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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31. Goodbyes

Tanith sat on the couch with a cup of tea in her hands and Talon next to her with his inhaler in his palm. Britney sat in the chair watching the TV and rocking her seat impatiently. “How d we know if he’s alright? What if he’s n danger an he needs help? We can’t help him when we’re stuck in this place!”

    “Mr.s Shawl trust me. Everything will be alright. He’s with his mother and she knows more about that world than we do. If anything we’d be getting in their way and causing more problems. Oliver is a really tough guy and he’s smart. He knows what to do.” Tanith tried to comfort Britney as best she could. But it was a mother’s job to worry as much as a grandmother’s. Britney sighed as she stood up then walked to the kitchen to sit in one of the chairs. Tanith watched empathetically and turned to see Talon curled up in a blanket. His hair stuck to his head and his clothes were as dirty as his.

    They looked like a couple of hillbillies from how gross and filthy they were. Britney noticed and got up again to make some tea. “Do you guys need some clothes? Or would you like some money to get home.”

    They replied at the same time. “Clothes please.” Britney chuckled and after she set up the coffee maker with water she went upstairs to get them some clothes. She went to Oliver’s room to grab some sweatpants for them both and a tshirt for both of them. Instead of going straight back downstairs she held the clothes to her stomach then sat down at the end of his bed and looked around his room.

    She admitted to herself that she was scared of course. She didn’t know what could be going on in that world. What if he was dead on their floor and they had no idea. He could be dead and still no one would ever know. What could they do to help? What could they possibly offer to get him home? That’s when she thought about the games in the basement. The board games she had forgotten about so long ago when Tim was just a child. She rubbed her temple delicately, “What am I doing?” She stood up then hurried downstairs, tossing the clothes on the couch next to them then rushed to the door in the hallway.

    “What’s wrong Mrs. Shawl?” Talon asked, sitting up to watch her. The light flicked on as she opened the door and looked down the stairs to the boxes that were put safely away.

    “We need to make contact with them. I may know away, I don’t know how dangerous it will be but we hopefully it’ll be peaceful.” She said as she watched her steps down the stairs to some boxes on the ground. She rummaged through them to find the board games. Dumping the box out on the ground since her arms were too weak to carry it. One of the games boxes fell and caught her attention.

    Tanith was behind her and watching a little afraid. “Are you alright?”

    “I will be.” Britney said as she bent over and snatched up the box then hurried past Tanith back upstairs. Tanith followed close behind. Talon was in a new shirt and he stood up slowly as they came up. Britney dropped the board on the kitchen table and sat in the chair again.

    “What is that?” Talon asked as he examined the board on the table. It was wooden and it folded into half its original size. Britney unfolded it and took out the triangular glass piece.

“I'm gonna reach out to my family and find out what's going on.” Talon backed away and Tanith sat staring at the board.

“That's a ouija board! Those are evil. You can't use it or else it could bring some evil spirit to kill us.” Talon said.

“It's worth a shot. If you're scared then go upstairs and wait till I'm done. But I'm going to find my grandson.”

-

    They were all sat on the couch and Tim was beginning to open up a little more. Oliver was next to his grandfather as Jennifer spoke to Tim about what could happen to him and how long they had together. “So I’m only going to be here for so long until the monster takes over me again?” Jennifer confirmed it then held his palm in hers. She imagined all of them at home and catching up on their trip, asking Oliver how school was, acting like a normal family. She wanted that so bad.

    Tim wanted that also but he could feel the demon scratching him from the inside and screaming in anger. He couldn’t see anything but darkness, yet he could smell and sense everything around him. He could feel everyone’s body temperature, picture their faces, heard their breathing. But he couldn’t see anything. “It’s so dark…” He mumbled to Jennifer then felt her hand rub his arm comfortingly.

    “I know. I’m so sorry.”

    “I should be sorry.” He felt so guilty and the pain that he felt for everything he had done was tearing him apart. He could feel every nerve in his body wanting to feel the blood on his skin, the feeling of a person’s head crushing in his hands. He could see his family dying in front of him all over again and right under his hands.  “I’ve hurt everyone and destroyed everyone’s life. I killed my family in cold blood and had no control over myself…” He wanted to cry but he didn’t even have tear ducts. He could feel himself choke up and his voice shake but he couldn’t feel his face. He felt like he was just dreaming. He felt like a child in the dark. “I’m so sorry for what I did to you dad. To both of you.” He felt a firm hug take ahold of him from both sides of him.

    “I know you didn’t mean to. Don’t apologize for anything.” Kingston said against his head. Kingston was so happy to have his son beside him again and to be able to forgive him for everything. He wasn’t even angry or upset with him. He felt pity for his son. It wasn’t all his fault. It’s just family luck. A family curse that he hoped would die off after all of this was done.

    “We forgive you.” Jennifer said as she held him tightly. Oliver thought back to how he had choked and hurt his poor son and his friends.

    “Oliver I-”

    “Don’t be sorry. You didn’t do anything.” Oliver assured him as he sat on the other side of Kingston smiling at Tim. Oliver pulled himself up and stretched his muscles. “I still don’t know how I’m going to get home.”

    “We will find a way. I’m going to make sure you get home safely, and as soon as we possibly can.” Jennifer assured him then looked at Tim. “We need to know where the portal is inside the mansion. We can’t go in there with no plan like last time or else they’ll throw us into the pit with Demonzu.”

    “Who’s that?” Oliver and Kingston asked.

    “He’s one of Lucifer’s best friends and it eats anything thrown into the pit with it. It’s bigger than a tower and has sharper teeth than a snakes. It’s head is gigantic and could eat us all at once and-”

    “Okay! I’ve heard enough.” Kingston stood and walked to the kitchen. “Let’s just work on not being caught before Oliver gets through the portal.” Tim was quiet as he thought and Jennifer nudged him a little.

