“Should I hide or something?”
“It knows you’re here. As long as you keep your distance, things will be fine. It has other things to focus on.”
Liz half-lifted a hand and pointed at Mark. “What… what is it doing?”
Evie frowned. “Nothing good.”
Liz blinked and Evie was gone. She turned back toward Mark. The shadow’s form twisted over him, like smoke and ash swirling over a burning building. When it settled, Liz stepped back and reached out for the nearest tree.
The eyes were depthless orbs, large and menacing. It rested forward on its knuckles, with its muscular arms set on either side of Mark. They were as thick as he was, and almost as tall. The lower half of its body tapered to short but powerful legs. Wide shoulders flowed to a broad head and elongated snout. Its lips curled and Liz was certain that if she had been closer she would have heard it snarling.
Liz blinked again and Evie was standing near the shadow. She had a foul look on her young face as she raised her open hands toward it. The dog took a step back but went no further. Liz felt there was a conversation happening, or an argument, but she was not privy to a word of it. Evie widened her stance and set her hands down low. Her fingertips started to glow but soon she was enveloped in blue, flickering light up to her elbows.
Mark, Christopher, and her mother talked inches away as if nothing was wrong. Liz saw Christopher hand something to Mark and walk away. The monster hesitated, then turned to follow him. It looked back to Evie for a split second before breaking apart and dissipating.
“Who was that man?”
Liz flinched. She looked beside her to Evie. “He was my boss.”
“The darkness, it’s attached to him.”
“What do you mean?”
“He called it. It does his bidding, to an extent.”
“Does that mean…”
“The darkness knows you. I think it is the reason you are here.”
Liz’s lips pinched tight.
“You don’t remember how it happened, do you?”
Liz shook her head. “Not all of it.”
Evie looked down the hill. “There was another.”
“What do you mean, another?”
“Yours was not the only life taken.”
Liz turned her eyes away. “Gloria.”
Image by Kaleigh Kanary