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.


5. Monday Night 5 PM

A few states away middle aged man paced up and down the front porch, Timothy Shawl. His hands were fidgeting as he rubbed them together, his body was alert and his eyes kept looking around like he was watching for someone. Kingston Shawl, a much older man, was leaning against the frame of the front door watching his son quite anxiously. “Timothy…” His eyes trailed over to the buic in the driveway, Jennifer sat watching them intently and she gave a friendly smile. “What happened?”

    Tim continued rubbing his hands together then stopped to look at his father. Kingston could see that Tim’s eyes were filled with fear, he knew this wasn’t just a weekend with his grandchild he was getting. “We… We messed up really bad; you need to keep Oliver for possibly a short period of time. I can’t give you all the details, but he’s not safe with us anymore.” He began to pace again. “Someone's after me and Jennifer but we don’t know who or how they know where we are. Please just promise to take care of him until we know he’s safe with us.”

    Kingston was standing as straight as he could, although his back and knees ached with age, he ignored the pain. It was quiet for a long moment before Kingston spoke, “Tell me what happened. I can help. But don’t leave him without an explanation for why his parents are gone.” He motioned to Jennifer who was looking down the empty street behind her. “Why don’t you guys come inside and we’ll talk. She doesn’t-”

“No dad!” He snapped then clasped his father’s hands as calmly as he could. “We don’t have enough time.” Kingston felt something cold slip into his palm and he glanced down at their hands then back up at Tim. “We will be alright. Just make sure nothing ever happens to Oliver.” He let go of his hands then hugged him tightly. “Don’t let them see him.” He whispered before letting go and running to the car.

Kingston watched his son get into the black buic before looking down at his hands and opening his palm to see a silver pocket watch. He noticed it was still ticking, but the time was 2 minutes ahead. He looked back up to see Tim and his wife had gone. The small neighbourhood was asleep and him alone stood outside watching the road ahead of him. The street lights shone bright onto the cracked concrete road. In the distance he could hear the city sirens and cars; usual New York city sounds. He held the watch loosely then slipped it into his pocket and turned back to the house, walking in to see ten year old Oliver standing in the hallway.

He watched his grandfather walk into the old cozy house; only seeing it through his right eye since the left side of his face was covered by a bandage. His shoulders fell when he didn’t see his father enter with Kingston, but he still manages a smile. “Where’s daddy?” He asks hopefully. His grandfather’s back creaks when he bends and picks up the extra weight. He sets Oliver on his hip and walks him over to the living room chair.

“Oh…” He lets out a soft groan when he sits down and rests Oliver on his lap. “Well…” He runs his hand through his grey scraggly beard, “Mom and dad have to go on a business trip for a couple of weeks so you’re going to be staying with mama and I. Is that okay?” Oliver smiles big and nods.

“Yes! I love staying here!” Kingston chuckles then turns on the television with the remote.

“I’m glad you do.” He switches through the channels till Phineas and Ferb pop up on the screen. “So Oli, what happened to your cheek? Did you get in a fight at school and beat him up?” He played around but Oliver only shrugged and continued watching the TV. “Well I guess we’ll talk about it some other time when you want to.” Britney waddles into the living room, still in her cooking apron and looks around for her son. She gives Kingston a questioning look and he just nods before setting Oliver on the chair and standing up to join Britney in the kitchen.

The kitchen was his favorite room in the house. He always felt that it was his sanctuary and it was the first thing he thought of when it came to the word ‘home’. He felt more comfortable having conversation with someone in the kitchen. Something about the room was… homey. Maybe it was just the smell of the honey scentsy his wife would always use to suffocate the garbage smell that the city seemed to radiate with. Maybe it was the pastel pink painted walls that matched the walnut styled cabinets and countertops. His wife decorated the kitchen and he didn’t like it at first, he quickly got used to it and quite loved it. He loved the small trinkets Britney placed around; the hummingbird was her favorite animal so she decorated with paintings and little figures or pictures. Walking into the kitchen calmed his nerves enough.

“What’d they get themselves inta this time?” Her shivering hands remove her apron and sets it on a chair next to the back door before walking over to the sink and rinsing off the dishes with the hose. While she does this, Kingston hesitates, not sure if he should tell her what Tim told him, or stall for another explanation Tim might give him.

“Well… Tim says they’re in a lot of danger. Apparently someone is trying to hurt them and Oliver.” He pauses while watching his wife for a reaction, she doesn’t do anything so he continues, “He says Oliver would be much safer away from them and they’ll come back for him when they know they’re safe.” Kingston leans against the counter next to his wife.

“This doesn’t sound like just a weekend of watchin’ Oli…”

“I know…” He plays with the watch in his pocket then pulls it out and holds it out so she could see it. He admired the silver material, his thumb rubbed up against the lid to clean off the smudge. It looked like it was designed in the early 1900’s. The long hand ticked rhythmically and the other hand followed but always ticked 10 seconds too late. He assumed the shortest hand was also off by 10 seconds. “Tim gave me this and I think it may have something to do with the situation they're in. I just have this weird feeling. In case something happens to me I need you to pass this onto Oli when he’s ready.” She looked it over then curled his fingers back around it and held his hand.

“Nothin’ll happen to ya sweetie so you can keep that till’ then.” She smiles up at him and they kiss gently and he tucks it back in his pocket. She then turns and glances out the window  over the sink into the little back yard. Her eyes soon adjusted to the dark slightly, with a tilt of her head and her eyes squinting to see through the dark, a figure seemed to appear. Her body tenses and her arms tingle with goosebumps. Kinston notices and sits up a little straighter.

“Brit? What’s wrong?” He follows her eyes to the backyard. He also sees something then reaches over to flick on the back porch light. The yard is quickly lit up by the light next to the back door and their muscles relax seeing the figure was gone, their old hearts still jumped in their chests. Britney manages a small laugh and flicks off the light.

“I think we’ve had enough excitin’ surprises tonight. I’m sure everythin’ ‘ll be alright with Tim and Jen.” She smiles up at her husband and kisses his cheek delicately. “We should be gettin’ to bed now.” Kingston sighs softly then follows her out of the kitchen, taking a glance out the window into the backyard again before continuing. The hairs on his neck still stood. He felt like they were being watched and not even a squirrel could sleep thinking something was watching it’s every move.

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