Into the Dark

He ran as fast as his lags would carry him. He really fucked up this time and this time they were not letting up. He didn’t know. How could he have known? Never in his worst nightmares did he imagine that things such as them existed. This was the real world. Things like them belonged in bedtimes stories about the boogyman and things that went bump in the night. They didn’t belong.

The air burned with each breath. Pain shot from his knee and laced itself up his leg. He couldn’t stop. He didn’t dare. He was always told that there were worse things than death, but he hadn’t believed. He didn’t believed until he had looked deep into that inhuman gaze. All he could do now was run.

Light shown ahead of him. That is what he needed now. A place with a lot of light, and people too. They wouldn’t take him where they would be seen. Where could he go? This was the middle of the night in downtown Ottawa. Wait, suddenly he knew. The old McDonald’s just up the street. It never closed.

He ran. Something fell behind him with a great ringing clang and he jumped forward. The ally ended just ahead. He could see the light of the street cutting through the shadows.

A lone wolf sang out into the night. It echoed through the night, and rang out between the towering buildings and filled the dark shadows. It was closes and fear granted him greater speed. He sprinted along and almost didn’t hear the choirs of inhuman voices that rose to answer. They were close. There was no time for him to wonder how no one heard that alien cry. There was nothing that he could do but run. Fear filled his feet and sped him along.

He burst into the light of the street. There was more light here, but not enough. Instinct guided him. He was close, but was he close enough to make it? Golden arches arose in his vision, an ironic beckon of life beckoned to him.

Almost there. He told himself. Just keep running. You will make it.

Something dark, blurred and utterly formless struck him from the side. He went skidding along the pavement and slammed into the base of the light. He kicked at the clawed talons that wrapped themselves around his wrists and ankles. Something rough wrapped itself around his nose and mouth. Robbed of his ability or breath or scream, he twisted, bite and fought until the world disappeared into darkness.

His coughing awoke him. He took deep rasping breaths, but it was like breathing fire. Something, that was not rope, twine or anything else that he could identify, bound him. He wiggled about to get free but that only made the dark substance squeeze painfully tight.

“Enough of that little one.” The voice rasped from the shadows. He looked around, but couldn’t find it’s source. It seemed to come from the deepest shadow that drank what little light there was and made it its own, but he couldn’t be sure. “You have hurt us deeply, but we forgive you. You are only mortal and cannot understand.”

“I don’t have it.” He cried out. “I don’t even know where it is. I fucking swear on my life.”

“Oh,” The voice rasped. “We know, but we don’t believe you.”

It moved. He just stared. His eyes followed the movement but his mind failed to comprehend what he was seeing. It just wasn’t possible to anything to move in that jerky insect like grace. Nothing should be able to move like that.

“We really do forgive you.” It reached and wrapped a claw around his arm. It drew up close. He couldn’t move. He could only stare into the hungry darkness as it stared back into him. The hair on the back of his neck pricked up and he shivered. Cold breath froze his bare skin. He tried to turn away butit held him too tight. “Because we can make you understand. We can make you one of us. Then we will know everything. Don’t be afraid. It will only hurt for a moment. Then you will never feel anything ever again.”

The world fell to darkness as the thing enveloped him. The shadow crawled all over him as if it were a swarm of insects. It wormed its way beneath his clothing. It forced itself into his ears. He choked as it filled his nose and mouth. He tried to scream but only succeeded in breathing it in.

He burned. He froze. He was in pain and he was in ecstasy. A thousand sensations flooded his being all at once. Voices filled his mind in a great maelstrom of torment and pain. Every voice cried out for him to save them, but there was nothing that he could do. The beast tore through his skin and dug deeper. It wasn’t just consuming his flesh. It was taking everything that he was and everything he would ever be and tearing it out.

Piece by piece the darkness consumed him. His voice joined the chorus of the damned briefly until he was no more.