Horror Fiction Contemporary

“In the middle of the night, she awoke to see a towering dark figure leering over her.“

“They don’t exist, it’s her imagination."

“They do”, he insisted.

She shook her head with doubt, “Shadows exist. Shadow people don’t!”

“Come with me tonight. I’ll prove it”, her boyfriend responded.

Kate was well aware that her boyfriend of 3 months, Danny, was obsessed with the supernatural. Ironically, she herself was an absolute skeptic; someone needed to bring him down to earth. The prospect of Shadow Men, wasn’t a new fad, but she agreed to go with him; to bring an end to the matter.

The couple sat in the park, on a clear June day, enjoying the sunshine, and the view. Danny, whom was clean shaven, with short dark brown hair, of average build, was in his mid-twenties. Despite the warm weather, he was wearing the thin leather coat that he always wore, along with Jean’s. Kate, however wore a blue ‘t' shirt, more fitting for the weather. She. was a year younger had shoulder length blonde hair.

* * * * *

Twilight in the woods, was full of growing changing shadows. Danny and Kate, sat patiently in his car, parked next to the narrow woodland lane. Kate made it clear that she was prepared for a long boring night.

“Let’s go back my place”, said Kate as she stroked his thigh, “and I’ll show you something.”

“We’ll see something soon.”

“Don’t you find me attractive? Do you love me?”

“Of course, I do”, he said looking into her blue eyes, “but tonight’s the night”. He then went on to explain that the shadow people have a yearly festival, at 3AM at night, during the first full moon of the month.

“Why the obsession with the so-called Shadow People?” she asked, “is it because your mate Pete went missing?”

“They took him.”

Kate held her head in dismay. “Are you telling me that we have to wait 3 hours before we give up and go home.”

“Let’s look around. Some may come early.” 

They ventured into the midnight air. The woods were full of shadows, shadowy places and dark corners, but no sign of Shadow People. Their flashlights seemed to be of little use, with most of the light coming from the full moon. Nevertheless, they both felt the piercing feeling of someone, or something, watching them, following them.

“Aren’t you scared”, asked Danny, as they made their way back to the car.

“Of what?”


“Huh”, she snorted, “I’m not scared of what doesn’t exist.” The truth was she was bored silly. Unexpected words, from a woman who was a little timid, which Danny put that down to the fact that she grew up in an orphanage.

* * * * *

After what seemed like an eternity. 3AM finally came. Looking around there was no difference, with only movement was a gentle breeze in the trees. The wait was excruciating, as they both tried to stay awake.

Yawning, Kate said, “Nothing has come, let’s go home.”

“They’ll be here.”

“All my friends have normal boyfriends”, she declared, “why can’t I?"

“What about Jim?”

“He’s with Dave.”

There was a pause, as though Danny was working something out, before switching off all the lights. Kate, wearing her favourite blue fleece, looked at him with confusion, They’re here! Keep still and quiet.”

Looking down the lane, looked like before, grim and shadowy. Then she noticed a new patch of shadow, that seemed darker than black, coming towards them. Gradually, they noticed that dark patch had a humanoid shape, and another and another. As they neared, they could count up to ten, and the only facial features noticeable were their eyes. Glowing red eyes.

The procession slowly approached, and stopped a short distance from the car. The leader appeared to be a silhouette of a man with a hat, followed by figures of men and women; all with glowing eyes. The leader looked Kate straight in the eyes. Her heart missed a couple of beats. She was terrified. She never liked being the centre of attention at the best of times, shy that she was. 

The procession carried on up the lane, silently, until they were alongside the car, when they stopped and turned to look at the car. Twenty glowing eyes were looking at them. Kate felt her chest tighten as she dared not breath. Danny didn’t seem so bothered. As the couple sat in the car, motionless, Danny quietly whispered, out the side of mouth, “don’t move”. Unlikely, as she was petrified.

After an earth stopping moment, the procession continued down the lane. Kate took a moment to compose herself, breathing heavily. “Now do you believe?” Asked her boyfriend.

“What the hell are they?”

“Shadow People. Let’s follow them?”

Kate couldn’t what she had just heard.

He continued with, “Or we could wait. They’ll be back in a moment.”

“Let’s go home, now, fast!”

“Aren’t you curious?”

“No. I’d run home now, if I didn’t think they were out there; lurking.”

“Relax!” he sniggered. He looked in the rear mirror and declared, “They’re back!”

Sure enough, glancing back, she could make out black figures coming back down the lane. This time there more, maybe fifteen. They marched down the road, to then encircle the car. Kate held her head between her knees. Her heart was pounding away, she couldn’t be more terrified. She quietly muttered, “our father, who art in heaven…”

She glanced up and saw they appeared to be holding hands, around the car. The figures started to blur. The blur grew bigger, blocking out all light, and all she could see was black. She couldn’t even see her boyfriend next to her. She reached over to put the headlamps on, but no light could be seen. Trying the internal lights, didn’t work either. The car was in a void, a bubble outside reality. 

“I have a confession to make”, said Danny in low voice.

“Not now”, spluttered Kate, trying to get her breath.

“I am one of them!”, he acclaimed, “You are in no danger at all”

Kate often found Danny’s playful jokiness, a little amusing; but now definitely wasn’t the time. “I want this nightmare to end.”

The darkness around gradually dispersed until she could see the moon again. The silhouettes around the car became more clearly defined. She turned to her boyfriend to see he too was now a black figure with glowing eyes. This can’t be happening. Trapped. Can’t stay, can’t leave.

Outside she heard a deep clear voice saying, “Kate”. They knew her name. “Kate”. She didn’t know which way to cower.

“Aren’t you going to answer your father?” asked Danny. “And Yes, you are one of us, and always have been.”

Fear, now turned into confusion. This was too much information for her process.

“Come, let’s go to the festival; all will become clear”

May 07, 2021 19:03

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