed her.

He was no better.

It was easier to give up.

Mark pushed back. He willed the oath to a shout within his mind. He shouted with the force of thunder. 

When I raise my shield,

I raise it to defend His every subject

Loyal and disloyal
When I raise my blade,

I raise it against his every enemy

Within and without

When I raise my light

I raise it to lead all His subjects to Him,

Skeptic and Fanatic
I do pledge myself to defend His people at all costs. 

To defend the weak

To strengthen the strong

To love Justice

To grant mercy

From this night until the last night of my watch,

Until my King calls me to Lay my blade down

Or my enemies pry it from my cold dead hands

I will be His sword

I will be His people’s shield

I will reflect His Light

From this night until the last night of my watch,

I am Penumbra!” With the last words Mark felt his lips move and the sensation rushed back to his arms. The blade sang straight down, and cut straight through the monster. It squealed as it dissipated into a black dust. Mark turned for the parrot but it flew full speed away. The sound of a window breaking followed. Mark looked out of the window to barely see a slight bit of red in the stormy sky. 

Without any warning lightning struck. Not a dozen yards from where he was there appeared a fantastic column of white light. The thunder tossed him backwards and blew in the window beside him. He blinked as his vision went white and his ears rang. 

Fear not.

When all his faculties were yet again with him, Mark was flat on his back in bed. His muscles ached, he still had all his clothes on, and the room was soaked. He looked at a note that seemed to have been scribbled hastily and dropped on his desk. 

You did alright.


Mark felt the smile crawl up his face and then fell right off. 
By TKH Hamilton 

Penumbra: Don’t Be a Baby (part 3 of 4)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 7

Part 3 of 4

Agent Mark King shifted nervously. He had always gotten jitters right before a big test. He felt the rain run off his hat and coat, his gloved hands clenching and I clenching as he waited for the door to open. 

“I lead, you follow.” Grunted E. 

“Yes sir.” Mark replied trying to stand up straighter. The door slowly opened partway. 

“Can I help you?” The man of the house asked. Both agents pulled out their badges. Mark felt his heart pounding in excitement. 

“Inspectors from the department of health’s Psychological division. Our Psychostatistical algorithms predicted an event here. We were dispatched to investigate. Can we come in?”

“Sure.” The man replied. Instantly Mark felt as though a barrier around the house had dropped. He and E strode easily through the door. 

“You’ll be just like your father!” A voice screamed at Mark. He missed step and stumbled, looking for the source of the voice. E looked over in the same direction, coolly enough that Mark chastised himself for the distraction. The source of the voice was a black and red parrot that cackled from a ledge in the sitting room. 

“Sorry about that, begone Satan!” The father said flatly. The bird squealed and flapped off. 

“Do you have any kids?” E asked as Mark began to check any mundane causes off the list. The gas looked fine, and he couldn’t smell any mold.

“I do, three kids. Why?” 

“We need to speak to everyone in the house.” E answered back coldly. 

“Upstairs, but everyone’s asleep.” He responded, E nodded and Mark followed. He didn’t make it up the stairs before he felt a heavy impact. Something struck him in the chest and sent him back down the stairs. His back slammed into the floor and he looked down at what had struck him. It was the battered body of a fat boy. The eyes were beginning to swell and it looked as though blood was beginning to drip out the nose. A soft groan issued and Mark let out a breath of relief. He looked back just before another body came at him. Mark threw his body backwards along the ground and let the next body slam into him. He grunted as his body was struck by a girl not much younger than he was. He pushed her off and rose as swiftly as he could to his feet. His hand went to the inside of his cost and drew the long handle of his lightblade. In a swift motion he zipped his coat up and activated the blade. The bright yellow blade raced forward as Mark readied his stance.

Atop the stairs stood the monster. Four long arms extended from a muscled human torso. Each arm ended in claws that were a sickly green color. In fact the whole of it was a sickly blue green skin color. What should have been the waist and legs were like the body of a scorpion. Where the tail of a scorpion would have been, the tail was like a shark. The head, if it could be called that was one massive eye the size of a dinner plate. The iris was the same sickly green, but from the pupil a single pink tongue lashed at the air. It’s claws snapped, it’s scorpion legs clattered, the tail swished side to side, and the tongue lashed the air. In a single motion it charged down the stairs straight towards the father. Mark threw his body forward up the stairs, his mind was one track to interpose himself. The monster took a single swipe at the father, slamming him up against the wall. The other three hands crashed into Mark. 

The impact sent both of them crashing down the stairs, past the kids, and into a sitting room. Mark swung his sword arm and forced the creature off his chest. The claws snapped and Mark twirled his blade. The creature shot forward. Four punch like hits struck Mark as the creature raced by. Mark felt four dull thuds on his chest as the creature raced by. His blade sang through the air. The creature skirted just outside his reach on the second pass as Mark let the backswing of his strike buy him time. It came at him again, this time Mark hop-stepped back and swung to keep the racing beast at bay. The next time though, the tail blind sided him and Mark felt a claw clamp down on his sword arm. Two more blows crashed into his back and Mark grunted in pain. Here ached across and felt his other arm gripped down on. Mark grinned.

