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The Dying of The Light
“Don’t look into my eyes! Please, for your own sake, don’t look.”
“I need to know. Damn it, I need to know what did this to you.”
Despite the old man’s attempts to resist, the boy would not be deterred. Internally, his mind growled, hungry for knowledge. A pathetic, dejected old man was clearly no match for a psychic mind on the hunt. The old tramp’s story would be gobbled up like a cheap steak; tough, but oddly satisfying.
“Look into my eyes. Do it.”
Trapped in a corner, frightened and exhausted, the man finally obliged, but with animosity. The two locked eyes. The man scowled.
“You really want to look into my mind?? Fine! Do it! Do it! Feel my pain. Let your heart rot. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The man’s words hung heavy on the air, but they did not penetrate the boy’s concentration. It was too late; the child’s psychic powers had already injected themselves into the man’s mind, giddily tearing through his memories as if they were sheets of wrapping paper.
Only now would he understand.
Now within the man’s memory, the boy’s vision was depressingly murky like a windowpane covered by mist. He blinked a few times until his vision cleared. It was if he was in a movie. The world around him moved, but he had no control over his actions. He found himself in a meadow. The wind wailed, brushing against his body… somebody’s body… with aggravation. The sky cried; raindrops dripped down and congregated in puddles beneath his feet. He could feel their dampness, but failed to see them; his vision remained fixated on a figure in the distance. He moved towards her.
“Carla, I’m here.”
The boy felt his lips move and words slip out. He felt helpless; like putty in someone’s hands. He could see and he could feel, but he could not control his actions.
“Thank God, Thank God!”
When he saw her face, he felt a warm sensation in his chest. Was this love? He wasn’t sure; he wasn’t old enough to be capable of that feeling. Surely.
“I’ve waited so long for you. Take me away from here! Hurry! Please!”
“Relax. We’ll be fine. Trust me.”
The last words tasted bitter in the boy’s mouth. There was something about them that seemed artificial. Before he had a chance to think further, Carla leapt into his arms. Yuck! A hug! He tried to pull himself away from her, but his body moved in the opposite direction. As a child, the concept of an embrace disgusted him, but clearly the person he had become thought otherwise.
“It’s wonderful to see you!” she said.
As Carla spoke those words, the boy felt a chilly sweat gradually start to form on his forehead. Clearly this woman had feelings and they appeared to be reciprocated by this…person…but why was it that he now felt cold in her embrace? His conscience felt like an icebox. Something was out of the ordinary.
“Take my hand. I’m taking you into the forest. They’ll never find you there,” the boy said, unaware of who they were.
Carla put her hand in his and they trudged through the mud towards the forest. Why the rush? The boy wondered to himself. Twenty minutes of nonstop walking later, the coupled stopped for a breather. The boy felt his head turn and his eyes locked on Carla. To most, she was just a normal woman in almost all respects; a messy haired blonde dressed in a t-shirt and jeans. However, the boy immediately detected something unusual about her: her blue eyes. To him, her eyes were oceans and he was drowning in them. Only a giggle from Carla eventually knocked him out of the trance. Her eyes sparkled.
“Take her to the pond. Let them take her. Don’t let her be the death of you.”
A deep, husky voice inside the boy’s mind suddenly bellowed at him, causing his head to ache. He gripped his head between his hands.
“Don’t give in! You can both try to make a run for it, together. Save her! Save her!”
A soft, comforting voice from his whispered to him now. It was reassuring and convincing. Suddenly, the boy felt a rush of adrenaline.
“We have to get out of here. NOW. MOVE. RUN!!!”
“James, what’s wrong?? What’s happening to you??? Talk to me. Please!”
“I SAID MOVE!!”
The voices battled in the boy’s head as he felt himself yank Carla’s hand and set off hurriedly towards the west.
“You’re doing the right thing! She’s worth the risk! You can survive, both of you.”
The boy’s pace increased as the sun peaked out from within the clouds. For a moment, he felt like a hero. But the voice bellowed again.
“If you do this, they will only kill YOU too. Give her up. Save yourself.”
He roared. The conflicting emotions tore through him. It was as if he were being eaten alive.
“Let them take her. Let them KILL her. Save yourself.”
The boy felt himself stop dead in his tracks. He and Carla had reached a pond. As he released his grip on her, he felt as if a burden upon his shoulders had been released. The voices stopped. He would survive.
“I have no choice…”
As he stuttered the words, dozens of menacing, ghostly creatures descended from the trees, each squealing in cacophony. They surrounded Carla like buzzards. She screamed as one hoisted her into the air. For the last time, the boy stared straight into her eyes. They were black; the familiar sparkle was gone. Suddenly, each creature plunged into the water one-by-one, sucking in the now plentiful radiance of the sunlight with them. The boy felt as if his heart were being strangled and his mind were on fire. Carla continued to scream as the final creature dragged her feet-first into the water. The boy watched her drown. She was dead, and so too was his spirit.