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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22. Last Day

Talon and Oliver stood awkwardly by the door and watched Tanith as her father held her lovingly. The demon woman materialized in the doorway, Oliver glanced her direction but didn’t make any move or say anything to get her attention. Finally Colton lifted his head to survey the people standing in front of him. “You brought my daughter here?” His voice roared and caught all three of them off guard. The boys glanced at each other.

    Talon spoke through his shivering, his legs quivering under him. “Um… Um… N-N-No s-s-s-sir.”

    “Didn’t your mother tell you to leave that house; and what did you do? You went back! Not only that, you took your friends with you! My little girl!” His voice was like thunder in the tiny household. Tanith pulled away and looked at the ground.

“I followed them.” She mumbled and his black eyes watched her. “You told me to look after him and so I did. It’s my fault I’m here. I… I shouldn’t have been so nosey.”

Talon’s cough broke the awkward silence and everyone looked his way. His face was pale and almost boney looking, the world seemed to be draining his body. Oliver patted his back a little to help him get his cough out. Talon moved back his hand, feeling something warm and sticky in his hand and throat. Blood was splattered into his palm and pooled in the creases. Oliver looked at it in horror.

“We have to get him out right now.” Jennifer said and drifted back to the kitchen. Oliver showed Talon to the couch as Jennifer brought out a paper towel to clean his hand and lips.

“What’s wrong with him?” Tanith asked as she stood next to her father, watching Talon clean off the blood.

“The spores are attacking his lungs. They must know he’s sick and taking advantage of that.” Jennifer drifted back in the direction of the kitchen. Talon laid down but everyone else followed her.

“How can a plant know who’s sick and why attack it?”

“We don’t have the answer to everything sweetie.” Colton patted her head then sat at the table. In the kitchen, there were books and newspapers everywhere and on the table there was a bunch of metal pieces and gadgets spread around. In front of him sat a little pocket watch, almost the same as the one Oliver had. He was messing with the inside and taking pieces out then replacing them, Oliver took out the watch.

“Did you make this?”

“Yes.”

“Why? How? Why is it 20 seconds behind? How does it work?”

Jennifer interrupted, “Oliver calm.”

“It’s fine Jen. Is it 20 seconds behind? Let me see.” Oliver handed over the device as Colton looked it over. Something seemed to glint in his eye and a grin spread across his face. Laughter burst from the fat man and Oliver jolted in surprise.

“What’s so funny?” Tanith asked.

Colton adjusted the arms of the clock and handed it back to Oliver. “It must have been a mess up when I made it because before I gave it to your father I tested it. It must have not gone back to the original time so it could have went off at any moment. I’m surprised it waited this long.” He continued to laugh and Oliver stared at it in annoyance.

“That’s all you had to do? I tried that and it didn’t work!”

“That’s because it was made in this world so it can only be fixed in this one.”

“Where is this world?” Talon asked from the living room.

Colton looked his direction then continued to work on the watch in front of him. “It’s just an opposite world. Somewhere the dead with unfinished business, and demons, wander.”

“Has it always been here?” Tanith asked.

“Not until the machine was made. It opened up some sort of hole and allowed the demons to enter. But when Tim destroyed it, it had stopped letting things into our world and instead moved them to this one. It is just another dimension but everyone, that was here, died from lung problems and/or brain damage.” He closed the back of the watch with a snap then opened it again to see if it worked. “It’s gonna need a little bit more time.”

“Was it because of the air they were breathing?” Oliver asked.

“Yes, I believe the spores appeared along with the monsters. It might be what helps them live here, just like how we need oxygen.” He sighed and pushed away the watch. “I know you have a lot of questions but you all need your rest and Jennifer and I need to work on this portal to get you home. So go on and help your friend.” Oliver and Tanith were dismissed and they walked out to sit beside Talon. He could hear his breathing from where he sat, which was at Talon’s feet. It hurt him to see his friend like this.

“How are you doing?” Tanith asked, brushing the hair away from his eyes which closed when he felt her touch.

“Pretty fantastic… considering the… situation.” He said between coughs. Oliver patted his back.

Jennifer walked over with a little basket of apples and a bowl with something in it. “I brought you more food,” setting the basket on the floor and handing the bowl to Talon. “I don’t trust you eating solid food so you’ll have to do with crushed apples, like applesauce.” He sat up slowly and took the bowl from her.

“Thank you.”

“How do you get those? There’s hardly any sun and everything is dead.” Oliver looked up to Jennifer who sort of hovered next to him. He couldn’t quite meet her eyes yet because they were dark and dead.

“Some places to the West haven’t completely expired, so to speak.”

“And you can just transport in a blink of an eye?”

“Well… uhh…” She thought of how she could explain it to his understanding, “It’s more complicated than that. It’s like you’re jumping through space and time so everything slows almost to a stop. I picture where I want to be and it’s almost painful to move or think because… It’s hard to explain. I never was one for scientific talk that’s why your father would…” Her voice trailed off and she drifted off towards the kitchen where Colton sat.

