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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9. Senior Year

A year had passed and life after that had changed. He was much more happy and felt alive since he had his best friend with him and his grandparents watching over him. Although Oliver woke with the usual night terrors, but it calmed down so he wasn’t screaming so loudly and it wouldn’t wake his guardians. They were much more strict since they found out he went behind their back, but that didn’t stop him from giving into his teenage instincts.

He was very sarcastic and constantly felt the need to rebel against someone; whether it was his “parents”, friend, or teachers. His teachers he had a hard time with because they always felt the need to poke at him with a stick, figuratively. Other seniors would occasionally make fun of him because of his his piercings or how pale he was, it brought attention back to his face because that imperfection stuck out the most. He had long wavy brown hair that covered his eyes unless he held it back, which rarely happened because it made him self conscious since his scar became obvious. His left eye was still half red and brown and his scar was a very faint pink. He was about 6 ft 3” and he had gained more weight so he didn’t have a skeleton shape. Two metal rings were spread apart evenly in the corners of both sides of his bottom lip; which he had went through almost two months of house arrest for the piercing of his lip and another month for the gauging on both ears. His shoulders were broad and he usually wore a jacket to cover the scars on his arms, even during the summer.

Now he was a graduating 19 year old heading into a normal American citizen life. Well he wasn’t totally normal but the idea was to get a job, move out of grandparents, possibly start a family or go to college. But first he had to get a job and save up some money. His grandparents were getting up to their late 60’s and their health was somewhat plummeting. Kingston’s back was bothering him more often and he was retired from the factory after 40 years of being with them. Britney was still healthy enough and as potent with authority as ever, but she was getting migraines like God’s wrath had been taken out on her skull. Of course Oliver worried for his grandparents.

Over the past year he had matured, like any other teenage boy, but he had given up his silly dreams and accepted his life as it was. He had disposed his muse of seeing his mom and dad once again and learning why they had left. Maybe it was because they thought Oliver was to blame for what happened the night they left. Maybe it was his fault that they abandoned him because they didn’t want him and his problems. Maybe they never loved him. But none of that had stopped him from asking his grandpa why they hadn’t come back. He never gave him a straight answer, instead he’d change the subject or pretend he had forgotten what they were talking about. Soon he just gave up on asking and tried to find out for himself. He had visited his old house to see that someone else was living in it and they had changed the entire layout. Oliver didn't think they'd be there anyways. So he was left to think the worst had happened, not death of course but abandonment. He denied any notion of his parents possibly being dead all this time.

He was better at controlling himself when he saw the contour shapes in the unilluminated general region. Brain and heart viewed differently and demanded distinct actions to deal with the surroundings. Every monster that edged closer to him, without awareness, cause all his muscles to tense and his eyes desired to venture over and have their meeting become a first. His strong willed brain didn’t let that happen. He began to observe the large quantity of monsters permeate throughout his town the elder he got.

“Do you think they’ve always been here?” Oliver asked Britney as they sat in the park on a bench. Her head was resting back with her eyes shut and she just gave him a simple “hm?” Her hands were tucked into her yellow sundress pockets and her arms were naked so they could absorb the Vitamin D. Oliver sat to her right and had his sleeves rolled up as much as he could without revealing his scars. His eyes wandered around the little park in the center of town. The leaves on the complementing trees were beginning to replenish themselves to their natural verdure color. The grass had grown passed the usual length it was supposed to be when it was cut and ants and other miniscule organelles were building their homes and communities between the long blades. The sky was a lighter blue and gave no hint to a cloudy day tomorrow. A light breeze barely ruffled the hairs on their heads and children ran around squealing in triumph and utter annoyance towards the very dull jungle gym. “I mean… regarding the creatures. Do you think they’ve always been here?”

“I dunno hun. Maybe they’ve been here since Adam and Eve’s time.” She kept her head back then slowly lifted it to look off into the distance, like the short conversation had triggered something in her head. Her cheek twitched then she retreated to relaxing her head back. “Guess they might’ve just been brought here by somethin’ that fancy to do us harm. Could be a punishment.”

“Punishment?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Because… Because…” Britney stumbled for words. “They need to entertain themselves. You’re askin’ too many questions hun, it ain’t healthy.” Oliver let out a sigh then ran his hand through his hair to push it back, his forehead was coated in a thin layer of sweat and Britney could see how uncomfortable he was. “Why don’t ya take off that jacket of yours, you need a lil’ bit of sun on those colorless arms.”

“You know I can’t do that mama.” He protested and fluffed his jacket to get some air under it. “I’ll be alright for the time being.” She began to mutter inaudible words under her breath and laid her head back.  

Oliver tried his best to relax but he was too strained for his muscles to relax. He then got up and began to walk around the park aimlessly. They rarely visited the town since they were more in the country part of New York. He enjoyed his time in the vacant city park. The sound of the little creek that ran down the middle of it soothed his rambunctious mind from over thinking things that he had no use of fretting about. The tranquil environment eased his nerves and he took a seat next to the side of the creek staring blankly into the glimmering icy water. His body was numb while he gaped at the slow flowing water. He let the two metal hoops weigh down his lip slightly so he could taste the sweet spring air. He could smell the sap dripping down the bark and the Daffodils and Hibiscus blooming just a few feet away. His hair slightly swayed in the breeze. He fell into a kind of trance and his body was numb.

