Only In The Dark

A boy with his eye on two worlds and a disappearing family, Oliver Shawl is put to the test to finish his father's work and save man kind from the monsters and demons that walk among us in the dark.
This was my Nano write that I, unfortunately, was late to sign up for due to technical difficulties.

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11. 2 Years Later (Present Day)

He stood behind the register, his head resting on his hand that was propped up on his elbow on the counter. His eyes followed the longest arm tick over the face of the big clock with his four fingers tapping on the counter. His long curly brown hair just barely covered over his eyes and he stuck his tongue out a little, impatient. His lip rings still rested in his bottom lip and he had gotten his cartilage pierced on both his ears up and down the side. He had been working in the tiny market in New York for the past 2 months and had no problem until his time was moved forward by an hour so he got off at 7 instead of 6. This meant it was closer to dark.

The building was quiet besides for Sheryl who was stacking the cans just a couple rows away from him. The shop was closed about half an hour ago but he had to stay later since he had come to work late, all because of his alarm clock hadn’t went off. He sat up straight as the clock ticked 8 O’clock and he half ran half walked to the time punch in the break room. He punched out and impatiently made his way towards the front door. He unexpectedly stopped before walking out and peered at the shape in the dark. It was thin, thinner than Oliver and looked a foot shorter. The curves resembled a woman and her hair fell down just above her hips. She didn’t move and just sat there staring at him. He knew she was a shadow, his heart felt like it skipped a beat but he pretended he was looking past the ghost and looked around. “Sheryl I’m leaving!”

“Alright! Be safe out there! I heard there’s been a lot of mugging goin’ on!” He looked in the direction she was talking from.

“I will.” He took a glimpse over the dark isle the woman had stood and saw she was gone. He then carried on out the door and into the cold winter air. The moon was out and visible up in the sky, the sun was just beginning to set and was hidden behind a tall New York building. The streets were as busy as always, people were getting off work or just heading in for the night shift. He began to walk then almost immediately bumped against someone and they both stumbled over, the other person dropped their bag. Once Oliver noticed he quickly bent over and picked it up, looking into the young woman’s eyes. “I’m so sorry!”

“No it’s fine. It was my fault I wasn’t paying attention.” Her voice was soft and her cheeks sort of tinted pink. Her hair was a dark red and curled over her shoulders and chest. Her eyes were a light blue behind her thick black framed glasses. Oliver couldn’t help but notice how cute she was and gave her a sort of half smirk.

“I guess you’re to blame on this one.” She took her bag from him.

“That’s not fair! You weren’t paying attention either.” She met his eyes and he thought there was a hint of fire in them. He laughed a little.

“Are you gonna let me take the blame then or not?”

“This conversation should have ended at sorry and goodbye.” He noticed pink lips holding back a smile and he nodded.

“Suit yourself. I’m sorry for my clumsiness.” He gave her another smile then walked around her towards the train station. He glanced back in her direction but she was gone, he then shrugged and continued walking. Soon the sun was gone and night took over. Shadows began to crawl out from the ground as Oliver walked briskly to the station. “Stupid alarm.” He murmured to himself and walked down the steps into the empty station, dropping a quarter into the machine to grab out his ticked and then waiting next to the ditch. The cemented room was empty as he stood there and he shivered from how cold it was. He tucked his hands into his coat pocket and his teeth clattered.

After a few minutes of standing there he noticed shadow's limping in his direction. He just tried to ignore them considering he was used to it by now. But as they neared they were sniffing and he could hear their bones cracking and see their heads jerking, like they were thinking or trying to find something. He couldn’t bring himself to move and he held his breath when they let out a scream. They were looking at him.

-

    All of that is how it ended up like this. His life was always, in some way, in danger. He could have waited for the train but he was too frightened to stay in that station. So he looked for a taxi instead and was driven home. It was almost 10 by the time he walked through the door and his grandma was sitting in the old leather chair in front of the TV. She shot up out of her seat and stomped towards him. “Where were you? I was so worried and you didn’t even call to tell me where you were!”