“Surprise.” A burst of yellow light exploded from Mark’s left cuff. The creature screeched and released Mark. Without wasting a second, Mark let his sword swing in a wide arc, it managed to graze the monster across the chest. Acrid smoke poured from the wound as Mark pressed the advantage, he rushed forward and took powerful lunging strikes with both hands. The creature stumbled backwards, apparently clumsy in reverse. His blade made a low strike and severed two of the legs, as he lifted the blade to strike the killing blow, he heard a scream. His head turned as the mother had entered the room. The parrot sat on her shoulder as she screamed at the sight. Mark’s eyes met the parrot’s and he felt his muscles lock. He tried to swing down and he couldn’t. He willed his arms to move, even to drop or relax, but they couldn’t. He felt the blow to his gut and couldn’t even react as the creature toppled him over. Mark could only listen as a female voice called out.

“There’s nothing to fear!”

Click. The sound of a scorpion leg moving. 

“There’s nothing to fear!”

Clack. Another step.

“There’s nothing tofear!”


“There’snothingtofear!” The words were running together.


“There’snothingtofear! There’snothingtofear! There’snothingtofear!”





“Look what you’ve done.” The voice of the parrot said. Except now it wasn’t a screechy voice, it was a deep and familiar baritone. The voice seemed to echo as though the speaker was speaking into a metal bucket or helmet that seemed to magnify the voice. “It’s your fault she died. You couldn’t save her. Look at her!” Mark felt a claw grab him and face him straight into the woman’s cold dead eyes. The pupils expanded and he was forced to stare into the empty blackness. “You killed her. You’re just like your father.” 

Penumbra: Don’t Be a Baby (Part 2 of 4)

Penumbra Nightmare: Episode 7

Part 2 of 4

Colin was the only one to have not noticed the bird. He came home from school one day and there it was. He had been certain it wasn’t there before. It was a red and black parrot in a shiny brass cage. The parrot looked back and tilted it’s head before screeching. 
“What a baby!” It screeched at Colin as he came inside. He found his mother at her desk and tugged on the sleeve. 

“Mommy is busy.”

“When did we get a parrot?”

“We’ve always had a parrot.” She said and picked up the phone to call someone. Colin sighed and went to go watch some tv. When his older siblings came by the bird screeched at them as well. 

“No one likes you Alice!” And “You’re fat and slow Frank!” The others seemed to just shrug at the words. When his mom came by the bird screeched at her. It gripped the bars and howled at her. “You’re ugly! You’re husband doesn’t love you!” Then it just cackled as she walked away. It glared down on Colin and screeched with a horrible noise like rusted metal being dragged along one another. Colin turned and ran up into his room. His door slammed and for a moment he was in the dark. A stifling and thick darkness that seemed to wrap slowly around his throat. He gasped and found just a tiny bit of air come in. His hand reached back and began to desperately paw for a light switch. Colin felt his breath come short and quick as he gasped desperately. His eyes went wide and reached up for his throat. 

“Colin?” A deep voice came from the other side of the door. The 

door cracked open and Colin felt the darkness release his throat. He fell to his knees and found a breath of clean air enter his lungs. Colin’s father flipped the light switch revealing a seemingly empty room. “You alright buddy?” His father asked, picking Colin up and slinging him over his shoulder, he turned and Colin faced towards his still dark closet.

“Don’t tell.” 

Colin wasn’t sure how the thing in the closet had spoken. But he could feel the words “don’t be a baby,” bouncing around his head. He gulped and bit back the tears that had begun to well up. 

The rest of the evening passed like molasses as Colin sat in dread of his room. All night he felt the bird sneering down at him, and cackling at him from it’s lofty cage. As he sat at dinner he looked out his window and saw a creature had begun roosting by the window. It was a dove, nesting gently and looking with intensity at Colin. It was pure white and seemed to have a kindness in it’s eyes. When Colin’s mother saw the bird she smashed on the window to drive it away. With a single flap of its wings the dove flew away into the dark night. Colin sighed into his soup as the other bird landed in the middle of the table. The cruel eyes sneered level with him as it urinated into his food. Before it could speak though, Colin’s father swept his hand over the table to drive it away. 

“Begone Satan, the Lord Rebukes you.” He said as he drove the bird away. It squawked angrily as it flapped away into a dark room of the house. When dinner had ended, Colin’s father tucked him in to bed. He gently closed the door, and Colin heard his father lean up against the wall. “Lord help me, I can’t do this alone.” Just then Colin heard the rain begin to fall on his roof. In a flash of lightning he saw the shadow of a bird blazed in his window. Colin’s breath caught in his chest as he turned ever so slowly. With a crash the thunder followed and he saw the dove on his window, gently knocking. It was already drenched as it tapped on the window pane. It struck Colin as a creature which did not need his help, but wanted to be let in. In the quiet Colin felt as though the monster in the closet was waiting for him. Colin very slowly moved to the window. His eyes never looked away from the closet as he slid his way across the room to the window. He stepped up onto the closed toy chest and undid the window’s latch. The bird slipped under the open window as the storm blew in. Colin shut the window and the dove climbed up onto his shoulder. They both looked towards the closet as Colin shuffled on over to his bed. The door stood slightly ajar and Colin swore he could see the thing shifting in the darkness. 

“What a baby, getting help.” It whined at Colin. He felt a dove wing brush his face and he looked over at the creature. In the gloom it seemed to glow in its own light. The creature’s presence alone seemed to drive the thing in the closet back. 

Suddenly the squeal of wet tires on the pavement. There was but a second as a blur of motion shot at Colin. He gasped as the thing screeched and swerved past him. The black swirl twisted towards the door and ripped it open.