A Day too Dark

She never wanted this to happen. She never meant for this to happen. All she wanted to do was be helpful for once. She never wanted to hurt them. She didn't want to.....She never wanted to kill them..

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5. Chapter Four

 The night was cold, which was rare for where Mercy lived. The nights were normally warm or hot, never cold. The moon shone dully behind the dark clouds, barely illuminating the boy walking in the woods, hiding behind the larger trees. For a while he walked, wincing when he stepped on a fallen leaf or twig before he came to a large clearing. There stood another man, his back facing the stranger. "I'm here." He called out. The man turned slightly, his eyes shadowed.

 "Great," His voice was deep and rough. The boy had never met the man, but he had gotten a letter telling him to come there or his secret would be leaked. The older man stuffed his hands in his coat pocket, puffing a cloud of smoke from his mouth. One hand came out and took hold of the cancer stick, twirling it between his middle and pointer fingers. The younger person watched him carefully. 

 "You're smart, Mark," He said. Mark didn't respond. The man dropped the cigarette and stomped it out, sighing.   "That was my last one." He turned to Mark, his eyes reflecting on the moonlight, but not giving away the color. "You have one?"

 Mark shook his head. "Afraid not," He said. Mark's eyes watched the mans every movement. From the rise and fall of his shoulders when he breathed to the twitching of his fingers. "Shame," The man said gloomily, his body swinging back and forth. "Shame indeed, I apologize," Mark softly said.

 The man tilted his head, his eyes now being fully shown. Black. His eyes were no longer shadowed, so why were his eyes black? Mark wondered silently, putting one foot back in case of danger. Mark got a bad feeling. The man seemed to give off a bad aura and something told Mark to run. To leave and never look back. But, against his nature, Mark stayed. 

 "Forgiven." The man said. His voice seemed deeper. Mark put back another foot. "But that's okay, I have another pack." His hand reached into his coat. For a second, Mark relaxed. Maybe there was nothing wrong with man, he thought. He put his feet back, his eyes watched the smiling man less closely. 

Mark took in the space he was at. It was wide, wide enough for a dragon to land and sleep with their pups. The grass was half-dead and the leafs on the trees wilted. Rocks dotted the outskirts of the area, closing like a gate towards a small sized pond. 

It was quiet. The man stopped moving and just stared at Mark, his hand frozen in his coat pocket. Mark watched him. He watched Mark. The wind blew, ruffling Mark's hair-- or what little hair he had anyways. Mark was getting old. He was a father of three and had a wife almost fourteen years before his first was born. 

The older man didn't move. Nobody spoke. It seemed as if the man wasn't even breathing. Mark took a small step forward. "Are you alright?" He asked so softly he wasn't sure the man had heard him. "Am I okay?" The man repeated loudly, startling Mark so much he walked backwards.

"Am I alright? No, sir, I haven't been alright since you got here. But," He stopped talking. Still, he hadn't moved. Not an inch. Only his mouth moved. Mark didn't even see the rise and fall of his shoulders. "I think it might get better." His arm flinched, then he jerked it out his coat, a small hand pistol in his gloved hand. "Much, much better," He voice was deep, deeper then it was already. His black eyes left to question to Mark. They had been gorged out and red blood dripped from them. 

With that, Mark screamed. He turned on his heel and ran, his legs pushing as hard and fast as he could go. "Come back! I need a light." The man's voice echoed in the woods. Mark didn't know where he was anymore. All the trees looked the same. The same height, the same width, the same leafs, and bushes. Mark wheezed and put his hand on a close tree. He panted, looking around. The man wasn't in sight, but Mark could still hear his laughter and calling for a lighter. 

He whipped around at the sound of crunching leafs. The man in the coat stood there, pistol held professionally in his large hand. Blood dripped off his face and into the leafs on the earth, loud crackles leaving his chapped lips. "So?" He giggled. "Have a light?" Mark shook, taking quick steps back. Every step back he took, the man took forward. His legs are longer, so are his arms. He has a better shot at shooting me, Mark thought frantically. 

With that thought, Mark turned and ran. He ran until his legs ached and his lungs burned. But, he couldn't stop. Mark knew that if he stopped anytime soon, then he'll be killed. He'd be shot and found within the next week by his eldest daughter who was to go camping in the very woods Mark stood in. He didn't want to be found like that. He didn't want to be found at all. All Mark wanted was to go home to his wife and children, share a meal, tell stories at the dinner table. 

Mark hadn't realized he slowed down. The running was taking its toll on his body. His legs felt as if they were going to fall off any second and his lugs burned for oxygen. He didn't hear the laughing or the asks for a lighter anymore. Maybe he was safe? A smile, unknowingly, crept upon his face. He might be safe. He might be able to go home. To see his kids. To see his wife. 

Mark started to giggle. He wanted to go home. He came to a full stop and forced down laughter. These woods were driving him mad. The trees were the same thing copied in every nook and cranny of that cursed place. Mark looked around. He had no idea where to go. Where had he come in? Which way was less likely to run into that man? Mark didn't know, but he started walking. 

For a while, he actually calmed down. The crickets chirps soothed him, tamed his wild nerves. The trees gained different widths and heights and the bushes were placed randomly around the area. Mark's racing heart calmed to a regulated beat, making him giggle at himself. He was worked up over nothing now. The man was gone and the only sounds the remained where the sounds of nature. There were no crunching leaves, no man asking for a light while holding a loaded gun. Nothing of the sort. 

But, as the saying goes, never speak too soon. "I guess you don't have one." A lazy, but demonic voice growled. Mark's whole body froze in ice. He couldn't move, he couldn't breath, he couldn't speak. Or maybe he chose not to, he didn't know anymore. All he knew was that the man was right behind him and the barrel of a loaded gun was pressed to the back of his head. 

"Shame," Mark could almost hear the grin in the mans voice. "Bring one next time, would you?" And then the sound of a gun blasted through the woods. Squirrels stopped moving and the crickets chirps ceased. And with that, the body of Mark Whyett fell to dirt.       

  

 

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