    “I know I’m sorry mama. I woke up late this morning and so I couldn’t clock out as early as I usually do.” They hugged then Oliver took off his jacket and hung it on the hanger before he trudged up the stairs to his room.

    “You’re not going to eat?”

    “No I’m exhausted.” He shut his door and sat at the desk, pulling out a little blue book and opening it. It was almost full and he has had it for a couple years. He flipped through the pages to see all his drawings. Monster after monster. Word after word. Everything he’s encountered. All of them including the woman.

    She had been there for a while now and he doesn’t know who or what she is. She resembled a Zaradof but she never came up and did anything, she would just sit there and watch him. Study him. He wasn’t too sure how to feel about it but he knew he’d rather not be attacked by one of these monsters, possibly again. He pulled out his pencil and began to sketch what he saw. Chills went up his spine as he drew her figure and the other figures, remembering their frightening sounds. Sounds that haunted him everywhere he went.

    After a while Britney came up and knocked on his door. “Come in.” He called as he finished his sketch then began to write a description of what happened. She walked in and smiled at him, a bowl of soup in her hand and some juice. I brought you food since you’re not asleep. Oliver chuckled and moved his book so she could set it down.

    “Thanks mama.” She kissed his head then peeked over his shoulder at the drawing. He took a few sips before taking a drink.

    “Did you see her again?”

“Yes. I don't know what she wants though. She just follows me around, like she's waiting for me or watching for me to acknowledge her.” He takes a few sips before setting the bowl down and picking up the book to flip through the pages. “Like here. She got so close to me that we could touch fingertips. I can't see her face very well but when I'm around her I get a familiar feeling. Like her presence is a mood changer or something.” Britney looks at the picture and gently touches the picture. “I can't tell if she'll hurt me or not if I try and speak to her.”

She thinks for a moment then walks out of the room, calling back to him. “I have to show ya somethin’.” Oliver sets the book down then follows her to her bedroom. It was like the rest of the house but held more pictures of the family rather than birds. Kingston's picture sat on the night stand next to her bed and Oliver's parents and him were on the other side of the bed. Britney stood in front of her vanity and began to rummage through her drawer. Oliver sat at the end of the bed and watched her until she pulled out a silver necklace. Wait. Not a necklace but a small pocket watch.

She looked at it in her hands. It looked almost brand new even if it were over four decades old. She cleaned off the dust then opened the lid as she sits beside Oliver. “Your grandfather gave this to me to hold for ya. I think it was your father's. Kingston said it might have some importance. He told me to give it to ya when you’re ready, I believe that's now.” She hesitated before handing it to him.

Oliver took it delicately and looked over the face. It had strange symbols that were scratched into the glass that it was hard to pick out the time. But it didn't affect anything considering the minute hand ticked twenty seconds too late and the seconds hand looked like it paused for too long. Inside the face of the clock there was a 3 digit number that looked smaller than a fly. He squinted to see it and then looked to Britney. “Why is the glass marked with all these weird symbols? And what is that number?” She gave him a confused look then took it from him to check it out. But she couldn't see anything but an ordinary pocket watch.

“I don't see anythin' hun.” Oliver's eyebrows pulled together and he looked it over once more.

“How can you not see it? I can barely see the time through the carvings.”

“Maybe that's why you need it. Your gifted eye helps you see it.” Oliver rolls his eyes.

“So much for gifted.” Britney let out a sigh and rubbed his back.

“This is your destiny sweetie. Unfortunately I'm not much use to ya because I know diddly squat.” Her laughter fills the room and Oliver smiles seeing her smile. Their eyes fall back onto the watch for a short time until Britney stands and pats his head. “It's very late so we better get some sleep before the rooster croaks.”

Oliver gets up and walks out of the room and towards his own. “Goodnight mama, and thank you.”

“No problem hun.” She closes her door as he enters his room and he closes his door behind him. He walks over to his bed and falls onto it, setting the watch on the table then kicking off his shoes and pants as he crawls under the blanket. Before he falls asleep he turns out the light but flicks on the night light next to him. He slowly drifts off to sleep but only for a while.

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