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Shivers

Shivers raced down its spine. This was the last one, the last piece in its puzzle. The last death.

Its deep green eyes watched the girl walk down the street, through the snow. The thing’s shivers grew stronger as it crept, catlike, toward the hopeful waif. Unnoticed, the thing that had once been an innocent woman stole closer and closer. The girl in anyone else’s eyes would appear worn and broken. But in the bottomless green eyes, the girl’s mind glowed with hope for what could come, but probably never would. It was a golden glow, which both burned and soothed the thing’s eyes. This child had more hope than it had ever seen.

The shivers that wracked its spine grew almost unbearably strong, as it crept closer to the source of the glowing hopes and dreams. Just a few long steps from the child, it let out a stifled moan of pain and envy.

The girl, eyes widened by shock, whirled to stare at the tall form behind her. Gaunt and tall, the thing was almost entirely black. That is, it was entirely black except for a pair of deep green cat’s eyes. The thing leapt for her throat, maw opening to reveal long, curved needles of white teeth. She tried to scream, for anyone to come and save her. But she knew no one would come. She knew it all now, as it drank away her golden hopes and dreams. She never would escape from the thing, as she never would have escaped the streets.

The girl’s lifeless body fell to the snow, already pale and cold. The thing‘s curved teeth were revealed in a smile, as the warmth spread through its body. The beautiful glow spread through its chest, where the heart should have been. It pulsed and glowed, the child’s dreams like a healing elixir. Its body began to weaken, began to end the curse that turned what had turned a woman into a terrible thing, which prowled the streets and preyed upon the hopes of the innocent. This time, the hopes surely would be enough. The glow grew stronger, its golden light playing upon the white snow.

But then, it happened again. The glow ebbed, at first unnoticeably, but then quicker and quicker. The thing’s strength returned, the awful cursed strength that could not be ended. The glow receded toward the thing’s chest, fading until it was a tiny pinpoint where its heart once was. And then, it was gone. The thing fell to its knees in the snow. The girl’s hopes had not been enough to cure it. It let out an awful shriek that dropped to a moan, a moan of loss and hopelessness.
It crept away into the shadows, as its compelling shivers began again. Soon, they would be strong enough to force it to end another life, no matter how little hope the thing had of ever ending its curse. The thing that was once a woman was gone, and the child’s body still and lifeless in the snow.



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