Blake unlocked the front door in a quick and frantic manner, and then slammed it shut behind him. He couldn't tell how fast he gasped for air, but he couldn't stop or slow it down. He dropped his backpack at the door, but walked no further. His eyes scanned left and right.
Something's wrong, very wrong, he thought. Those shadows, they were at school. They started the fire, I saw it.. How is that even possible?
Not only that....the strange burning sensation? He felt it. Here. At home. Why were they here too, and how?
Blake slapped his cheeks with his palms. "Get a hold of yourself!" And immediately, he tiptoed through the living room and kitchen, and down the hallway. Would he find those creatures? Because something told him they were near. But he had no clue if and where they might show up.
He drew closer towards the bedrooms. His room was on one side. His mother's room was just beyond that on the other side of the hallway. He stepped towards the slightly ajar doorway--
A searing pain assaulted his head without warning, causing him to drop to his knees. He grabbed his hair but the torment did not ebb. Where had this come from? It was like a barrage of voices screaming inside his head all at once, coupled with a twisted burning sensation that coursed up and down his spine and throughout his head. It was so overwhelming he thought he might pass out.
"No, no....stop.....stop it!"
For some reason, a little of the pain went away, but not all of it. He could finally look around now, though. Still, nothing seemed unusual. Blake looked back towards his mom's room.
He did not know why....but something drew him in. As if on instinct, he stood and slowly walked in there.
There were no windows in this room. As a matter of fact, there wasn't much of anything in here. A bed, a nightstand, a large shelf, a lamp, and a closet. Blake's mother had never been one for material possessions. So what pressured him to even come in here?
His head throbbed once more, and he nearly fell onto his knees, but he managed to hold his composure and balance. The room had already become blurry, and with the room so dark he couldn't clearly see his surroundings. He looked around, then stopped almost immediately. Something had come into focus. No, that wasn't it. More like something in his vision was pulsating, the longer he looked at it.
Blake closed his eyes and shook his head. Once his thoughts had cleared up a bit, he reopened his eyes, and found himself looking at the wall closet. With a raised eyebrow he stared. Why would he be looking at that of all things?
He reached out but hesitated. He'd never seen his mother's belongings before and the idea of snooping through her things did not sit well with him. The burn ran up his spine again, stronger than before. He felt he now had no choice but to open the closet door.
Most were hanging, others were folded in messy bunches amongst the little shelves stuffed in the closet. Other than a few random items here and there, Blake saw nothing unusual in here.
Blake shook his head fiercely. Where did that thought come from? And what did it mean? His vision went fuzzy again. And again he thought he saw a pulsating image. What was it exactly? With a few flutters of his eyelids he realized that whatever he saw, it lay in the corner of the closet, and it was large. He decided to go in blind and reached back, behind the clothes and shelves. He fumbled and groaned, but could not feel anything.
The burn in his body became so strong that his muscles felt hot and uncomfortable pain. He spun around.
A screech filled his ears with high-pitched agony as an outline of something crawled toward him. A shadow creature! Blake jumped and banged his head against one of the shelves. He was dizzy but not defeated.
The thing was in his mother's room, which was a surprise. The creature leapt right for him without warning. But as if on instinct, Blake kicked at it. To his shock, the attack connected, and the shadow crashed against the wall with a loud shriek.
Blake felt his heart racing. What was going on? What was that thing? Why did it attack him? And why could he touch it?
He froze. That thought again. Only, it was not in his own voice. Instinctively he spun around. The image. It was still blurry, but there. The dark creature struggled to stand, and so Blake once again reached for the corner of the closet. He reached behind the shelf, feeling around for something. The creature screeched, as if it prepared for another attack. Blake stretched further, groaning, hoping to feel--
The creature bounced around a few times before its final lunge. But just as it did, Blake pulled at the object and swung it, hitting the shadow away into the hallway. He quickly stood and slammed the door shut, gasping for a breath. And then he at last looked at what he held in his hand, and stared.
It was a long box, a simple one with three metal clips. Blake set it down, not having a clue as to why he was so drawn to this.
Was the creature trying to break in? Blake set the box down and undid one clip, and then the second. The third, slightly rusted over, took a bit more effort. He heard another thud on the door as he unlocked the final clasp. There was another thud, and he finally opened the lid of the long case. And he couldn't believe his eyes.
It was a staff.
A simple black staff. And yet he found himself strangely drawn to it. He did not know exactly what it was, or even why his mother had it. But it must have meant something to her. Blake reached forward and opened his hand to grab one end of the staff--
As soon as he touched the staff, his entire body froze. He grabbed his chest with his other hand, panicking. Had his heart just stopped? He could feel the heat coming off his body, like a faint steam. Yet his appendages were so cold he felt completely frozen. No matter how hard he tried he could not let go of the staff. The pain in his chest was now agonizing, and his head again throbbed with sharp pain, as though someone stabbed a spear right into his skull. He gasped for air, and was utterly terrified.
And still, he could not release the staff from his grip. But for some reason, his arm pulled the object up and out of the box.
