Hide from the Shadow

April 30, 2012
It was raining on the corner of 6th and Corrington, and you could barely decipher the streaking drops in the staticky sheet of black water. One bent lamppost cast a wavering beacon over the grasping shadows, and outlined darkly the man sitting under it on the aging bench smudging from an unhealthy mixture of water and graffiti. His hat was pulled low over his eyes, and the stub of a blackened cigarrette jutted from his stained black teeth. His foot tapped a nervous tune on the ground. He was nervous. He involuntarily reached for another light but remorsefully remembered that his last was now being slowly devoured between two thin cracked lips, which wasn't even lit. He was trying to quit.
He got up suddenly, inciting several small scraps of damp paper to run on a small breeze, which rifled at his long coat. He clutched it tighter and rolled up a sleeve to check an off-color, chipped relic of a watch. Cheap copy.
and suddenly, like the new wind that swept through the dank street, a scream ripped the air like a knife in thin fabric. It was primal and rough, like the static in a record player, and as the waves of fear echoed down the streets, the man sat down. Through the fuzzy sheet of rain dousing the corner of 6th and Corrington, a dark shape could be seen hunched under a lamppost, a quick flash of light, and a steady glow lit up his mouth and glinted off his teeth as he smiled widely. And finally, as the last remnants of the scream died, a low, crackling laugh crawled out to meet it.
You might think this story is unfinished, or the author unable to think of a good ending for a pathetic narrative. You might be tired of stories that make you yawn when they find the bloody knife and handcuffs in the hotel. But this story is finished, thought you don't know it yet. Because you were the one who screamed.

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