    “What’s wrong?” She asked him.

    “Sh… Do you hear that?” Everyone was quiet and focused on listening for whatever Tim was hearing. Oliver soon heard it as well and he looked to the kitchen to see three shadows sitting at the table.

    “Mama...” Oliver mumbled. They all looked to Oliver and he stood up to walk to the table. He could hear her calling his name and Tim and Jennifer followed after him.

    “You can see them too.” Tim stated as he looked over his shoulder to see the three figures. Jennifer and Kingston watched them, puzzled.

    “I don’t hear anything. What do you see?” Kingston said. Oliver could hear her voice so clearly and a board on the table was so vivid and real he could touch it.

    “Oliver? Oliver are you here?” Her voice was somewhat shaking and came in an echo.

    “She’s using the ouija board.” Kingston said as he followed Oliver’s gaze to the kitchen chair, he walked over and sat beside her on the floor. “I can hear her now.”

    “You mean the one I had snuck into the house? You kept that?” Tim laughed a little at the memory. “Wow I was dumb.”

    “It looks like it came in handy though.” Jennifer said. “Can she hear us?”

    “I don’t think so…” Oliver said then moved closer to her. He could see her body sort of shiver. He set  his hand on her shoulder and he felt her muscles tense.

    “Oliver is that you?” Britney asked. Oliver could sense the tension in the kitchen and hear Talon’s and Tanith’s voices faintly over a buzzing and Britney’s breathing.

    “It’s me mama.” He could hear her sigh in relief.

    “Where are you? Are you hurt? How can I help you?” He was laughing a little and Jennifer and Kingston watched him since they couldn’t see her. Only hear. But Tim could see them and he sat on the table’s surface.

    “There’s nothing you can do mama. Don’t worry. I’ll be home soon.” Oliver rubbed her shoulder.

    Tim twitched. “There is something that can be done.”

    “What do you mean?” Kingston asked.

    “I have a plan for getting you home.” He paused. “If the portal is still up then it still works and is in that mansion. There’s no one living in it which means it’s abandoned and there’s easy access. But I’m not sure how lonely it is or how many other demons in this world can see a human in the other. It’s possible for someone to sneak into the mansion and get to the portal at the same time as us and access it from there. It doesn’t work from here and won’t transport you unless someone is on the other side controlling the machine.”

    “So we basically went there for no reason… That must be why Lucifer hasn’t been able to get anyone over because no one has been on the other side to open it…” Jennifer was beginning to understand their flaws in the first makeshift plan.

    “Your mother is not going to that damned place no matter what.” Kingston roared. They all jumped some, even the shadows.

    “Is everything alright Oli?”

    “Yes mama.” He cleared his throat. “Alright I know what to do. I need you to tell Tanith to touch the board. Dad is going to tell her what to do.”

    “Y-Your father’s there? How is he? Is Jennifer and him alright? Can he hear me?”

    “Yes mama. He says he loves you and so does Jen. But please hurry.” Oliver insisted and he could hear Britney talking to Tanith. Tanith hesitantly put her hand on the piece on the board and Tim rested his hand on her shoulder. She jerked a little and gasped.

    “Okay Tanith. I need you to stay calm and listen to me carefully because I can only tell you once. We have little time. I need you to go to get to Vermont in a town called South Burlington. Write this down.” Couple minutes of silence. “Okay. The address is 3429 West Country Road. You should walk in at exactly 4:25 PM, that’ll give us time to get other things done. Step inside at exactly that time. No sooner. No later. While you are there you need to be sure to look around, although you won’t see the demons you will be seen or sensed by them. We will be right beside you the whole way from that time on. We need to be done by 5:00 PM. When you get there, there should be a control panel that has a lot of buttons. You only need to pay attention to the 8 following controls: there should be a large metal ball right in the middle and all that’s for is like a mouse for the computer, a large red button in case something goes wrong, a smaller blue button next to it to open the portal on our side and another identical one on the other side of the red button, the number pad to type in the date and time, last is the handle you pull down to activate the machine. Do it in that exact order. If anything goes wrong press the cancel button. Understand?” Her head nodded in understanding. There was silence for a moment and Tim was shaking slightly. “I’m so sorry for what happened to your father. He was my best friend and he didn’t deserve to go out… how he did.”

    Everyone was quiet and she nodded again. She was biting her lip a little hearing him apologize. Of course she didn’t know he was the cause of his second death, and she would never find out. Tim let go of her shoulder then went to his mother and held her shoulder. “Mom I wanted to tell you I’m sorry for how things have ended up.” Oliver could feel her body was shaking as she heard her son’s voice.

    “It’s not ya fault dearie.” She was smiling a little. “I love and miss you.”

    “I love you too.” His voice shook as he held her firmly. He turned to his dad. “Do you want to say goodbye?” He held out his hand for Kingston. Britney could tell what was coming and her body shivered, her eyes beginning to tear up.

    “Kingston?” He heard his name and felt his eyes tear up. His body turning to human form, the color in his cheeks returning and his scruffy grey beard moved as his nose scrunched up to sniffle. He took Tim’s hand and he could feel her body warmth through his hand. He could feel how she was feeling.

    “Hello pumpkin.” Tears began to run down her cheek and she took in a heavy breath.

    “It’s a pretty day isn’t it?” They both laughed at their inside joke and sobbed softly into their hands. Kingston held Tim’s hand tightly.

    “I want ya to know that I love you. I miss you so much.” She cried into her hand. Tanith rested her hand on hand that was on the board and she held it tightly. Talon joined in, he was also sniffling from the amount of crying that was happening.

    “I love you too. I’ll wait for you hon’.” He hesitantly let go of Tim’s hand and wiped away his tears.

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