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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28. Family Reunion

Oliver listened to her story and felt even worse about blaming her. The whole time they were gone they wanted to come back for him but stayed away for his safety. “He really is a beast…” He whispered half to himself. Jennifer stared down at the demon in front of her. Oliver noticed her body went back to it’s humanly form and her eyes were drowning behind the tears. “I’m so sorry mom.”

Jennifer shook her head and managed a smile. “It’s not your fault honey. I shouldn’t have tried to go back. I knew it would ruin your life even more but I was depending on my own selfish desires. I should’ve been stronger and maybe we would both be alive still and at home with you and Britney and…” Her voice trailed off and her body was shaking from how much she was crying and how hard she tried to hold it back. Oliver felt her sadness like a radiator and he gently rubbed her arm. “How did it happen?” She mumbled. Oliver was somewhat stunned and couldn’t find the words. Just bringing him up broke through the mind block he set up to avoid that night in the living room.

“Someone or something must have gotten in and attacked him when he was watching TV. I’m not sure what or who it was that could’ve…” His eyes wandered to the demon on the ground. His body tensed and he stood up slowly. “No… No no no no no! He couldn’t have! He… He wouldn’t!” Jennifer stood up beside him, regaining her demon for and holding Oliver’s arm.

“Oliver it’s not his fault. You know he just takes orders and he can’t control himself or else he wouldn’t have done it.” Jennifer defended demon Tim but Oliver was torn apart and stepped into the ring which pushed Jennifer out of it. “No Oliver please!”

“It’s his fault! It’s all his fault! He’s the reason Grandpa is gone and he destroyed everything and tried to kill me! He killed my family!” Oliver grabbed the demon by the neck and Jennifer tried desperately to reach him.

“No Oliver stop! Please? It isn’t him you have to understand that!”

“It’s not like I can kill him! I’m just gonna rough him up a bit unless I end up sending him to Hell where his kind belongs.” It didn’t move nor make a sound as he squeezed his neck. The muscles in his hand and arms tightened to make even harder for the thing to breathe.

“Oliver no!”

There was a soft chill in the air and a familiar voice spoke up. “Oliver?” Oliver’s eyes widened and he lifted his head slowly to see a pair of black polished shoes over blue jeans. His heart leaped into his throat but he couldn’t bare to look up. Jennifer stood behind him and stared at the black figure in front of her. He was a large old man and she could tell there was a scruffy beard in that dark shadow he was in. He was so vivid she knew he was real.

“You aren’t real.” Oliver said through gritted teeth. Tears were falling down his cheeks and onto the wooden floor. A warmth overcame him and he was sobbing now. “You can’t be hear. It isn’t you.” He forced himself to look up at the man who stood over him. He could see a kind smile plastered on his scruffy face and he couldn’t help but cry.

“It’s me Oli… What do you think you’re doing down there?” Kingston asked, keeping Oliver distracted from his anger. Oliver’s arms were weak and he stood up ashamed and looking at his grandfather’s feet.

“I… I… I…”

“Didn’t you learn anything I taught you? You always be respectful to our guests no matter what the circumstance.” Kingston set his hand on Oliver’s shoulder and he could feel his body heat and his touch so firmly.

“But this is different!”

“No buts’. You know how to treat our guests so I suggest you do so and take care of their needs.” Oliver was sobbing into his hands and Kingston pulled him out of the circle and hugged him securely. Oliver returned the embrace and Kingston held an arm out for Jennifer. She felt like a kid again as she ran over and joined them in their hug. All three of them were crying and holding onto each other like they’d float off if they didn’t hold tight enough.

“Why didn’t you see us earlier when we were here?” Oliver asked still holding him.