-

    Kingston sat in his old leather chair in front of the TV watching his favorite show, Breaking Bad. His eyes were glued to the screen until the lights began to flicker and the screen switched off. Kingston looked around the room as the lights continued to flicker until they blew out. “Darn those electric wires.” He mumbled on as he stood up with a groan and wobbled to the kitchen where the power box was and pulled open the cover and began to tinker with the buttons. The whole house was dark besides for the sunlight that barely came through the window. In the corner of the living room stood a shadow, waiting for the old man to enter. After a couple of minutes of messing with the switches the lights came on and lit up the house. The shadow was gone and Kingston walked humbly back to his chair while his show continued on.

    He began to watch the TV again when the lights flicked off once again and a figure stood in front of him. It was taller than he was and it looked thin with a skinny frame, but it’s arms were long and it looked disoriented. Before Kingston could say or do anything the demon’s hand was on his throat and it lifted him in the air. He tried to scream for help but nothing would come out but wheezing. He kicked at the figure and it dropped him back onto his chair and the lights came on again, the TV screen lit up with life and the living room was filled with sound again. His mouth hung open as he rubbed his neck and forced himself onto his shaky unstable legs and rushed to the door. “Help!” He screamed. “Help!”

    Just before his hand touched the doorknob the lights went off again and he was thrown back into the living room and hit the wall. The ground rushed up to him and he hit it with a thump. His heart was beating out of rhythm and it hurt his chest. He tried to scream again but nothing would come out as he wheezed. His body tried to pull itself up and make for the door but something sharp punctured through his back and came out the other side. Blood dripped onto the ground and through his wound and came up his throat. He spit it out and laid back down defeated. He could hear a manly voice laughing triumphantly and he turned his head to see him again but he was gone. The lights came on again and he lay there alone, gawking at the screen.

-

    The sun was beginning to set as Britney and Oliver concluded their journey through the town and were driving home to Kingston. Oliver’s head was hurting as they neared their road and he rubbed his temple. “Do we have any Ibuprofen?”

    “There should be some in the kitchen. Head botherin’ ya hun?” Britney asked as they pulled into the driveway.

    “Just a little, yeah.” They both got out of the car and Britney went inside with some of the bags that held groceries and Oliver followed her in. He instantly recognized the sound of Kingston’s show and then got a strong whiff of blood. His nose filled with it and he stopped by the doorway. Britney continued on towards the kitchen with the bags. The smell was so strong he was confused on why she hadn’t noticed. He then dropped the bags and ran into the living room, right when he walked in he saw his grandfather lying on the floor on his stomach. His chest was heaving and blood pooled around his body and a path was stained into the rug towards the TV stand. Oliver was in such shock he had no idea what to do. He ran over and dropped next to Kingston. “Mama call 911! Oh my god Papa what happened? No don’t tell me! Save your breath I’m here for you. Keep your eyes open.” Britney ran in from the kitchen and she covered her mouth in horror.

    “K-Kingston? Oh my god! Oh my god what happened?”

    “Mama call them now!” Oliver shouted over her whimpering voice. Kingston spit up some blood and Oliver grabbed his hand and examined over his limp body.

    “She… Man… Dark…” He tried to speak but Oliver squeezed his hand.

    “No don’t talk. Tell me when we get you to the hospital.” But Oliver knew in his heart that it wouldn’t happen. But his brain wouldn’t agree and he looked for anything that could cover his wound. He crawled over and grabbed one of the sheets off the couch and set it gently on his back. He didn’t know it came out from the other side of his body but he didn’t put any pressure, too scared to hurt him.

    “Beware… Man”

    “Papa stop.” He whined a little as he watched Kingston slowly die. He held his hand tightly and began to cry. “You’re gonna be okay.” Britney ran in through the kitchen door and fell to her knees next to her husband. Her heart was shattered as she looked at him like how he as and she took his hand from Oliver and kissed it as she cried. She finally noticed the smell of blood that covered her carpet and husbands clothes.

    “Kinston. Don’t leave me. You’ll be alright soon. Hang in there honey. Please stay with me.” He squeezed her hand with all his strength, which was so weak her hand throbbed from

how much it shook in his palm.     “I love… you… both.” He stammered as his eyes dragged between them both then he looked to Oliver. “Take… care… Watch for,” He started to choke and coughed up more blood “Man.”

“What man?” Oliver choked back the lump in his throat as tears trickled down his cheeks. Kingston’s cheeks were streaming with tears and blood covered his neck.

“Shadow.” Oliver was struck in his chest by the word and everything began to spin. He began to cough again and his eyes were glued open as he stared off past Britney and Oliver. They knew he was gone and they both cried out in agony. Their sobbings smothered out the sound of the wailing sirens that was nearing their house and they both held his hand tightly. Britney prayed loudly and was rocking back and forth while holding Kinston’s hand to her chapped lips. Oliver didn’t pray but was clutching Kingston’s shirt in his hands and crying uncontrollably.

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