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.


13. Old Friends

Oliver hadn’t slept the rest of that night. Instead he studied the watches glass carvings and marked them down in his book. He tested how it moved and why he couldn’t adjust the time to the real time it was. When he tried to take it apart the tools somehow would dodge it, like the opposite parts of a magnet. It angered him and when he went to slam it on the desk in frustration it flew out from under his hand and laid on the bed, safe from Oliver’s wrath. “What the heck? Ugh!” He took off out of his room, running into Britney who was coming in to wake him up.

“Oh you’re awake? I expected ya to be asleep still.” She laughed a little and Oliver took in a deep breath and managed a smile so she wouldn’t worry.

“Yea I woke up early today.”

“Mkay. Ya hungry?” Oliver shortly deliberated whether he had time to eat or not.

“No not really. I have some things to do today before work so I better get going before it’s too late.” Oliver moves past her towards the bathroom.

“What are you planning to do?” She asks him, staying where she was.

“I found out the numbers on the watch is actually an address and the company that designed the watch is in New York so I’m gonna go find the person who made it. Maybe they’ll have some idea of where my parents are.” He informed her before shutting the door and taking a shower. He didn’t want to bring up how the thing was in his room last night because he knew it would scare her. She already had so much stress and a headache as it was.

When he got out he got dressed and somewhat fixed his hair, throwing his work clothes and watch into his backpack. He then walks downstairs to see his grandma sitting in front of the TV in the leather chair. “Be careful out there. Be sure to not talk to strangers.” Oliver chuckles as he kisses her head gently.

“Don’t worry mama. I’ll be alright.” After leaving the house he goes to the train station and takes it into the city. He listens to his music as he sits in the corner of the wagon with his eyes on the ground. Thinking of what he should say to the maker of the watch. Find out why he has it and why he’s in charge of it. Maybe he has the answers that the shadow woman never told him.

It took almost three hours to find the building he was looking for. It was set up between two apartment buildings and it looked older than his grandparents house. It was a baby blue color that was faded into a more grey color. The door and window frames were white and the paint was chipping from the years of storms and scorching heat that tore at it. The glass was somewhat pellucid besides for the dust and dirt that outlined the cracking frame. A welcome mat was on the step in front of the door, but on the door an ironic sign hung saying “GO AWAY!” Under the sign there were markings that looked like it was in a different language. Oliver hesitantly knocked on the door and waited for a response.

He didn’t hear anything so he knocked once more. When he didn’t hear anything again he rang the doorbell, the door swung open before him to reveal an older woman who looked to be in his 40’s or 50’s. Her hair was a dark brown that was beginning to grey at the roots and there were rings under her eyes, that were behind her thick spectacles, like she hadn’t slept in decades. She was as tall as Oliver and much more round about her belly. Her eyes looked over him saltily before she spat. “What do you want?”

Oliver showed no sign of intimidation, he had spent a lot of time with bullies so he was used to the hate. “I need help finding my parents and I think you know them. I have this-”

“Do I look like an orphanage to you, kid? Go find someone else who gives a crap.” She went to slam the door but Oliver, regrettably, stuck his foot between the door and frame.

“No you don’t understand.” He pulls his bag from off his back and rummages through it to find the watch, pulling it out to show her. “I have your watch and I want to know what those carvings mean!” She peeks through the crack at the watch through her glasses and her eyes widened.

“You… You can see those?” She questioned, Oliver nodded. She then pushed the door open and pulled Oliver in by his sweatshirt. He stumbled in just as the door slammed shut, she guided him through her messy house hold to the living room where books sat everywhere around the room and newspapers hung up on the wall. His eyes glided through them, every paper on a murder or a strange death. She pushed him onto a chair and snatched the watch from his hand.


“So you’re the Shawl boy. Oh I’ve heard much about you.” A grin spread over her face as she examined the markings on the watch. Information flooding into her head.

“You know me?” He sat forward in the chair, looking around the room at the empty boxes of fast food and trash on the floor.

“Oh. I know all about you Oli. I’ve heard so much about you from your father and mother.” Oliver stood up quickly, startling the woman.

“Who are you? You know my parents! Where are they? Have you seen them?”

“Calm down kid! I’m Silvia. Yes I know them. I don’t know where they are. I’ve been searching for them for 10 years now.” She walks to the kitchen, avoiding the obstacles. Oliver follows but trips on all of them, eager to find where his parents went. “10 years of my life wasted on trying to find them. 10 years of waiting for this dang watch to be brought to me by you. I was about to give up not too long ago, but I figured you were too young still and needed more time.”

“Then you know about the woman? The woman who is following me?” She turns to him with a confused face.

“A woman? No no no. I don’t send spies.” She sat at the table and tinkered with the watch. “I’m guessing you see the demons too, huh?” Oliver’s eyes lit up with excitement as he sat next to her.

“You see them? I’m not alone! Were you injured by one also?”

“Oh no. It’s my glasses.” She adjusted her glasses so she could look more closely. “I think I can see more than you can with these things.” She smiled like she won a contest. Oliver crossed his arms over his chest.

“Maybe so. But can you hear, taste, or smell? Not with those glasses.” She looked at him with a glare then snatched his hand up, pulling a needle off the table and pricking his finger. “Ouch!” He pulled it away from her and checked on it.