They watched her go and were quiet for a moment. “What do you think happened?” Talon whispered to Tanith and sipped from his bowl.

“I don’t know if I want to find out.” He murmured then looked out the window behind the couch. Outside, the road was less busy with shadows, Oliver assumed it was close to night time which explained the few souls roaming the streets. There were more monsters here than anywhere else and they looked scarier. The giants were almost 50 feet tall, he could only see one of them and it’s head was barely visible over the building which meant it was wandering in the fields, looking for someone to munch on probably.

A few Red Eyed Spite Yaks walked past the window, not noticing the colored faces studying it. Oliver could see a Wild Sprite Critter every so often attached to a human shadow. It sent chills over him to see these creatures, they could smell depression from a mile away. Hea Bani muscled, 7 feet tall, all black, big mouth, no eyes, make loud moaning noises. An Odentyrus was laying on the ground with it’s legs tucked under it, probably sleeping. A Tragelaphes ran by with it’s mouth chomping in the air chasing the spores that wafted away from it’s mouth. Surprisingly there weren’t any Zaradofs lingered along the road.

There were a couple new ones that he could see besides for the giant and what ever flew around. He could see something in the alley way that was curled up, holding it’s knees to it’s chest, and rocking back and forth. It had a human shape but it’s head wasn’t deformed. It had long hair that was like string and hung over it’s arms and lay dead on the ground. Another was perched up on top of a building, sitting the same way.

Another demon was walking along the side of the road. It looked like a dog… it was a dog. But it’s eyes glowed red and it sniffed the ground, following a trail. It was as big as a bear but thin like a dog and it’s tail wagged back and forth behind it. It’s head lifted to look in his direction and all three ducked behind the couch.

“Is everyone looking for us?” Tanith called to the two in the kitchen.

“Mostly. Yes.” Colton replied.

“Even dogs?”

“Especially dogs, why?” Jennifer added in.

“There’s one on the other side of the street.” Oliver said and the two adults disappeared. All three kids jumped from their reaction then quickly looked out the window to see the dog heading in their direction to the house. The sun looked like it was beginning to set through the fog and the moon cast a shadow of the dog on the ground.

“Where did they go?” Talon asked, panic showing through his uneven breathing.

“I-I don’t know. Move to the kitchen and stay low!” Tanith crawled off the couch and sat on her knees along with Oliver. They both helped Talon to the ground and they crawled to the kitchen and hid behind the wall that separated the two rooms from each other.

The dog got closer to the glass and looked in at the small living room. His red eyes focused on anything that looked like it moved, somewhere down the road a loud screeching sound got it’s attention. It swerved around, ears up and attention alerted to the noise. It got the other demon’s attention too. They all began to walk towards the direction of the sound as it continued to scream. The others heard it too and they covered their ears in pain, their heads ached from the sound. It was like nails on  a chalkboard and it stabbed at their ear drums.

“Jesus! What is that?” Talon tried held his hands tightly over his ears like the others. His voice was raised so he could hear it over the ring.

“I don’t know!” Oliver tried to stand up but the sound almost pinned him to the ground in pain.

Jennifer and Colton popped up in front of them and she grabbed Oliver’s hand as Colton snatched up the watch. “Hold hands!”

“Why?”

“Just do it!” Oliver grabbed Talon’s hand and Tanith grabbed his. Colton hurried over and grabbed Tanith’s and Jennifer’s hand so it made a circle.

“Are we moving? Have you done this before?” They didn’t respond and in a second the sound was gone and they were in a different house, more of a warehouse. They all were rocking back and forth like they just got out of an amusement park ride. Their eyes rolled and the ringing in their ear didn’t stop, but that wretched sound was gone.

“Oh god my head…” Tanith complained. Jennifer and Colton fell back, breathing heavily and they looked dull and their bodies didn’t hover over the ground. Tanith crawled closer to them and sat next to her father. “Daddy? Are you okay?”

He let out a groan and continued to lay there. “Just a little tired. It takes a lot of energy to transport, plus the extra weight.” They all sat there for a while, catching their breaths and waiting for the high chime to cease. The warehouse was cold and dark, Talon’s cough filled the emptiness and he was shivering more than ever.

“What was that sound?” Oliver asked, wiggling a finger in his ear to openit up.

Jennifer carefully sat up and began to hover slightly over the ground. She cleared her throat, “That was the sound of a Lamia dying.”

“What’s a Lamia?” Tanith asked, rubbing Talon’s back.

“It’s an evil old hag that takes dead bodies and eats them to gain power.”

“That’s terrible!”

“Yes and I wouldn’t recommend running into one.”

They sat in silence the rest of the night. Talon and Tanith fell asleep but Oliver sat up and watched Colton fix the watch, holding his watch in his hands. Jennifer sat beside Oliver and also watched Colton. Close to morning, Oliver was about to fall asleep when Colton muttered. “Done.”

“They leave in the morning then.” Jennifer stated.

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