“I know my death took a toll on you and mama and I didn’t want you to go through more stuff because I gave you a visit. It would have been difficult for you to leave and get done what you had to. But I’m here now.” “I missed you!” “Are you okay?” “How’s your grandma?” “What has happened since I’ve gone?” They all spoke to each other while hugging and Oliver talked about how much had changed and a girl he’d met and how much he liked her. After a while of talking they sat down and continued until the demon woke up from it’s long nap. It stood up almost lifelessly and faced away from its family towards the kitchen. They quieted down and Kingston stood up and walked up to the circle of salt, stopping next to it. The creature spun on its heels and went to attack but hit some invisible wall and bounced back.

Kingston laughed at the beast’s failure and walked around the circle tauntingly. “What are you gonna do? Kill me again, Tim?” The monster face Kingston the whole time, walking around in a circle to keep face to face. Oliver stood beside Kingston and examined the creature, Jennifer joined. Tim became annoyed and tried hitting the invisible wall trying to break through.

“How could we possibly get him to become himself again?” Jennifer asked worriedly. She stared at her husband and wanted to cry. She thought about the remorse he would feel when he realized or if he knew what he had done. How could he live with himself after all of this?

“There has to be something in those books you’ve read?” Oliver pointed out and the beast was smiling again. It sat on the ground and stared blankly ahead of it through their legs.

“We’d better find something quickly before he tries something.” Kingston stated.

“He has no magic in there. Something about the cage makes it to where the magic can’t work or something.” Once Jennifer had finished she disappeared to go find her books.

“I’ll go get more salt. You think you’ll be alright alone?” Kingston asked.

“I’ll be fine as long as he doesn't get out.” Oliver laughed nervously then Kingston was gone also. Oliver watched the creature for a while then went and sat on the couch. After about 10 minutes of sitting in silence Oliver asked, “Do you talk at all? Or do you just creepily sit there and smile at everything.” The monster had no response. “All you have to do is nod or shake your head. It shouldn’t be that hard for a demon like you who can kill it’s own family.” The demon turned around to face Oliver and stared at him. It made him feel disturbed with it just staring straight at him. “Can you understand me?” The demon’s head twitched and Oliver was intrigued. Leaning in and supporting himself on his knees as he studied it further.

“Do you know where you are? Who you are?” There was no movement. “Okay one question at a time,” he cleared his throat, “Do you know who you are?” It didn’t move. “Do you know where you are?” Twitch. “Good.” Oliver muttered and leaned back in the couch, crossing his arms over his chest. “They should be back at any minute now and then we will refresh your memory, dad.”

Soon they were back and reading through the books while Kingston spread more salt for the circle. Jennifer also brought more apples considering Oliver was probably starving. He hadn’t eaten for at least a whole day, maybe a couple. He had lost track of time and didn’t have a watch, plus the sun was always covered by the thick fog. Surprisingly Oliver noticed his lungs weren’t being treated too harshly by the spored air; although he did occasional lose his breath and had to take in a deeper one to fill his lungs then clear his throat. Not too bad.

They spent the rest of the day reading and watching the demon. It didn’t sleep nor speak, of course, so it just sat there quietly and stared off into space. Of course that’s what they thought it was doing considering it didn’t have any eyes. Oliver rubbed his eyes tiredly and tried to keep reading the book he was on. Jennifer noticed and took the book from him. “Go lay down.”

Oliver went to grab it back. “I’m fine.” Jennifer held it away from him while reading her own book.

“Go.”

“But I’m fine!” Oliver whined.

Kingston watched them bicker till he got annoyed. “Oliver go to bed. You need your strength.”  With a sigh Oliver got up and walked to the couch, lying down on it then instantly passing out. Jennifer and Kingston watched then laughed a little.

“He’s so difficult.” Jennifer mumbled while scanning the page.

Kingston nodded in agreement, “Yes but he just tries to help. He doesn’t put his needs before others, which he needs to sometimes.” They were quiet as they read and the beast looked over his shoulder at the boy and the smile disappeared.

“Olll-i-ver.” He tried to say, under his breath so the others couldn’t hear. They didn’t.

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