“No but at least I can take a prick on the finger from a little needle.” She gently pressed the needle into a microscopic hole where the hands connected to and the lid of the watch popped open. Oliver had forgotten about his finger and watched fixedly. She let out a soft breath and opened it, all the trinkets inside were organized and looked different from an ordinary watch. There were small buttons and little symbols that Oliver couldn’t understand. Silvia smiled mischievously. “It’s finally here. I’ve finally got it.” She admired the trinket and Oliver watched her curiously. In the corner of his eye he saw a shadow standing in the hallway then disappear into a room.

He looked in that direction and saw it was gone, a light flickered and he turned to Silvia. “Can I use the bathroom?”

“Yes sure whatever.” He got up and walked towards the hallway, seeing she wasn’t watching he slipped into the room where the shadow went into. The room was lit by a lamp that flickered above his head. It looked like it used to be a study before trash and newspaper scraps were scattered all over the table and the books on the ground had missing pages. The lights shut off and there stood the same dark woman in the corner, looking at him. He jumped from the suddenness of it then gulped down the ball in his throat.

“Why are you following me?” He asked, trying to be quiet so the woman wouldn’t hear him. The woman’s voice echoed through the stillness of the room.

“Leave… Death…” Her body lurched forward, Oliver held still as best as he could. “Evil.”

    The lights then switched back on and the woman was gone. Oliver turned to see Silvia watching him and her eyes squinted to see him, Oliver jumped with a soft yelp of surprise. “What were you doing in there?”

    “I thought I saw something and wanted to check it out.” He blushed as he looked at the large woman. She then spun on her feet and walked back towards the kitchen.

    “You should know better than to go wandering around someone else’s house. It’s impolite.” Oliver followed her, a bit embarrassed.

    “Can you tell me more about my parents now?” He asked but she didn’t reply as she sat back at the table. Oliver became uneasy, hearing the shadows voice in his head. He decided to ask another question. “What happened? Why are the shadows here?”

    Silvia groaned, “You ask too many questions… But I supposed you might as well know now.” She set down her tools and looked to him as she stood up and walked towards the living room. His eyes followed her then glanced back at the watch before getting up and following her. “It started at your father’s work, our work.” She showed him a newspaper that hung crookedly on the wall. “We worked on separate floors and knew each other from going out and getting drinks at the bar nearby. Your father just so happen to come upon one of the plans our bosses were chatting about and he gathered us together to destroy their machine.”

    “What machine?”

    “Shut up. I’m still talking.”

    “The machine was a portal to the underworld. Our bosses were planning a world domination using the demons you call shadows. I suppose one of the more powerful bosses came in contact with one and they made a deal, creating the portal will allow the demons to obviously come through and rule our world. Your father wouldn’t let that happen, so he took control and created a plan to destroy the machine. When we put the plan into motion we were too late and some of the demons had already been let through. We didn’t know this at the time but I believe Tim did and designed some sort of contraption that does the same thing as the portal but instead of letting something come through it actually sends them back. I’m not sure how he made it or how he came upon the idea but when he came to me he asked me to lend him something and one day I’d have to help you send back whatever came through. That’s today.”

    “What’s with all the newspapers?”

    “Those are the mysterious deaths of my partners that have been happening ever since that day 10 years ago. The first one started with my partner John. He was one of your dad’s friends that helped us destroy the first machine.” Oliver’s eyes scanned the headlines carefully. “Your father isn’t up there. I’ve been looking for him as well, remember? I also can’t find Colton, he was the last person I saw before they disappeared. I guess he must have had the same idea or something.”

    He turned to look at the table to see the watch still there, he could hear the ticking of the hands. “So why is it that the hands won’t change to the correct time?” He turned back to see Silvia staring at the paper on the wall as she answered.

    “It used to be 10 seconds behind, 10 years ago. Now it’s 20 seconds behind which means it has somehow slowed down by a second every year since that day. I’m still doing the math in my head, maybe it’s connected to something in our world as much as the dark one.” He looked around then walked towards the table, instantly his head began to hurt and the lights flickered. Silvia looked at the lights and cursed under her breath, walking to the power box. That same apple cinnamon smell filled Oliver’s nostrils and he had to plug his nose from how strong it was.

    “What’s happening?” Silvia messed with the box and the lights shut off. The house was dim besides for the light that came through the curtains on either side of the house. In the dark Oliver could see the demon woman standing by the entryway, Silvia didn’t seem to notice.

    “Get out!” The demon demanded, her voice echoing a little more clearer than normal. Possibly because she stood much closer than usual. Oliver shuttered from how loud. The house began to rattle and Silvia looked around at everything falling. The watches hands spun around quickly, like time was changing. Oliver was panicking as he looked around the house. Silvia went for the watch but Oliver was closer and plucked it up and held it tightly. The demon woman appeared behind her and she threw Silvia across the kitchen. Oliver watched, horrified and shocked, not sure what he should do. “Oliver go!” The demon’s voice screamed over the chaos. So he took off running out the front door.

The sun was hidden behind the clouds, threatening rain as he swiftly walked down the sidewalk. Every few steps he’d glance back down the road at the house, it stood as still as any other building, just as quiet. He looked down at the watch in his palm to see the inside of the device that led to another dimension. Another world in the palm of his hand. Oliver had one of the most important inventions in the world and it was literally in his hands.

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