Blake spun around. The shadow had forced the door open, and now stood just inside the doorway. But something was different. Before, the creature had been nothing more than a four-legged and blurry wisp of shadow and mist. But now it's form was tangible and clear. Its shape was reminiscent of a dog, with gangly legs and a thin body. While it possessed no muzzle it clearly snarled, and the only non-blackened part of its body were the eyes; they were a faded silver. But the shadow creature was angry, and stalked right towards him.
The shadow's presence had surprised and even frightened him at first. Yet at this moment, he felt a new strength coursing through him. It was as if all the fear had been expelled from his mind. Without hesitation, and without feeling the slightest bit of pain, Blake stood up, holding one end of the staff. As he spun around he reached with his other hand and grabbed the opposite end of the staff. He widened his stance, prepared for either an offensive of defensive tactic.
For some reason the creature stopped. And then, it backed away.
Something happened with the staff. A black wisp emanated from it, and shrouded the black rod in a translucent cloak of darkened shadow. And suddenly his gaze rose up to eye the staff's end. A massive black blade was fastened near the tip, curved and draped in shadow. Blake could not believe his eyes.
Not a staff....but a scythe?
The strange sound drew Blake's attention back in the direction of the door. He could not believe his eyes as soon as his gaze fell upon the shadowy creature. He should be afraid. He knew he should be. This was very clearly a dark creature, more malevolent than the ghostly spirits he would often encounter. What was he even supposed to do?
His lack of focus prevented him from noticing the shadow leap into the air right for him. It was all Blake could do to hold the staff in front of him, and get forced onto his back once the creature made contact. Blake held up the staff with as much strength as he could muster while the shadow snarled and chomped for his face. This weapon.....was it a heavy burden, or was he just imagining it? His mind couldn't concentrate on any single thing; it merely struggled to survive by telling the rest of his body to keep this creature at bay.
With little thought, Blake suddenly kicked up at the creature. It wasn't strong enough to push off the dark entity, but enough to throw it off balance. Blake then thrust one side of the scythe into the creature, but one would hardly consider it an attack. But now, he could stand, back away with his hands clutching the weapon even tighter. The shadow emitted a series of clicks and growls as though it prepared another pounce. A tightness overwhelmed his chest; he had no idea what to do.
That voice. Something about it felt almost.....familiar. For some reason, his grip on the scythe lessened. No longer did they feel tight with tension, but rather clutched the staff with a sort of inner strength welling up inside of him. The room did not appear as dark as it had moments ago, and a feeling of ease overtook him for but a moment. The creature no longer readied itself for an attack, but merely stared at Blake for what felt like a season.
As if on instinct, a pair of feet pushed off the ground, propelling him forward with intense speed. He clutched the scythe tightly, and watched the creature back up with a startled click. But it was too late. It could not even turn around completely, as the curved blade swung about in the blink of an eye. The shadow screeched as it's physical form was severed completely in half. Its silver eyes glowed wide before it disintegrated in the air like ash in the sun, and the unusual burning sensation from earlier had all but disappeared.
Blake finally blinked his eyes, and his mind cleared enough to let him know that he had no idea what had just happened. He stood up straight and looked around, his brows becoming furrowed. He felt light-headed, as though he'd just been in some kind of trance. And yet he was acutely aware of what had just happened.
The creature he'd just seen....it looked different from before. At first, he'd seen a wisp of darkness with two barely distinguishable eyes the color of a faded silver. But now the shape almost looked more tangible, having taken the form of a dog-like creature. It bore a mouth almost like a muzzle, with what looked like tiny teeth in its slightly-gaped jaw.
Even the sound of it had been different. He'd heard something akin to a chicken growl, mixed with the strange noise of what sounded like a trickling stream of water from an old videotape. The little puffs of shadow particles surrounding the creatures waved, almost like a dance, but that which clearly still emitted a sense of malice.
And him....he'd started out frightened and panicked. But then he just jumped right for the creature without a second thought, and slashed it in two? Blake stared down at the scythe he clutched, his gaze slowly moving over its sleek and curved blade. He released his grip on it without a second thought; it landed on the carpeted floor with a very soft thud. Blake couldn't move, and he couldn't look away either. He just......stared.
Was that a car horn? Blake spun around, and his heart picked up the pace. He ran out towards the hallway without a second thought and headed straight for front door, stumbling a few times in the process. He skidded to a halt, but did not reach for the doorknob. Instead he leaned towards the small window at the upper section of the door, and took a careful peek.
There was no car in the small driveway. Blake repositioned. A neighbor, opposite of June's house, popped out of his vehicle and walked down the sidewalk to their own front door. He breathed a heavy sigh of relief, and as soon as he backed away his knees crumpled beneath him. The world seemed blurry for a moment, and no matter how often he attempted to replay the event he just could not. Blake soon realized just how labored and uneven his breathing was, so he put a hand to his chest in an effort to calm himself down, and to stop the very slight shaking of his hands. Whatever just happened in his mother's room.....he had no idea how to process it all.
Wait. Her room! Though his legs felt weak Blake jumped onto his feet and raced down the hallway, screeching to a halt before the open doorway with wide eyes.
The scythe was gone. And so was the box he'd pulled it from.